TheKingdomBeyondtheWaves54345_fSo The Kingdom Beyond the Waves is sort of a sequel to The Court of the Air (which I reviewed here) in as much as it takes place a few years after the events of that book and features some of the same characters but that’s as far as it goes. It’s possible, I think, to read this as a standalone novel, and a very enjoyable piece of steampunk it is too.

What we have is an adventure-quest-type story. Amelia Harsh, she of the gorilla-sized arms who appeared briefly in the first novel, has a bit of an obsession with the lost land of Camlantis, a perfect society blown into the sky to be hidden rather than fall prey to the barbaric hordes seeking to destroy it. She is funded in her search by the wealthiest man in Jackals, Abraham Quest, equally obsessed. She heads into hostile jungle territory on a submarine with a crew of liberated prisoners and a mercenary army of extremely effective female warriors. It becomes clear, however, that she has not been told the whole story, and there is danger and treachery aplenty before she reaches the end of her search….

As I said, this is very enjoyable, although I will be honest and admit that it took me longer to get into, mostly because I found it difficult to immediately engage with any of the main characters. But once again the world of Jackals and the other societies that surround it are so wonderfully imagined and constructed that I persevered, and there came a point when all the subplots and the main story came together and everything clicked in such a way that I was really keen to find out how all this was going to be resolved. Great stuff.