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The Wonder Engine

(Clocktaur War #2)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,823 ratings  ·  321 reviews
Pull three people out of prison--a disgraced paladin, a convicted forger, and a heartless assassin. Give them weapons, carnivorous tattoos, and each other. Point them at the enemy.

What could possibly go wrong?

In the sequel to CLOCKWORK BOYS, Slate, Brenner, Caliban and Learned Edmund have arrived in Anuket City, the source of the mysterious Clockwork Boys. But the secr
...more
Kindle Edition, 370 pages
Published February 27th 2018 by Red Wombat Studio
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

The Wonder Engine, a Locus award-nominated novel, is the second half of a fantasy duology by T. Kingfisher that began with Clockwork Boys, and it’s absolutely necessary to read that book first (a few minor spoilers for that book are in this review). Clockwork Boys relates how a company of condemned criminals ― Slate the forger, Brenner the assassin, and Caliban the paladin ― plus one straitlaced, misogynistic scholar named Learned Edmund, are asse
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K.J. Charles
The second half of Clocktaur Wars (it's one book, let's not mess about) is as glorious as the first. Kingfisher says this took her over a decade to write: you would not know it from the flowing ease of the writing, which feels joyously effortless.

Delightful characters, witty narrative, laugh-out-loud gags, big themes dealt with subtly and sensitively, a quietly powerful and complex moral core about decency to others. Basically Kingfisher is filling up the hole in my heart left by Terry Pratchet
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Robyn
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Once again, I just really loved spending time with our merry band of misfits! Plus the plot kicked up a notch, things were resolved, and we met even more interesting new characters! If you like banter, this book is for you.
Emma
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I loved this duology. It had everything, the most important of which was humour. It was original, imaginative and great entertainment. Loved the gnoles. #wantagnoleforxmas
Lindsay
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Slate the forger has led her small band to Anuket City, the origin of the Clocktaurs. Caliban the paladin, Brenner the assassin, Learned Edmund the scholar and Grimehug the gnole need to use all their abilities to survive what they find their and do something about the nearly unstoppable Clocktaur army.

The first book in this two-parter assembled the party and began to define their characters and relationships. This book is the payoff, which a strong feeling of family in this small band, despite
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Lata
Loveable characters, amusing banter, badger-like beings in abundance, great sendup of the paladin type of character, terrific use of an account/forger/thief/snarky being in Slate.
I enjoyed book one, loved this book, and want more Slate and Grimehug and Paladin. And even Learned Edmund.
Emily
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
BAD NEWS: this book does not stick the landing. I still enjoyed myself quite a bit, but this book veers away from "heist" as a primary genre to focus more on the romance. It's a decent story, but it does the pacing of the previous book a disservice, and - in my opinion - cheapens the worldbuilding. The beats of the plot are less about the perilous journey and are more about the development of the relationships, which means that the plot feels less important. It takes away from Slate's fatalism, ...more
Veronique
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: r2018, favourites, fantasy
4.5* Second part and end of the story.

Our misfits have reached their destination. Now comes the unsurmountable task of finding out all they can about the Clockwork Boys in order to destruct them, all this in enemy territory!

This narrative has more action than the first instalment but the focus still remains firmly on our disparate characters. What can I say? I love following our forger, paladin, assassin, scholar, and gnole. There is still plenty of banter for our entertainment, but their dynami
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Denise
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I think this book worked better for me than the first. The characters were fun both times, but I enjoyed the battle and resolution of the love/ lust conflict.

Alissa
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-ebooks
I truly enjoyed the second part of this tale, which is mostly set in the city of Anuket.
Its mix of hilarity and seriousness, the real-life themes raised under the guise of fantasy, and “the personal dynamics of four tired, worried humans with a terrible secret” (plus a gnole!) really worked for me.

I look forward to future books in this universe.

It was a trifle awkward, when you were carrying an enormous sword and out for blood, to discover that you’d raided a building which didn’t have that m
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Leticia
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, women
This is not really a sequel as much as a continuation of the first book. I'm starting with this line so that anyone considering reading "the latest one" drops such idea very fast and picks up Clockwork Boys. You really need to read this story from the start.

That said, I'm happy to say the second part is as much fun as the first, with some added spiritual themes and a whole lot of romance (of both the doki-doki kind, as in the first part, and the more hands-on approach usually found in western st
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Emily
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I liked it, didn't love it. If you're in the mood for a light romantic fantasy, maybe consider this one? I am just kind of "meh" about it though. I didn't really love any of the characters, the romance seemed a bit forced to me.
Tracy
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so much fun to read. Everything from the first novel comes together in a satisfying conclusion. The wonderful characters from the first book are here and there are a couple of new ones that I really liked. It was by turns funny and sad. The best news I saw was that the author has said she is writing more books set on this world. Yay!

I had mentioned that the first novel reminded me of Bujold’s World of the five gods. This one did also, particularly when Caliban encounters the divine in t
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Wiebke (1book1review)
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was just as much fun as the first book. Although there is less banther and more story happening it keeps you captivated and engaged with all the characters. I also liked the gnoles and everything around them and their culture very much.
Barb in Maryland
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, sf-f-goodies
Exciting end to the story begun in Clockwork Boys.

