HEART OF STEEL by Meljean Brook

Posted 25 November, 2011 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 4 Comments

Steampunk Romance (adult)
311 pages
Available now (Nov. 2011)
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Review copy purchased
Growing up in the dangerous world of the Iron Seas, the mercenary captain of the airship Lady Corsair, Yasmeen, has learned to keep her heart hard as steel. Ruthless and cunning, her only loyalty is to her ship and her crew-until one man comes along and changes everything…Treasure hunter Archimedes Fox isn’t interested in the Lady Corsair–just the captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. When it attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco–and straight into enemy hands. 
Holy cow, this woman can certainly create an amazing world. Whenever I read one of Meljean Brook’s novels, I’m immersed in whatever world she’s created. And this one? Utterly fantastical. A blend of paranormal (zombies–woot!) and steampunk, filled with floating airships, dangerous seas, pirates, and assassins, this world fully satisfies.

Yasmeen is a hard woman to like. For those of us who met her in THE IRON DUKE, she came across as a heartless air pirate and, for about the first third of this book, I felt the same way about her. I couldn’t quite understand why Archimedes sees in her or why he decides from the get-go that he’s going to capture her heart. But slowly, Yasmeen reveals parts of herself that endeared her to me. I grew to really like and understand her and to root for Archimedes in his quest to win her love. 

I did get a bit turned around with the motivation behind the whole quest and Archimedes’s problem (he’s “lost” something important to someone important and now there are assassins after him). There’s a lot of history and interconnectedness and politics described within these pages…much of which I skimmed (Bad reader! No cookie! And probably the reason for confusion.)

The chemistry between Yasmeen and Archimedes is fabulous — she hates him and he’ll do anything to get her into his bed and into his heart. She does everything she can to maintain distance with the annoying man but he just won’t take no for an answer, though he never moves too fast or forces himself on her in any way. In fact, many times, he seems to go out of his way to allow her to be the boss.

The secondary characters are equally intriguing. I loved Archimedes sister, Zenobia, the one who pens his amazing tales. She’s a firecracker and I hope that her story is one Ms. Brook will share with us soon. Then there are the characters I loved from THE IRON DUKE (*swoon* so fabulous), who add their own spice to the story.

Favorite quote: “Archimedes Fox,” she mused. The corners of her tilted gently. “With balls of iron and a silver tongue. I admire both in a man.”

Available on Amazon | IndieBound

About Mary @ TheBookSwarm

4 Responses to “HEART OF STEEL by Meljean Brook”

  1. Oh, I don’t know what is it about your review but it reminded me of Harlock in Arcadia (one of my favorite anime ever), there was a lady pirate in there too and Yasmeen kind of reminds me of her in your description.

    I think I’m going to give this a go even though I’m a novice in the realm of steakpunk.

    Also, should I have read the previous book? or can I jump into this?

    Love your review.

  2. I’m so glad you liked this one, I just need to read it, I keep hearing great stuff about the series. The world created sounds really intriguing.

  3. I’ve started the first book but then got distracted and set it aside. I’ve heard this second one is good but a bit more complex which worries me a bit. But I got both signed to me a couple weeks ago when I met Meljean so hopefully I love them!

  4. Brook has created a unique alternate universe and characters that aren’t easy to forget. I just sink into her gritty, sometimes harsh alter-reality and don’t want to re-emerge. Noticeably, this story flowed differently than The Iron Duke, but that’s ok as everyone’s lifestory is different, and it didn’t lose the feel of the series.