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Publisher's Summary

By Fire Above is a rip-roaring new audiobook adventure from Robyn Bennis' military airship fantasy series that Patricia Briggs hails as “full of sass and terrific characters”.

"All's fair in love and war", according to airship captain Josette Dupre, until her hometown of Durum becomes occupied by the enemy and her mother a prisoner of war. Then it becomes "nothing's fair except bombing those Vins to high hell".

Before she can rescue her town, however, Josette must maneuver her way through the nest of overstuffed vipers that make up Garnia's military and royal leaders in order to drum up support. The foppish and mostly tolerated Mistral crew member Lord Bernat steps in to advise her, along with his very attractive older brother.

Between noble scheming, undertrained recruits, and supply shortages, Josette and the crew of the Mistral figure out a way to return to Durum - only to discover that when the home front turns into the front lines, things are more dangerous than they seem.

©2018 Robyn Bennis (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

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  • Joki
  • Helsinki
  • 09-16-18

Even Better Than The First Book

This is shaping up to be one heck of a great series. Author Bennis has merged the horrors of the Napoleonic war with steampunk to create a grounded, brutal, but wonderfully readable story. At its heart, it's the witty bon mots constantly thrown about by leads Josette and Bernat that make this so appealing. But there are great side characters as well - from Lieutenant Kember to Bernat's brother Roland - who add so much appeal to this story. Add in the action and huminity and you have some very good writing here.

Story: The Vins have seiged Josette's home town and Josette fears for her mother's safety. But getting the aristocrats to recognize and help is another matter. Yet Josette is one determined captain.

To give any more of the story would be to give too many spoilers. But for the most part, the first part of the books is Josette back in port after damage to her ship and trying to drum up help from the military to retake her home town. The second part of the book is the actual retaking - and it is very surprising where that takes the story.

As always, I love the maturity of the characters as well as the grounded realism. Anyone who has read about England and French military in the 18th and 19th century will recognize a lot of what Josette has to deal with from the aristocracy and military incompetence. People die brutally, however, and Bennis does not spare the horrors of war. But I have to appreciate how practical people can be when faced with daunting situations. Or how many are able to rationalize/justify/accept poor decisions.

I listened to the Audible version and the narrator did a good job of giving the characters personalities (almost too good a job - I almost hate Bernat most of the time!).