Deep Roots (Clockwork Dagger #0.5, #2.5, #2.6), by Beth Cato
Description: (from Harper Collins)
From the author of The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown comes a compilation of short works set in the same world: The Deepest Poison, Final Flight, and the Nebula-nominated Wings of Sorrow and Bone.
A word on the Clockwork Dagger duology first! I decided to read The Clockwork Dagger because of a post on the Mary Sue website : Busting the Binary Stereotype: Women Warriors, Weaklings, and Healers.
I loved the heroine and the steampunk world Beth Cato has created, the feminist message and the lovely relationship between Octavia and Alonzo. The magic system is brilliant and the story action packed and gripping. What I love about Octavia is the same thing I loved about Julius in Nice Dragons Finish Last : her compassion.
I read Deep Roots this summer while I was actually looking forward to Beth Cato’s new novel Breath of Earth (that I preordered but haven’t find the time to read yet. Edit: writing this mini review actually made me caved and I started it already) and was overjoyed when I saw I could read this collection while waiting for BoE‘s release day. This collection of short fiction, two short stories and a novella, was the perfect addition to the lovely steampunk duology that is The Clockwork Dagger.
THE DEEPEST POISON
Octavia Leander, a young healer with incredible powers, has found her place among Miss Percival’s medicians-in-training. Called to the front lines of war, the two women must uncover the source of a devastating illness that is killing thousands of soldiers.
At first I was confused that it wasn’t in Octavia’s point of view but Miss Percival’s. But then I really appreciated the depth it added to this character that we hear so much about in the duology but that is not seen that much. It really helped to see her in another light. It is set before the events of The Clockwork Dagger so I think The Deepest Poison can be read on its own. The mystery is interesting and great to witness the complicated relationship between those two women, the state of the world they live in and these magical healing powers.
WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE
After being rescued from the slums of Caskentia, Rivka Stout is adjusting to her new life in Tamarania. But when Rivka stumbles into a laboratory run by the powerful Balthazar Cody, she also discovers a sinister plot involving chimera gremlins and the violent Arena game Warriors.
This novella is set after the events of the duology so obviously, spoilers!
It was so great to get to know Rivka better! She is so nice, willing to fight for those not strong enough to fight for themselves. Truly my favourite of those three stories! We don’t get to see much of her on the duology and I thought that was too bad. After the previous short story that is on the point of view of a person that do not like Octavia so much, jumping to this novella felt really good. I loved all the references to Octavia and Alonzo, totally made me want to get back on the duology to spend some time with them! Plus those chimera gremlins are just so cute.
Captain Hue hoped he was rid of his troubles once Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett disembarked from his airship, but then the Argus is commandeered by a Clockwork Dagger and forced on a deadly mission. Hue must lead a mutiny that might bring down his own ship…. perhaps for good.
I actually didn’t really remembered Captain Hue to be honest, but I love stories about a ship and its crew, be it spaceship or airship! I read Clockwork Dagger back in July of 2015 so I didn’t remember because of my bad memory, not because he is a boring character.
I loved how the story focused on the Captain’s crew being loyal to him and his relationship with his son.
It also was great to be back on the setting of most of the first book and to see what had happened after Octavia and Alonzo left.
I was really invested in the world of this duology and very glad to see Beth Cato wrote more about it for her readers. It is a very nice collection to complete The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown. I’m only a little bummed that the spines don’t match, but still very glad it got published in paper thanks to the Harper Voyager Impulse inprint!
It is a quick and agreeable read that I totally recommend for every fan of the duology.