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About The Sin in the Steel by Ryan Van Loan

Heroes for hire. If you can pay.

Brilliant street-rat
Her mind leaps from clues to conclusions in the blink of an eye.

Buc’s partner-in-crime.

No. Not in crime―in crime-solving.

They’ve been hired for their biggest job yet―one that will set them up for a life of ease.

If they survive.

Buc and Eld are the first private detectives in a world where pirates roam the seas, mages speak to each other across oceans, mechanical devices change the tide of battle, and earthly wealth is concentrated in the hands of a powerful few.

It’s been weeks since ships last returned to the magnificent city of Servenza with bounty from the Shattered Coast. Disaster threatens not just the city’s trading companies but the empire itself. When Buc and Eld are hired to investigate, Buc swiftly discovers that the trade routes have become the domain of a sharp-eyed pirate queen who sinks all who defy her.

Now all Buc and Eld have to do is sink the Widowmaker’s ship….

Unfortunately for Buc, the gods have other plans.

Unfortunately for the gods, so does Buc.


Review of The Sin in the Steel

Very well-defined characters make The Sin in the Steel an enjoyable read.  Though, I did not care for the heroine, Buc (short for Sambuciña).  She is said to be 16 years old, but acts more like 36.  I thought she was a sociopath.  Exhibiting few emotions, Buc believes she was always right and loves manipulating people.  She also believes in success at any cost, despite her humble beginnings and her wish to change to world into something better.  I did love that she practically drooled over books.  On the flip side, I did not care for the corporate who didn’t care how many books Buc carted out her library.  I mean, who treats books which such an offhand manner?

Buc’s companion, Eld, is pretty cool.  He has honor, courage, and steadfastness.  He needs a bigger role.  I hope in future installments, Eld will become a stronger character and temper Buc’s less desirable traits.  Eld was the only character I had any kind of sympathy for.  However, Eld’s role as second banana means my sympathy is not enough to make me really love this book.

Chan Sha, also known as the Widowmaker, is an engaging pirate captain.  She may be more than just a pirate.  She has been targeting the Ghost Captain, also known as the Dead Walker.  Chan Sha forms a tenuous alliance with Buc and Eld.  Emphasis on the word ‘tenuous’.

And through it all, there is magic.  Magic comes from the gods.  Dead and living gods.  By the way, there seems to be a war between the gods.  Power struggles between the gods is kind of like today’s power struggles.  Success at any cost.  Pay no mind to the people who get trampled.

The Sin in the Steel is a swashbuckler.  There are ships, pirates and blades.

The Sin in the Steel is a horror story.  There are zombies, aka, Shambles.

The Sin in the Steel is a fantasy with dead gods and live gods going up against each other.

As I read this book, I kept thinking – All this would make a pretty exciting action adventure film.

Through NetGalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



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