The Liberation

Orbit: Hachette. (Alchemy Wars, Bk. 3). Dec. 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780316248051. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316379427. FANTASY
As the "Alchemy Wars" trilogy concludes, the mechanical servitor once known as Jax has become a messiah-like figure for the Clakkers, who have been freed from their alchemical bonds. The infection of free will is spreading among the metal men, even to the heart of the Clockmaker empire in the Hague. Anastasia, head of the Verderers who guard the secrets of the Guild that created the Clakkers, realizes that the Dutch have misunderstood their creations, but it is too late to preserve the empire. Meanwhile, Berenice and the French, who have been fighting the Dutch for centuries, hope to use the Clakker revolution to defeat their adversaries. Still, the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.
VERDICT Tregillis brings one of the more imaginative alternate histories of recent years to a dynamic close. Anastasia and Berenice, both ruthless in the pursuit of their own ends, are compelling mirrors of each other. Berenice, the stunningly foul-mouthed spymaster, shines brightest.
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