Court of the Air

Court of the Air

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Targeted for their possession of a magical secret that has forced them into lives of hardship, street-wise Molly and sheltered Oliver find themselves on the run in the company of outlaws and spies who assist their efforts to counter ancient enemies of the state. Reprint.

McMillan Palgrave

When streetwise Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has recently been apprenticed to, her first instinct is to run back to the poorhouse where she grew up. But there she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it slowly dawns on her that she was the real target of the attack. For Molly is a special little girl, and she carries a secret that marks her out for destruction by enemies of the state.

Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle. But when he is framed for his only relative's murder he is forced to flee for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air. Chased across the country, Oliver finds himself in the company of thieves, outlaws and spies, and gradually learns more about the secret that has blighted his life.

Soon Molly and Oliver will find themselves battling a grave threat to civilization, an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago. Their enemies are ruthless and myriad, but the two orphans are also aided by indomitable friends in this endlessly inventive tale full of drama, intrigue, and adventure.

The Court of the Air is a rollicking adventure set in a fantastical Dickensian clockwork universe that will appeal to fans of Susanna Clarke and Philip Pullman.

& Taylor

When street-wise Molly and sheltered Oliver are targeted because they possess a magical secret, they find themselves on the run in the company of outlaws and spies who assist their efforts to counter ancient enemies of the state.

Publisher: New York : Tor Fantasy, 2009, c2008
ISBN: 9780765360229
Characteristics: 599 p ; cm


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Aug 07, 2017

Mixed feelings about this novel. An interesting setting and some good characterizations with a fantastical tale that loses impact in the pacing of the narrative and the predictability of the ending. The moral ambiguities were interesting to find in a fantasy tale. Worth reading if you are interested.

Oct 18, 2012

Best writer in the genre now. Fascinating characters and cultures and with a more realistic extrapolation of the Victorianian - Edwardian in a different world.

May 08, 2012

I can't help it, it's pure escapist fun. Clich├ęd as hell of course, but Hunt manages to make it flow well enough, and keep the plot moving (and holes underwraps) forward just at the right pace.

Sep 21, 2010

This book is best summed up with one word: Meh.

On one hand, Hunt has built a really fun world. His setting is Victorian England, minus the colonies, plus a race of pantheistic steam powered robots and a bunch of ancient gods.

On the other hand, his characters are uninteresting and the plot is predictable. The story feels a bunch of cliches strung together so that Hunt can write a bunch of scenes he thought would look really cool.

Not recommended.

Jun 23, 2010

This is a worthwhile book!

Jan 23, 2010

The Court of the Air is a brings us a very old plot with slightly new trappings. Two orphans are key to protecting the world from its destruction. They are hunted by the forces of evil who want to stop them. They are also aided by small groups of friends, some of whom pay the ultimate price.

As a read, this book is brilliant at times, and at others a grind to get through. Author Hunt has bought into the current trend of gritty fantasy trend. Bad things happen to innocent people in this book, and Hunt lets you see it. An extrodinary number of those forementioned nice people die trying to help the two orphans save the world. At one point I began to ask myself if they all wore red shirts. And the collateral damage in this book is horrifying.

At the core of this book is Hunt;s philosophy of a yin and a yang. One orphan is the offensive weapon of the forces of good, while the male is the defensive weapon. And while that is lovely idea, it gets a little clumsy at times. At other points it is completely transparent what the author is doing. If Hunt had chosen to edit this work a bit more, refining his ideas, it would have turned out better. As it stands, I have read better steampunk stories involving orphans before.

Take it or leave it.

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