My rating: Beach vacation (3/5)
Steel and Song is the start of a steampunk romance series. I enjoyed this first installment, but I’m not sure that I love it enough to commit to future installments of a series. The world building is cool and innovative; it was the romance that fell flat for me.
Tova Vanaskaya is an airwitch who has recently been drafted into the army. An airwitch is “born a gytrash, able to draw upon nature to wield magic. But riding the line between life and death meant that, inevitably, a gytrash would get too close to the death side” (p. 8). Airship captain, Piers Dashkov, has no choice to take on Tova as his airwitch; there are no other options. For someone like Piers, a disgraced Cossack, but a warrior-noble nonetheless, Tova is expendable and replaceable. He doesn’t care about Tova, he cares about his mission to restore his honour. If that means Tova is killed in the process, so be it. The set up is intriguing but the gaping difference in social status between Piers and Tova do not make for an auspicious start to a romance.