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The Court of the Air [Hardcover]

Stephen Hunt
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 10 2008

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.

 


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Two teenage orphans in an anemic fantasy analogue of Victorian London are baffled to find themselves on the run in this overeager effort from British author and blogger Hunt (For the Crown and the Dragon). Molly, pursued by determined assassins with mysterious masters, hides underground, while Oliver, framed for his uncle's death, takes to the air to escape the fey-hunting Special Guard. They also draw the attention of the Court of the Air, a shadowy black-ops organization, and communityist revolutionaries seeking to resurrect ancient subterranean gods. An entire steampunk menagerie is pressed into lackluster service, but the pace leaves no time to focus on any single element. Only the steammen and their refreshingly tender machine culture are affecting and original. The historical and geographical parallels are overly frequent and mostly trite. Hunt has packed the story full of intriguing gimmicks, but the end result is more overload than wonder. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for The Court of the Air
 
“An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels.”--The London Times

The Court of the Air is a genuinely engaging read, which has believable characters in a fantastic setting.”--The Bookseller

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth your time July 31 2008
Format:Paperback
Unlike the other reviewer, I found this book to be a great read! Yes, I agree, it starts out extremely slow with what seems like way too much description without giving any detail of the main characters, however; the last half of the book completely rewards you for your patience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining! July 12 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was looking for some steam punk reading when a friend recommended the Court of the Air to me.
Don't let the 600+ pages fool you - it goes quickly with Stephen Hunt's writing style. To create this new world, he brings in all kinds of new words and concepts but they are so well used that its only a couple pages before you accept them as normal.
Its hard to find really good steam punk novels, and I would say this is the best one I've read so far. I'm looking forward to reading more of Stephen Hunt's works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review on Court Jan. 28 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It has been a while since I sat down and read a book, and while I wouldn't put this one on my prized book shelf, it was worth the read.

Reccommmendations for: A large cast of characters, the steamen race, intriguing ideas, great imagination, good ending.

Against: The most interesting characters are often the minor ones, many of the intriguing plot-points aren't developed fully, some of the side-character-views seemed rather uneccessary to the plot as a whole.

There is a lot of potential for further development in this universe, and I will no doubt read Hunt's other books. This book may not be the best introduction to his world, but the bright side: this book does get better as you get into it, and it is one of those you need to read to the end to appreciate. So for other reviewers -- please don't review what you haven't read.
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