Customer Reviews for

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

My book of the year. Historical romance meets fantasy.

This is one of those books that could launch an entire sub genre. Brook melds together fantasy, a little science fiction, action and romance to bring to us a true steampunk entry into the romance genre.

While not explicitly stated, The Iron Duke is set in an alterna...
This is one of those books that could launch an entire sub genre. Brook melds together fantasy, a little science fiction, action and romance to bring to us a true steampunk entry into the romance genre.

While not explicitly stated, The Iron Duke is set in an alternate Victorian London. The Americas exist as a place where wealthy Europeans fled when the Horde invaded about 200 years ago. The Horde was an Asiatic society that conquered the West, England in particular, by releasing nanoagents or "bugs" into the sugar. The story starts 8 years after a rebellion and revolution that was ultimately won because a pirate by the name of Rhys Trahaearn destroyed a radio tower that controlled those who had been infected with the bugs. Post revolution, Rhys had been pardoned and awarded estates and the title, Duke of Anglesey. But to the people he is known as The Iron Duke.

Someone dropped a dead body on the estate of The Iron Duke and Mina, an inspector detective, is called upon to investigate the crime. While Mina is wishes to discover the murderer, she is also tasked with the important duty of trying to determine if The Iron Duke is in any danger.

He is ruthless in discovering the root of the threat and he is equally ruthless in making Mina his. Rhys problem is that he has no arts when it comes to seducing women. He's not a rake but he has had no desire in the past to tie himself to a woman. His efforts to acquire Mina are hamfisted and leave him cursing himself for his ineptitude. But this lessens his determination not one wit. If there are obstacles to making Mina his, he will buy them, crush them, move them out of his path.

As Mina and Rhys leave London for the air (dirigible of course!) and then the sea in pursuit of a dangerous weapon that could replicate the Horde controllers, they must truly change the course of history once again to be together.

posted by Jane_Litte on September 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Good overall pacing, enjoyable female lead.

I enjoyed this book though it had a bit of a slow start with a lot of info dump right off the bat. I'm a bit conflicted about the relationship between Mina and Rhys. It was unevenly developed, being both too quick and too slow at the same time.

Be aware, this is def...
I enjoyed this book though it had a bit of a slow start with a lot of info dump right off the bat. I'm a bit conflicted about the relationship between Mina and Rhys. It was unevenly developed, being both too quick and too slow at the same time.

Be aware, this is definitely one of those books with a male protagonist who does the 'claim my woman' mentality pretty much from the moment of meeting the main character.

Mina felt like a much more fully developed character than Rhy, which feeds into the uneven relationship progression problem. There's so much more nuance to Mina's personality and situation that Rhys seems flat by comparison, and the more he gets stuck in the "I will shag you" rotation, the most obvious the disparity is.

Still and all, an enjoyable romp with decent overall pacing once the info dump was done. The world building was very interesting. Like Mina, it felt far more developed than some other bits of the book. The author has some ambitious goals in this story.

posted by 1295941 on April 16, 2012

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  • Posted September 15, 2010

    My book of the year. Historical romance meets fantasy.

    This is one of those books that could launch an entire sub genre. Brook melds together fantasy, a little science fiction, action and romance to bring to us a true steampunk entry into the romance genre.

    While not explicitly stated, The Iron Duke is set in an alternate Victorian London. The Americas exist as a place where wealthy Europeans fled when the Horde invaded about 200 years ago. The Horde was an Asiatic society that conquered the West, England in particular, by releasing nanoagents or "bugs" into the sugar. The story starts 8 years after a rebellion and revolution that was ultimately won because a pirate by the name of Rhys Trahaearn destroyed a radio tower that controlled those who had been infected with the bugs. Post revolution, Rhys had been pardoned and awarded estates and the title, Duke of Anglesey. But to the people he is known as The Iron Duke.

    Someone dropped a dead body on the estate of The Iron Duke and Mina, an inspector detective, is called upon to investigate the crime. While Mina is wishes to discover the murderer, she is also tasked with the important duty of trying to determine if The Iron Duke is in any danger.

