“Where there is a sea there are pirates.” – Greek Proverb
If you’re looking for some swashbuckling steampunk adventure, look no further than Eon de Beaumont’s Wayward Grace, a story that takes readers on a nautical journey on the high seas and on into the sky, through ingenuity and the sheer determination of a captain who must prove she is up to the task of leading a crew of the most honorable rogues ever to call themselves pirates.
Keyfer Lockswit is Poison Billy Stillwater’s first mate, adopted brother, and adopted son to Billy’s father “Red Silas”, the first captain of the Wayward Grace. In the life of a pirate there are no guarantees that each encounter with the enemy won’t be the last. There is loss in this story, losses, in fact, that added an emotional edge to the heroic deeds and daring do of the cast and crew in this fantastical voyage of fairy magic and clockwork men, in a world where nature is harnessed and used as a defense against an enemy who must be vanquished to avenge for the pain he has delivered.
In this place there is danger, most especially for Dr. Radley Timmons, the alchemist who has become prey and must be protected at all costs for the power he holds in his mind to create a deadly weapon that, in the wrong hands, would mean the beginning of chemical warfare and the end of humanity. “Radish” and Keyf forge a bond and fall in love amid sacrifice and brutal punishment, daring rescues and a brush with a megalomaniacal enemy that leads to the gallows, but this is a day in the life of a pirate, and where would a pirate be without a crew that will do whatever it takes to bring one of their own home again?
Technically, Wayward Grace is Book Three in the “Steamcraft and Sorcery” series, but I wouldn’t hesitate to say it can also be read as a standalone novella. Eon de Beaumont has provided plenty of opportunity to shift the reader’s imagination into high gear and join in on the action, maneuvering through the battles and the romance without needing to know everything that’s come before it.
If you’re a fantasy or steampunk fan, then I won’t hesitate to say this story is a fun way to spend some time getting lost in a world where our impossible is, in this place, merely a case of knowing the right words to make magic happen.
Reviewed by: Lisa