I loved the story of Ivy Blacksmith and Eben "Mad" Machen. As an introduction to Meljean's Iron Duke steampunk series, this is an amazing start. The very interesting and intriguing world building in this novella powerfully sets up the series. (My only complaint is that it was not a full length novel.) Meljean's heroes and heriones are always multi-dimensional, and Ivy Blacksmith is no exception. She is extremely intelligent, strong-willed, and equally matched by the pirate Machen. The story is entertainingly romantic and I hope to see more of these two characters some day. Yet, while I love the story, it is the audio rendition of this tale that is marvelous. Faye Adele's wonderful and rich reading of this story is absolutely magical. It is one of the best audiobooks that I have heard in a long time. There is so much variety to her voice, giving nuance to each characterization without it ever feeling forced. She articulates the inner thoughts of the characters in such lively and natural ways that I find myself listening to this download over and over again.
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