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The Iron Duke

(The Iron Seas #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  16,255 ratings  ·  2,001 reviews
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncover
Kindle Edition, 404 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Berkley
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Emily Definitely not. It's very much an adult romance book and a steampunk flavored sci-fi adventure.…moreDefinitely not. It's very much an adult romance book and a steampunk flavored sci-fi adventure.(less)
Pauline Not classic zombies, but definitely something a bit like them, and the characters refer to them as zombies in the book.

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  16,255 ratings  ·  2,001 reviews

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Kat Kennedy
This is the third novel I've read belabelled Steampunk and so far it is the best.

Unlike Clare's rendition of Clockwork Angel, Brook's The Iron Duke doesn't nervously flirt with Steampunk but wantonly embraces it like a Steampunk addict chasing after its next hit.

Similarly to Carriger's Soulless, The Iron Duke is heavy on romance though with far more satisfying love scenes and lacking in the supernatural, paranormal element.

No, Brook understands Steampunk and she executed it well, creating a worl
Dear dad,

I know you follow and read my goodreads reviews, which I appreciate, really, but I just wanted to let you know that while this is a sci-fi/alternate history book that is pretty interesting in a lot of ways it is also a romance novel that I read for a book club and it has lots of VERY EXPLICIT sex parts that I might mention, explicitly, in this review. So it is ok if you don't want to read this one.

Sincerely, your son

The Iron Dukes sits at the intersection of everywhere and nowhere in
zombies. kraken. pirates. automatons. marriage reform. nanotech. mongols. just another classic steampunk romance, right? or maybe not - this is my first one.

it was crazy - none of the other bodice rippers wanted to read the shapeshifter romance!! come on guys!!shapeshifters!!! romance!!! i am so curious about the mechanics of it, but i am not going to read one without the protective cloak of the rest of the rippers.

so -steampunk...

i mean, honestly, there wasn't anything wrong with this book; i
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I have to hand it to Meljean Brook. She created a wonderfully-detailed and fantastical world in this book. If a reader is wondering what 'steampunk' is, I will definitely point them towards this book. I was very impressed how she integrated nanotechnology into her world-building, and the nanotech fit very well in this universe. There are some aspects that seem rather dystopian, despite the fact that this is a Victorian-like setting. The use of robotic technology has some great applications, but ...more
I enjoyed it a LOT, just one thing brought it down from 5 stars, which I will specify at the end. (BTW Has VERY racy scenes as a warning to the non-smutty lovers, but that wasn't my -1 star point haha)

I would give worldbuilding: 5 stars. The first chapter is a bit confusing, but the world that is spun out over the novel is ENDLESSLY interesting, one of the few books that has made me read SLOWLY to see what all the steampunk stuff really is about. FASCINATING history with the Horde and the nanobu
I won this ARC in a contest at Dear Author.

I have a confession to make... I was afraid to read this book. I have a serious love affair with this author's Guardian series. I mean, how many of my Goodreads friends did I nag into reading it lately? Five? I know they finally broke down and read it just to shut me up, but that's okay, because they loved it anyway and I got more people to talk about it with. So, I was afraid something would happen and I wouldn't be able to get into the new series and
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
This book was both lots of fun and quite disappointing.

The alternate history of a Mongol-dominated England with mind-controlling nanoagents, steampunk body grafts, and forced social reorganization was original and fascinating. Brook worked the steampunk elements into the story and the lives of the characters in a more intimate and plot-effecting way, and she also showed how the political and scientific changes common to this genre would not be superficial window-dressing on the same old Victori
mark monday
London freed by the former pirate "The Iron Duke" is still a London chock-full of resentment, violence, economic insecurity, destroyed body parts replaced by machinery, and racism against half-breeds descended from the city's former masters, the Mongolians known as The Horde. Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth is one of those luckless, product of - and later, victim of - the ability of the Horde to make their pet English do as they pleased, sexually and otherwise. Inspector Wentworth has a lot t ...more
Hordes! Buggers! Bounders! Frenzy, oh my!

What a world. It took a while for me to understand this extremely imaginative world, but I enjoyed every moment of this book.

