The Clockwork Dagger

Harper Voyager. Sept. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780062313843. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062313850. FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarHaving left the school for medicians at which she trained, Octavia Leander is traveling on the airship Argus when attempts are made on her life. Octavia is a highly principled young woman who can channel the powers of the Lady to enact miraculous cures on the sick and injured, but her abilities should make her valuable, not expendable. As agents of the crown and spies from the Wastes come out of the woodwork, Octavia must rely on her few allies: middle-aged Mrs. Stout, who has a deadly secret of her own, and the alluring airship steward Alonzo Garret, who seems always to be in the right place to help Octavia.
VERDICT The action is pretty much nonstop in this debut steampunk fantasy. The attraction between Octavia and Alonzo is sparked right away, but it's hard for the former to know whom to trust as her talents have made her a pawn between two political powers. Although readers will enjoy the satisfying climax of this adventure, there is plenty to the plot for a sequel from promising novelist Cato.
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