    He is ruthless in discovering the root of the threat and he is equally ruthless in making Mina his. Rhys problem is that he has no arts when it comes to seducing women. He's not a rake but he has had no desire in the past to tie himself to a woman. His efforts to acquire Mina are hamfisted and leave him cursing himself for his ineptitude. But this lessens his determination not one wit. If there are obstacles to making Mina his, he will buy them, crush them, move them out of his path.

    As Mina and Rhys leave London for the air (dirigible of course!) and then the sea in pursuit of a dangerous weapon that could replicate the Horde controllers, they must truly change the course of history once again to be together.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 3, 2011

    Awesome Steampunk World, With a Sexy Romance

    Wow. I'm a huge steampunk fan, so when I got a Nook for Christmas, I tried to find a book within the genre I could take on vacation. I found this book, not expecting much, and was really very pleasantly surprised. Really well-thought out plot, inventive steam-powered devices, a handsome duke, a kick-butt heroine and funny sidekicks. I couldn't ask for more. However, this is not for the faint of heart. I am very well-versed in romantic smut, but even I was a bit shocked by the graphic intimate situations. I kept nervously peeking at my neighbor and husband on the plane, hoping they couldn't read what was on the page. But, it's pretty hot. And fun. I can't wait to read more from this author!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Do I really have to wait for the next book?

    I was excited about this book from the moment I heard about it. Steampunk? Romance? Um, yes please! The world was wonderfully done. It features an alternate history where the Golden Horde (aka, the descendants of Genghis Kahn), have developed nano-tech and successfully conquered and altered the world. England has been broken free from the Golden Horde, thanks to the Iron Duke, a pirate captain who never quite intended to liberate his homeland.

    I'm a fan of strong characters butting heads. From the beginning Rhys, the Iron Duke, knew what he wanted; Mina. From the moment the Iron Duke made his interests known, Mina set out to oppose him. They argue, they butt heads, and still they work together. This isn't just a romance, it's an adventure and an evolution of a world. There are many prejudices against Mina that make the romance near impossible; I like her because of her integrity and strength. Mina is the kind of character you want to be.

    The plot centers around a murder mystery and intrigue. The cast of colorful characters goes from England to the Orient and almost to Australia to accomplish their goal and rescue a missing crew and ship. The story on its own, romance removed, would be a great read. There's adventure, zombies, airships and high sea travel. The romance just cranks the intensity up several notches, putting more at risk and making it steamy.

    For a romance - it's sexy. Rhys is the kind of man who usually takes what he wants, and Mina resists. The result is a tug-o-war romance that explodes on the page. I know I've talked to at least one person who didn't quite like how forceful Rhys is with Mina, but when I read many of the sensual scenes, more particularly the final one, I can't help but see that their romance is one of give and take. It's the kind of HEA that you see extending off the page, not just into the next five minutes.

    I so can't wait for the next book..

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2013

    Such a unique story!  This was my first steampunk book, and I am

    Such a unique story!  This was my first steampunk book, and I am so glad I stumbled upon this one!  The characters are very likeable, not contrived, and the setting is like nothing I've ever read before.  
    I hadn't read romance since my early 20's, about 20 years ago, but this was so much more than your run-of-the mill mindless bodice-ripper.  It's more of a mystery-adventure set in a spectacular, well-fleshed out alternate-Victorian world with some really intense romance, thrown in.   
    From the very beginning, this book pulled me in for an entertaining, fast-paced ride that I couldn't put down until the inevitable happy ending.  Ms. Brooks did an excellent job creating a world I didn't want to leave (and thankfully won't have to too soon, as the Iron Seas are a series!).   

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Good overall pacing, enjoyable female lead.

    I enjoyed this book though it had a bit of a slow start with a lot of info dump right off the bat. I'm a bit conflicted about the relationship between Mina and Rhys. It was unevenly developed, being both too quick and too slow at the same time.

    Be aware, this is definitely one of those books with a male protagonist who does the 'claim my woman' mentality pretty much from the moment of meeting the main character.

    Mina felt like a much more fully developed character than Rhy, which feeds into the uneven relationship progression problem. There's so much more nuance to Mina's personality and situation that Rhys seems flat by comparison, and the more he gets stuck in the "I will shag you" rotation, the most obvious the disparity is.

