Jim Butcher, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors....
Since time immemorial the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion - to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake....
©2015 Jim Butcher (P)2015 Penguin Audio
"Obie Award winner and Scottish-born Euan Morton narrates this sprawling opening volume of The Cinder Spires with the spirit of a buccaneer and an ear for a couple of dozen different vocal rhythms and dialects from the British Isles. Morton is especially adept at naturally carrying on the conversations between the growling shipmates and the highborn Gwen. Morton keeps the action moving and speaks 'cat' perfectly." (AudioFile)
I read, I write; I listen
From the creator of such works of art as the “Furies of Calderon” and “The Dresden Files” Jim Butcher has now focused his immense talent onto, what is being called, the steampunk genre in his latest series, ”The Cinder Spires.”
Steampunk seems to be the latest trending term devising the name from a blending of sci-fi and fantasy with technology and aesthetic design inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery and the cyber punk genre.
The first book, “The Aeronaut’s Windlass,” is rich in Old World aristocratic political structures known as Spires, vintage clothing,” blended with magnificent airships, (reminding me of the airships in the “Grimm Noir” trilogy by Larry Correa) contesting in aerial naval battles, and other typical noir references usually associated with steampunk.
The plot moves quickly and Mr. Butcher introduces many characters and multiple action scenes that, at first seem distracting but soon become distinguishable and fit the story well. Bridget, scion of a once-prominent noble house on the verge of ruin and her cat, Rowl, Highborn Gwendolyn Lancaster, her “warrior born” cousin, Benedict; the grizzled Captain Grimm; and master etherealist Ferus and his assistant, Folly are a motley group of disgraced veterans and novices that are sent off to stop the mysterious force behind a very coordinated and deadly series of attacks on Spire Albion by its rival, Spire Aurora.
There is plenty of action and the society is open for some political backstabbing. I always think that it is a good book when you wonder what is going to happen next.
This first book captured me just like Codex Aleria! I love the characters, especially Grim and the girls. My only critique is about the cats. I'm not a cat owner but I can absolutely see how he projected their behaviors into Rawl and others. It took me a bit to get used to, but they did start to grow on me. The cat arrogance seems to be too heavy and got a bit old in some parts. I guess it's an acquired taste...like catnip? :-)
Jim Butcher's long awaited foray into steampunk lives up to every possible expectation, and they were high. I'm a big fan of the Dresden Files and if possible, enjoyed Codex Alera even more. The world of The Aeronaut's Windlass is entirely different; mankind lives in tall spire cities, away from the dangerous surface of the earth. Peopled by monsters, the surface is to be avoided at all cost. The Spire Cities, Albion and Aurora, are fiercely competitive with a history of warfare. A new round of warfare, initiated by Aurora, is the focus of The Aeronaut's Windlass. Aurora is clearly willing to use whatever means necessary to destroy Albion.
Captain Francis Grimm is loyal to Spire Albion, despite having been treated badly by the Admiralty; drummed out for cowardice unjustly. After his privateer airship, HMS Predator, is badly damaged in an Auroran ambush he must limp home for major repairs. He is recruited for a mission by the Spirearch with the promise of repairs and new crystals for The Predator.
He will be aided in his mission by a motley crew of characters ranging from the admirable to the just plain strange. He is also up against a female adversary who rivals Queen Mab of The Dresden Files and the Vord Queen of Codex Alera for sheer evil. The action of the book is relentless with the characters jumping from frying pan to fire nonstop.
I waffled about the rating on The Aeronaut's Windlass. The world building was almost too organic in that you are thrown into the action with no foundation. I don't mind saying that I had difficulty forming a mental picture of the Spires and airships, at least at the beginning. Euan Morton's narration pushed it from a 4.5 to a 5 for me. I was glued to my device until I realized there is actually no good stopping point in the action. His portrayal of Rowl, Prince of the Silent Paws is spot-on. I highly recommend The Aeronaut's Windlass.
