by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Silver Mirrors, and a link to purchase the book–with a portion going to support KRL.
Last year, A. A. Aguirre’s Bronze Gods introduced Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko, Criminal Investigation Division inspectors. In Silver Mirrors, the duo doesn’t have time to rest after saving the lands of Hy Breasil from disintegration and the return of past glories that involved human sacrifice and strange machines.
Now, this magic-infused steam-punk realm faces danger as the elemental spirits that make the wonders of technology work are escaping, revolting, and causing machines to malfunction until they have to be destroyed. Imagine a steamship thrashing about a bay like a whale; a bad situation, indeed.
Before the elementals in the communication mirrors (a blend of telegraph, telephone, and microwave transmitters) start screaming and the system is shut down, word comes through that fire spirits are running amok in the mines of a northern island. Mikani and Ritsuko are sent off on a perilous mission fraught with fiery creatures, pirates, and former lovers.
Why are fictional characters such idiots about love? Mikani and Ritsuko each recognize they care about–and can’t live without–the other, but they can’t seem to tell the other without putting barriers in the way. Does this make the husband-and-wife team of authors (Anne and Andres Aguirre) feel superior to their creations? I love this book–really–and I know that the course of true love never did run smooth, but a few steamy kisses aren’t much of a payoff for the near-destruction of civilization.
The first book was a police procedural mystery with fantasy elements in a place where the great houses were descended from an uneasy marriage of the magical and the human. This time, adventure elements come to the fore as Janus books passage on the ship of the weather witch who once loved him. His alcoholic self-medication of his arcane powers has receded to minimal levels. A massive crewman with an unusual background seems to distract Celeste, who is still trying to prove that a woman in long sleeves and a bustle can be a first-rate detective and a warrior. There is intrigue among the ruling houses, which get along as well as PETA and the NRA. Equality, sentient trafficking, and, economics get major-concern status.
Silver Mirrors flows around the reader like a new blanket at a football game. The scratchiness of the unusual keeps you awake and alert, but there is a welcome warmth that makes you draw it closer.
Give in. You’ll be happier.
To enter to win a copy of Silver Mirrors, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Mirrors,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 19, 2014. U.S. residents only.
Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.