Good fun, with a snarky attitude.
sage
So both male protagonists are canonically bi, fascinated by each other, and still fighting over the lady protagonist? Really? That's a narrative opportunity missed. Especially in light of the ending.

I really enjoyed the first book, but the structure of this one made me crazy. The adventure plot wraps up with improbable neatness and the book turns into a mess of feelings that, while true to the characters, totally squanders the narrative momentum of the previous 140K~ words. It's like a locomotiv
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Emily
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*screams quietly for a while*

Look, if you read the first book and you thought "I could stand to have more of that," and you like the idea of a book that has a) the same characters and some excellent new ones, b) a lot of plot-twisty bits or *potential* plot twists that had me quietly freaking out pretty regularly (though I am not good with foreshadowing so ymmv), c) SO MUCH PINING SERIOUSLY, and d) a healthy appreciation for good indexing, this is the book for you!
Angela Boord
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this at one gulp and had my heart ripped out at the end. Highly recommended series!!!
Bunny McFoo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debrac2014
Feb 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy this story as much as I did the first, the Clockwork Boys! I wish the author had left out the romance, it took away from the plot.
Scrawlers
Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher is the second and final book in the Clocktaur War duology. It picks up precisely where the first book left off, aside from a faux prologue in the beginning that summarizes the first book in case the reader decided to start with the second. The plot threads from the first book are further explored and tied together in the second, with no mystery left hanging by the end. As far as the overall plot goes, Kingfisher did an excellent job of seeing everything through ...more
Iona Sharma
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This has a flawed and slightly bizarre structure, which is a weird thing to say about a book that you're about to give four stars to. It's the second half of an alleged duology which is really just the second half a of a single book - so much so it starts with a "previously on" before it continues precisely where it left off. It's picaresque, it wanders, the romance beats are never quite where you think they should be. But it gets its four stars because, wow, it is CHARMING. It's funny, it's eng ...more
Stephanie
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, this was just fantastic. As a duology, these two books (Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine) work SO well together - and while I didn't shelve the first book as "romantic fantasy" (because the romance subplot is SO slow-burn that it didn't really flower until this second book), I really, really liked the romantic aspect and how well it built into the larger plot and themes. I adored the fantasy city where this book is set, which was just wildly imaginative and rich and felt really histori ...more
Searska GreyRaven
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. I had to put it down a few times from laughing at the banter between characters. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more books set in this 'verse!
Leigh Kramer
Utterly brilliant conclusion to this two book series. It exceeded all expectations. The clever humor was there in spades but it also managed to make me cry, so basically T. Kingfisher has my heart forever.

I adored the crew all the more as their quest continued. This story went in such unexpected directions and there were some excellent twists I never saw coming. I also loved how Grimehug the gnole became more of a part of the crew and the way gnoles, in general, fit into the story. They have th
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MargaretDH
Still charming, still diverting, but I liked the first book a little better. I'm not sorry I picked this up, and it's a fitting end to the duology.

Picking up right where the last book ended, our merry band of misfits are in Anuket City for the whole book, trying to figure out how, why and where the creepy clockwork soldiers are coming from.

I think I liked this one a little less because it was a bit more serious than the first. The romance is deepening, people are confronting (literal) personal d
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Rebecca
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
Absolutely delightful, the first and second book in this doulogy fit together seamlessly as if they were one over-large novel someone thought to break into two parts. There is something wonderfully comforting about T Kingfisher's writing, even when her stories involve demons, violence, and gruesome death. There is a straight forward heart to the writing, perhaps a layover from the twisted fairy tales she has written so much of. Regardless, the story of Slate, Brenner, Caliban and Learned Edmund ...more
Teleseparatist
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, owned
I think some parts of this novel work very, very well (some of the final reveal, Slate's overall characterisation and emotions, growing horror, GNOLES, Edmund), and others are okay but not super great (some parts of the romance, the Horsehead storyline). But all else aside, this was simply such a restful, cozy book. I'm not always looking for cozy, but when I do, in the future I'll know to get another Kingfisher. It was comforting and fun, and it placed value on kindness, and it questioned prota ...more
Kristen
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
The last hour of this audiobook broke all of the feels that I have. Totally worth it <3 ...more
daisy
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
CAWPILE rating: 6.43/10
STAR rating: ★★★

Listened to this on Scribd.
The exact same rating the first novella got... How inch resting.
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Play Book Tag: The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher - 3 stars 1 10 Jul 21, 2018 08:10AM  
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T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children's books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact with butterflies
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Other books in the series

Clocktaur War (2 books)
  • Clockwork Boys (Clocktaur War, #1)

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“It could,” acknowledged Slate, “but show me a clandestine operation without leaks, and I’ll show you one where everybody involved is dead.” “We’re a clandestine operation,” said Caliban. There was an awkward silence.” 7 likes
“Hell, if I kissed him, he’d probably apologize for getting in the way of my lips. That might be an interesting apology.” 4 likes
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