The Iron Duke portrays an alternative history in a very different Europe. The Horde controls people through nanotechnology. People, especially those living in polluted London, are infected with these agents because they have healing properties. When certain radio frequencies are transmitted, the infected people, known as the Bugger
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of sci fi, alternate history and steampunk.
A few hundred years before the novel opens, the Asian Horde took over much of the Western world with a mix of force and superior technology. Lacking any navy of merit, they had to be a bit creative in their attack on Britain, choosing to smuggle nanoagents into the cheap sugar and tea they exported to the island nation. As the people ate and drank, they unwittingly infected themselves with tiny bits of self-replicating machinery. While the "bugs" made people stronger, hastened healing and allowe ...more
Jeaniene Frost
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn't try this because steampunk usually isn't my thing, but this is a great book. ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read, steampunk
This was my very first steampunk novel and I liked it! It's a fun mixture of historical fiction and fantasy without being too distracting to the plot itself. However, for this book specifically there were so many secondary characters that I had trouble keeping them straight. But I just kind of went with it and in the end I found the story to be fun, if a bit confusing at times. I'll read more by this author and this genre in general. ...more
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romance fans who like multi-setting adventure. oh, and those that don't mind zombies. ^_^
Shelves: favorites
Initial reaction: This book was exquisite. If I could give it 6 stars, I would. :o)

All I want to know is, what kind of peyote was this woman smoking when she dreamt up this amazing world? ^__^ It is proving exceedingly difficult for me to adequately express what it is about this book that makes me love it so. In fact, I can almost guarantee I won't be pleased with this review. ^_^ But I'll make mention of a couple thoughts in broad strokes.

...beginning with the world. Brooks' world(building) was
My review of The Iron Duke won’t do enough of justice. The entire time I read, my jaw was dropped in amazement. The Iron Duke has wowed me in some many ways. Meljean Brook is an author I’m loyal to, through and through. It’s a great feeling to have started with an author since the beginning of their writing career and watch them evolve and continue to astound with every single book they’ve written. The Iron Duke is mind-blowing in such a way that it may just turn the romance genre on its ear, in ...more
Rbrs #9

This was a shock. I kind of liked this one! It's a decently written action book and for more than half the pages it has a real plot, mostly. There are phrases that make me think "steampunk," like this nifty one: ...they ran into the street, past a long vehicle that clipped along on dozens of narrow legs like a centipede, the seats loaded with children and guarded by hard-eyed nuns armed with scimitars. I guess there isn't too much that's steampunk about that sentence, but I like it.

Anzu The Great Destroyer
Why does Germany get to have a cool cover???

@our cover: Dude! Put a shirt on!

I really have a problem with these typical shirtless dude covers. Could you get shallower than that? Buy a book just ‘cause a hot dude is on the cover. Book porn, that’s what this is…

My first thoughts when starting the book were (in this exact order):

A life without sugar!!! The horrooor!!!!

Pirates *droools*

Tahaeram or whatever wtf is that name?? I can’t even remember it! Why didn’t they call him Bob? That would be easy
Penny Watson
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

I was not prepared for this book.

My expectation for a steampunk romance was based on The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. Those books are light-hearted fun, filled with kooky inventions and a no-nonsense heroine. The steampunk part of Carriger's world provides an entertaining and funky backdrop for the story. The humor is very tongue-in-cheek, right up my alley.

The Iron Duke couldn't be more different. While Carriger's world is political, it's also quit
God, I love steampunk! If you have never read steampunk before, let this one be your first!

Steampunk has such amazing components in it anyway, but Meljean Brook's The Iron Duke steps it up like 500 notches. I loved the originality and the humor. But just a heads up: It's steampunk expect a bit of bow chicka wow wow. I have only read young-adult steampunk up to this point, so I thought the addition of adult romance was a lot of fun. To date, this is my favorite steampunk novel I hav
Fani *loves angst*
I'm not writing a review for this one; I'm just going to mention a couple of things that "bugged" me:

1. This was more adventure than romance at least for the first 2/3 of the book. And despite the fact that it's focused on the suspense/action, two out of four battles against the vilains took place in no more than a paragraph. Totally anti-climatic.

2. This was my first steampunk and I think it may be my last. For the first 150 pages I got sick of reading about people with hammers instead of legs,
This book rocks my socks.

Action. Adventure. Mystery. Humor. Romance. Sexytimes. Fiercely determined and protective hero. Smart, loyal and courageous heroine. Wonderful secondary characters. NIFTY GADGETS.

Seriously, this book has it all.

This was my first steampunk read, and I loved it for all of the wonderful things I mentioned above. I found myself at work, glancing at the clock and looking forward to getting home so I could finish this book. The first 5-10 pages kind of throw you right into the
Pirates, nanotech, airships, zombies, a kraken, a lady inspector and the fierce Iron Duke , sounds like the ingredients for a fun read and it was!

I liked the fact that Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth was no simpering miss, although wish she had been a little more plucky,. The Iron Duke took a little while to warm up to, moments when he's a bit of a pushy ass and seems to have a blurry understanding of the word no, a few times his actions had me thinking yeah that is so not going to get you wh
Detective Inspector investigates a murder and uncovers a treasonous plot and fucks a pirate/duke/war hero/nanotechnology superman a lot in alt history England, also zombies.