    Still and all, an enjoyable romp with decent overall pacing once the info dump was done. The world building was very interesting. Like Mina, it felt far more developed than some other bits of the book. The author has some ambitious goals in this story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2010

    A fun Romp

    A good bodice ripper amongst zombie infested Europe. Miljean had created a really intriguing world with fun characters and a bright future. While I'm not usually into zombies I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed my time on the Iron Seas. Waiting for another story set in the world.

    My only quibbles were that the language used by the characters was rather flat (is shag the only polite word for doing the horizontal rumba?), and I wish Ms. Brook would have fleshed out the sights and sounds of the locations we visit. Still an nice romance set in an intriguing world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Great Steampunk Romance Read

    Unlike anything I have ever read before. It was only the second steampunk book that I have ever read, but it did not disappoint. Mina is an extremely likeable character that you feel for throughout the book. What makes this book outstanding is its secondary characters like Scarsdale, Yasmeen, and The Blacksmith among many others. Scarsdale and Yasmeen provide great comic relief while the mysterious Blacksmith leaves you wanting to know more. This is an amazing start to a series that shows great promise.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Recommended

    Very interesting Steampunk world. Good characters and plot line.

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  • Posted June 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    ~Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    The Iron Duke is England’s hero. The former pirate turned lord saved England from the Horde when he destroyed their tower, freeing people from Horde control. So when Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth is called to investigate a murder that happened on his lawn she approaches with trepidation and a dash of excitement. But the Iron Duke, Rhys Trahaearn, is more than she expected, as is the powerful attraction she feels for him. Together they investigate the killing and discover their may be more to this than a simple murder, the whole of England could once again be at risk…

    Why did it take so long for me to pick up this book?! Before this I had read a few novellas by Meljean Brook within the Iron Seas series, which all inspired me to add The Iron Duke to my TBR pile, if I had known how much I would have enjoyed it, I would have picked it up immediately. 

    What fascinated me most about this book was the world that Brooks has created, steampunk is a great genre in allowing authors to let their imagination run rampant. But what I liked about The Iron Duke was although there were some great visuals and original ideas it all made sense and gave the impression that it was well thought out making everything hang together beautifully. It wasn’t just a string of weird and wacky things strung together with a convoluted plot thrown in to try and make sense of it. 

    As for the romance, not only does Ms Brooks know how to world build, she writes up some pretty potent and sexually charged romance as well. Once again I ask, why didn’t I start this sooner? Rhys and Mina had sexual tension rolling off this book in waves, the pull between them was undeniable and I had a fantastic time watching as their relationship built up from a mutual attraction to so much more. 

    This was a fantastic read, one of my favourites so far this year, it not only had a great romance, it had a plot that kept me enthralled and has established a world that I can’t wait to read more about. I have just become Meljean Brooks number one fan!

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  • Posted April 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Has it all

    I don't give out 5 star reviews lightly, but this book deserves it. This is a genre surpassing mix of romance, steampunk, giant squid, pirates, police, murder, mystery, and nanotechnology. The world building is perfect, the slang flawless and everything from vast cultural changes to individual struggles is covered deftly.

    I would (and have) recommended this book to nearly everyone.

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  • Posted April 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook, is in my opinion everything steampunk should be.

    The Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook, is in my opinion everything steampunk should be. It has a world history that is both far reaching and believable, characters that I feel I got to know throughout the story and gadgetry that far from detracting from the plot were integral to it. It also had enough steam between the characters to make any properly bred Victorian lady give into a fit of the vapors. I am happy to say that no such characters were present to the point of mention in this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    "The Iron Duke" was the first book I read under the ge

    "The Iron Duke" was the first book I read under the genre of Steampunk. The  world of Steampunk that Ms. Brook creates was what initially grabbed hold of me. It took a few chapters to get  caught up with the history and gain some understanding of the society that 's  in the story, but after I  gained some understanding, I totally lost myself in the story and couldn't put the book down. In my opinion, the balance between action and romance in this book was perfectly balanced and made reading the book so enjoyable. I could hardly put the book down because I kept wanting to know what was going to happen to Mina (Inspector Wentworth) and Rhys (Trahaearn) next!  Great combination of action/adventure, steampunk, romance (with a dash of wit)!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Wonderful, Absolutely Wonderful!

