The Iron Ship is Book One of The Gates of the World. Published in 2015.
‘Merchant, industrialist and explorer Trassan Kressind has an audacious plan – combining the might of magic and iron in the heart of a great ship to navigate an uncrossed ocean, seeking the city of the extinct Morfaan to uncover the secrets of their lost sciences…’
It was my book group choice. My first impressions – I loved the cover, was intrigued by the blurb and couldn’t wait to read it.
The Iron Ship is a fantasy / steampunk mix, perfect for those who love indepth worldbuilding. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.
It took me over 200 pages to get into the story. There are a lot of characters – we follow the lives of the six Kressind siblings, but also a lot more besides, and it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s going on. I would think those who enjoy the huge scale of Game of Thrones would enjoy this new series.
It’s a long book and sometimes the descriptions can drag. But there are also moments of high tension and excitement that draw you in. I just wanted more character focus, to live the story through them more. I did like (but not love) some of the characters Katriona, Guis and Tuvacs, and would be interested to continue their stories in the next book.
There are plenty of new concepts to enjoy; the Tyn people, talking dogs which are used as horses, lizard-like creatures and plenty of fantastical beasts, twin moons, Glimmer magic, Guiders to send spirits on, the Drowned King… I could go on. There is a lot to explore in this book. If you are a fan of world building this could be the book for you.
I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.