I feel somewhat betrayed. I was promised terrible books on the level of Skye O’Whatsit and that one where the hero’s name is actually Fulk, and then you hand me this. And I found it inexplicably charming! I mean, it’s a weird post catastrophe England with functioning prosthetics and airships (and apparently vibrators), and it
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
💮 Another nomination of mine for the May BotM, this time for the Theme slot which was "Steampunk", over at the URR™ that actually won! Two out of two! 💮

1.5 Stars


Before you start with the "You read it wrong" & the "You clearly didn't understand it" let me be crystal clear: I understood everything. Every. Single. Thing. I just didn't like them. There were a couple of stuff I liked but those constitute 4% of the book.

Yes it crossed my mind that my intense dislike might be because I a
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Steampunk Romance lovers
Recommended to MISS VAIN by: Cat Russell, Jamie
"You may continue to call me inspector," 
"And you may call me Rhys.""I won't."
"Even when I'm in your bed?"
Mina dropped her hand to her gun.

"I agree. That was too brazen." he leaned in toward her, taking up too much space she could hardly draw. Breath. "I should have said my bed, yes?"

Who knew Steampunk, Zombies, Kraken, a feisty detective and a brazenly golden earring wearing gorgeous pirate could make for such an exciting and sexy read? Well I sure didn't! I should have never wait
I enjoyed this a lot, yet I still don’t feel like I really get steampunk. The worldbuilding seems largely based on “this is wicked cool and/or scary” rather than on a logical chain of events. I never did get how, in this obviously very sexist world, women get to be on the police force.

The book’s biggest strength is its heroine. Mina is brave, determined, caring, yet also vulnerable -- everything you would want in a cop, or a heroine. I found myself just a bit disappointed in Rhys, a fairly stand
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Katyana by: Catherine
Wow wow wow! I reallllllllly loved this book.

Mina was amazing. Strong, brave, loyal, and amazingly good-spirited, given everything she had to deal with. And Rhys... I really loved him. It is hard to find the words. A reluctant hero, a guy who pulled himself up out of the horrible life he had as a child, but yet still managed to be a good man.

Both of these characters are people who don't handle emotions well. I don't want to get into the reasons why (except to assure you all that it is well done
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All romance fans

Just as amazing as the first time I read it.

Absolutely brilliant!

I had no idea that steampunk was such a wonderful genre. The world created in this book was amazing! There’s the nanoagents, which are bugs that the Horde hid in tea and sugar, which almost everyone in England ingested, and by which the Horde controlled everyone until the Iron Duke freed them from the Horde. You have people with mechanical body parts, then there’s the ratcatchers, which are modified alley cats, their bone

When I first saw this book I thought it looked cool, but figured that it would just be another fluffyish Paranormal Romance kind of read. Whoa, was I ever wrong! I doubt that I can even do an adequate job describing this book. It was great on so many levels that I really wouldn't know where to start, so I'm not going to bother trying. I will say that the description on the back of the book did nothing to prepare me for all of the juicy awesomeness that was inside. ...more
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
I'm going to give this book more stars than it deserves, probably because mostly i thought I was going to completely hate it and I didn't, plus it lead me to want to ignore a new genre, but more on that later.

Weird things people get to learn about me that relate to this book:

1. I'm a prude

Yes, yes I know, I'm a prude who has read a large portion of the french erotica writers, has a good knowledge of the early history of pornography (70s-80s my knowledge ends before I was born), and has no prob
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Book info: I am the author of the Iron Seas steampunk romance series. I've written a guide to the world (including a map) on my website.

I also write a paranormal romance series, the Guardians. That series guide is also on my website, including a "The Story So Far" feature, which allows you to catch up on all of the books that previously released in the series if you start after the first installm

Other books in the series

The Iron Seas (5 books)
  • Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2)
  • Riveted (Iron Seas, #3)
  • The Kraken King  (Iron Seas, #4)
  • The Blacksmith (Iron Seas #5)

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106 likes · 15 comments
“He cupped her face in his hands, made her meet his gaze. Solemnly, he said, “I heard you say that when two people love each other, they fight through everything together. Every doubt, every challenge, every pain. Fight with me, Mina. Please. You are the only one for me, for as long as I live. And if you love me, fight with me.” 53 likes
“Aghast, Yasmeen gaped at her before looking to the duke. "It's worse than I thought. Not just the Horde, not just the police- you're keeping company with someone who has principles.” 43 likes
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