RATING- 5 Stars
I am an artist. I love audible books because they allow me to create with my hands and indulge my passion for books at the same time.
Great ensemble cast with strong warrior women and men, wonderful ethereal beings, and evolved cats personalities.
I liked the fast pace. I very much enjoyed the strong characters any one of whom could be their own book. And one just has to love the cats.
His performance was absolutely amazing and spot on. He made it easy to distinguish between characters. Mr. Morton is very easy on the ears.
I didn't want any of my favorite characters to die. I absolutely did not want the story to end and I think Jim Butcher should be sequestered and not allowed to rest his pen until the sequel is in the hands of his publishers.
I am excited about this new series. However, I hope we haven't heard the last of Senior Dresden.
Say something about yourself!
I really enjoy Jim Butcher's writing style, he can actually make me laugh out loud and the performance by Euan Morton was incredible, hope he has the gig for the next instalment.
The story line and narration were fantastic. Jim Butcher is a fantastic author, really can't wait for the next book in this series to come out
Thee are so many,because the book is nonstop action.
All of them Euan Morton is a great narrator, wish he would narrate more books.
Some people who only got the print version of this complained the story was hard to follow. I suggest getting the audible version, it kept you interested and the narration was fantastic, It was better than watching a movie,
I love to read but never have the time anymore. I found Audible and it has been a wonderful surprise!
While there was slow spots as a whole the stroy was very well written. Butcher captures the personality of the cats so well and each character is unique to themselves.
im excited for the next book in the series.
this is the first time I've read a steampunk style book, and while I'll read anything Jim Butcher writes, I wasn't totally sure what to expect. I absolutely loved the blend of post-apocalyptic, fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk and adventure in this series! the characters were all complex and fascinating. I especially loved the cat's perspective! such an interesting viewpoint to show readers. I adore Grim and am SO curious about what really went down when he was in the fleet. every single character pulls you in and the overall story is expertly crafted. I can't wait for the next book in the series :)
The narrator is excellent. I look forward to listening to other books he has done.
It's definitely an adventure with lots of battles. There wasn't much time to catch one's breath. I would say it's a lot like Star Wars in comparison.
Like other wonderful audio books, a great narration brings the book to life in ways that are different from just reading the words. Characters personality and traits are expressed and become almost tangible.
I haven't read much Steampunk so it's hard to compare it to anything in that genre, but I will look forward to readying the the sequels. And I LOVED the cats! I have 4 myself and I believe Jim's characterization of them was spot on!
The air ship battles are breath taking
There were a few slow parts however mostly the action was worth the wait.
All the concepts in the book are a fascinating except for talking cats. I hope he makes them less of a children story element. Although he did make them a part of the story that worked. I would have liked maybe a little less of cats though and more of Airship combat. Because the Airship battles where truly a work of art.
"A Hidden Crystal!"
It's one of those books that really draws you in and makes you connect with each and every character, no matter how minor their roles are. The main characters are believable and endearing, especially Rowl (loved his moments and I'm not even a cat person!).
It's serious at times yet it takes you on such a fun ride!
Although very different, I will rate it as highly as The Name of the Wind. A very good and enjoyable book!
I believe he is an excellent narrator! Never underestimate the value of a good narrator, seriously he is one of the best!
Yes! I really struggled to put it down to go to work, especially since my employer wasn't Captain Grimm!
Please please please release the next book soon!
"Best narration I've heard so far. Wonderful story."
Very different to the epic fantasy, grimdark and scifi I normally read, but oh what a refreshing change!
Crystal powered air ships and sword wielding, incredibly polite, officers; gunnery crews and tribal, characterful cats! They all come together in a complex web of intrigue and humour and action, set amongst mist filled skies and sky scraping spires both.
The best narration I've heard of a story so far, after months on Audible. Highly recommended to fantasy, scifi or steampunk fans.
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