A Curse Of Ash and Iron is a steampunk tale set in the late 1800’s Philadelphia in an era of mass industrial revolution. The book evolves around the Eleanor Banneker and Benjamin Grimm. Childhood friends pulled apart by dramatic family events and then reunited by chance seven years later.
Aged 17 Ben now works as stage crew in a theatre, Ellie has become the victim of her wicked stepmother in a Cinderella style life. However there is a sinister twist as Ellie believes she and her father are under a curse. Desperate for help Ellie turns to Ben.
At the Centennial Exposition the pair are mesmerised by mechanical inventions, but they also meet a fortune-teller who knows more about Ellie than is possible without the sight. She gives Ellie clues about breaking the curse and then vanishes. Ellie and Ben set out to gather items needed, even having a wild adventure in a steam powered “motorcar”, but the curse must be broken before midnight on New Year’s Eve.
A mystery person arranges for Ellie to go to the New Year’s Assembly Ball in true Fairy-Godmother style, with a race against time to break the curse.
This is my first Steampunk read, so I’ve nothing to compare it with, certainly there were mechanical attractions, magic and mystery, did the Cinderella tale add or detract from the genre? I’m not yet sure.
This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author via Curiosity Quills.
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