    I read this book because one of my favorite authors recommended her on her site. (Ilona Andrews). I picked it up because I am always looking for a new author and I have exhausted every other author I know of. Literally.
    This book was fantastic. The way I judge a good book is whether I would recommend it to friend and if I would reread it. I would do both with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Great steampunk SF and great romance. Mina and Rhys were memorab

    Great steampunk SF and great romance. Mina and Rhys were memorable characters having adventures in an exciting new vision of earth.
    I appreciated the originality of much of the technology and the strong, sexy love story.               

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  • Posted December 8, 2012

    Love this book and all the excitement included.

    Love this book and all the excitement included.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great Steampunk Adventure with Incredible Romance! Not normally

    Great Steampunk Adventure with Incredible Romance! Not normally a fan of
    steampunk, I opted to go with the great reviews and wasn't disappointed.
    This was a fast paced mystery laced with HOT and heavy romance. The
    action starts from the beginning and doesn't let up (I couldn't put it
    down!). The steampunk aspect of the novel, while it plays an important
    role, does not overwhelm the characters or the plot. The relationship
    between Mina and Rhys is somewhat predictable (he chases, she runs) but
    the physicality of their relationship is never predictable, and always
    intense. Rhys takes what he wants, so for those of you who love an
    aggressive male lead, he's your guy. Mina's character is tough but
    vulnerable, and easily likable (she's never whiny or self-absorbed like
    many of today's heroines). Looking forward to reading the next book in
    the series.

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    A Twisted Web

    First off, I have to say, Ms. Brook is an EXCELLENT writer in my opinion. I love her style. She’s one of those writers I don’t even get a chance to go into critique mode. Bravo! On to the characters. Majority of this story was told from Mina’s POV, so I really got a sense of her personality. I rather liked her. She had a hard outer shell and a soft interior. For the most part, well-balanced and acted true to her character. She was a woman I could admire. Rhys, I had a love-hate relationship with him, or rather I didn’t understand him very well in the beginning. He seemed to suffer from the same syndrome as Eben–lustful but without any particular reason… at least not at first. His determination to possess Mina made me think of a rapist at times. The guy just didn’t seem to respect the “no.” For a guy who seemed so honorable, I didn’t get that aspect of him. Other characters I quite liked were Yasmeen (a side character from Here there be Monsters) and Scotsdale. According to Ms. Brook’s website, Yasmeen’s story is next along with the mysterious Archimedes Fox. Exciting! Can’t wait to read their stories. One group who played a huge indirect role in all this was the Horde. I still feel like I’m in the dark about these folks. I understood what they did, but I didn’t understand why. Also, what was so different about them physically? I think at one time they might have been mentioned as Mongols? As for the plot, it was well paced–quite a twisted web. I’d call this one a mystery, which really isn’t my preferred genre. I imagine that’s why it took me more time than usual to get through this work. Cause when I add things up, we’ve got great writing and interesting characters. I should have loved, Loved, LOVED it. But then we add the genre mystery. Oh well. Since I’m not so familiar with the genre, I can only guess it’d make a hit with mystery lovers. Ms. Brook went a bit heavier with the steampunk this round, and I loved it! The gadgets added a great touch. She didn’t go into extreme details about the way the goodies worked, which was excellent for my non-mechanical little mind. Plus I got a better understanding of the nanoagents. I’m quite excited to read about the future of the little buggers. I can see myself becoming a huge fan of Meljean Brook. However, it depends heavily on if her works have strong mystery elements, cause really she is an awesome writer. My preferences just don’t lean toward mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    New to Steampunk

    This book was a lot of fun. I haven't read that much in the steampunk genre, but I really enjoyed this. The airships are probably my favorite tech. The characters and magic system are fun, too. I'll probably concentrate on this more once she writes the last Guardian book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Recommend

    My first steam punk and also my first book by this author. Good character development. Fast paced interesting story. Try it!

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