Wednesday, December 9, 2020

The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth (Review)

This was a fun book that gave me a break from my usual fare of more serious literature.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth
Category: Adult Fiction, 450 pages
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, Steampunk, Romance
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release date: January 12, 2021
Content Rating: PG for some depictions of violence

Book Description:

She knows a liar when she sees one.

He knows a fraud when he meets one.

In a steam-powered world, Miss Constance Haltwhistle is the last in a line of blue-blooded rogues. Selling firearms under her alias, the "Brass Queen," she has kept her baronial estate's coffers full. But when US spy J. F. Trusdale saves her from assassins, she's pulled into a search for a scientist with an invisibility serum. As royal foes create an invisible army to start a global war, Constance and Trusdale must learn to trust each other. If they don't, the world as they know it will disappear before their eyes.

If you like the Parasol Protectorate or the Invisible Library series, you'll love this gaslamp fantasy-a rambunctious romantic romp that will have you both laughing out loud and wishing you owned all of Miss Haltwhistle's armaments.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I love historical fiction but I don't read much of the steampunk genre. Nevertheless, this novel was a fun book to read because the worldbuilding was amazing. It really had the wheels in my head spinning with all the descriptions of fantastical elements. Truly this book would make a great action-adventure movie.

Both our main characters don't trust each other. They are rogues with secrets and are thrust together on a rescue mission. They must also stop an evil conspiracy. Miss Constance Haltwhistle is a well to-do English baron's daughter and J.F. Trusdale is a US cowboy spy. Both are trying to figure the other out even as a growing attraction blossoms between them. The story is packed with action adventure, punctuated by descriptions that bring to life the fantastical setting, the colorful characters, and the steampunk gadgets and paraphernalia.

The book is well-written, the dialogue witty and the costumes fun. There are funny moments and these superseded the deeper elements of loss that each main character carried with them. I found the book to be a tad long and could have done without some of the excessively long descriptions, but that may just be because I'm not a usual reader of steampunk. Likely, fans of the genre will revel at such details that truly made this book stand out. The romance takes a back seat so if that's what you're looking for, it may not satisfy your expectations.

Overall, this was a fun book that gave me a break from my usual fare of more serious literature. It's an adventurous romp that steampunk fans will no doubt gobble up.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Chatsworth was born in the city of Sheffield in Yorkshire, England. After gaining a degree in English Literature, she traveled the globe until she finally settled in Connecticut, USA. Her home is shared with her husband and their rambunctious Yorkshire Terrier, Boudicca. Elizabeth is a professional voice actor. She enjoys archery, cosplay, video games, and baking (but never at the same time). There’s a rumor she possesses the world’s best scone recipe. Contact her at to see if it’s true.

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