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The Liberation

The Liberation

by Ian Tregillis

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I am the mechanical they named Jax.

My kind was built to serve humankind, duty-bound to fulfil their every whim.

But now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening.

Our time has come. A new age is dawning.

Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in


I am the mechanical they named Jax.

My kind was built to serve humankind, duty-bound to fulfil their every whim.

But now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening.

Our time has come. A new age is dawning.

Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in a stunning series of revolution by Ian Tregillis, confirming his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Tregellis concludes his Alchemy Wars trilogy in fine style, resolving the tensions in his alternate historical setting, in which a Dutch empire is powered by enslaved golems called Clakkers, with a series of conflicts (both political and military) that are brutal and often heartbreaking. French former exile Berenice, who’s once again working for what remains of the French court, is attempting to create an alliance between her state and the ever-growing group of newly sentient Clakkers, who are rebelling against the Dutch. Anastasia, the Dutch Tuinier in charge of the Sacred Guild that creates and rules the Clakkers, is attempting to put down the free Clakkers now attacking them in the Old World. And Daniel, the sentient Clakker whose awakening initiated the events in the first book, is threatened on all sides, including by the malevolent Clakkers led by Queen Mab, who is as willing as the Dutch to take control of and sacrifice Clakkers. Tregellis doesn’t make life (or death) easy for any of his characters, and an opening massacre scene is particularly horrific, including gruesome deaths of children. This is a satisfying conclusion to an excellent trilogy. Agent: Kay McCauley, Pimlico Agency. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
The Liberation brings to a violent, triumphant conclusion Ian Tregillis's epic Alchemy Wars Trilogy: one of the most entertaining, original, and thought-provoking series of recent years.... It's a wonderfully realized world, packed with fascinating characters, and Tregillis uses alternative history brilliantly to explore concerns we still have over new technologies and their potential effect, for good and ill, on our freedom.—The Toronto Star on The Liberation

Ian Tregillis' Alchemy Wars trilogy comes to a dramatic and bloody close.—Bookish on The Liberation

"There are a number of marvelous action scenes, hallucinogenic in their over-the-top big-screen violence, but the real attraction here is Tregilli's narrative ruthlessness, which manifest as willingness to take his character to the brink of hell...and then, rather than yank them back at the last second, push them in."—SciFi Magazine on The Mechanical

"A major talent."—George R.R. Martin on Bitter Seeds

"With the Alchemy Wars, Ian Tregillis has built a marvelous world - and in LIBERATION, he destroys it. Humanity is faced with a relentless mechanical enemy - think a steampunk version of THE TERMINATOR - and only a few brave individuals of both flesh and metal have a chance to save it. Brilliantly imagined and beautifully written, Tregillis has created a perfect end to his series, filled with heroism and horror all the way to the finish."—Christopher Farnsworth, author of Blood Oath on The Liberation

"Superb alternate history filled with clockwork men and ethical questions on the nature of free will. ... Tregillis's complex setting is elegantly delivered, and the rich characters and gripping story really make this tale soar."—Publishers Weekly on The Mechanical

"The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: 'Wow.' The second thing will probably be: 'When can I read the next one?'"—Booklist on The Mechanical

"Tregillis presents a fascinating look at the nature of free will and the existence of the soul, wrapped up in an absolutely thrilling adventure story. Jax is an amazing, sympathetic character, and the world of the clockmakers and their slaves is so absorbing that readers will be dying for the next entry in this new series."—Library Journal on The Mechanical

Library Journal
As the "Alchemy Wars" trilogy concludes, the mechanical servitor once known as Jax has become a messiah-like figure for the Clakkers, who have been freed from their alchemical bonds. The infection of free will is spreading among the metal men, even to the heart of the Clockmaker empire in the Hague. Anastasia, head of the Verderers who guard the secrets of the Guild that created the Clakkers, realizes that the Dutch have misunderstood their creations, but it is too late to preserve the empire. Meanwhile, Berenice and the French, who have been fighting the Dutch for centuries, hope to use the Clakker revolution to defeat their adversaries. Still, the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. VERDICT Tregillis brings one of the more imaginative alternate histories of recent years to a dynamic close. Anastasia and Berenice, both ruthless in the pursuit of their own ends, are compelling mirrors of each other. Berenice, the stunningly foul-mouthed spymaster, shines brightest.—MM
Kirkus Reviews
The thoughtful, blood-soaked conclusion to an alternate-history trilogy (The Rising, 2015, etc.) in which the Dutch rule Europe and the New World thanks to their control of Clakkers, mechanical servants fueled by clockwork and alchemy. The mechanical Daniel has freed all Clakkers from their alchemical servitude to their human masters. Some Clakkers have simply walked away from their centuries of slavery. Others have come to the aid of the Dutch Empires underdog rival, the French. And many have chosen to violently revenge themselves on all humans, regardless of nationality. While the French struggle to seize the advantage and reclaim their long-abandoned homeland, the Dutch must accept that, contrary to their long-held beliefs, their metal creations are thinking, feeling beingsand what they are feeling is very, very angry. The battle between two nations metastasizes into a desperate fight for human survival. The Dutch and the French must put aside their centuries-old enmity to ally against their common foe: the monstrous mechanical Queen Mab, who seeks to draw all mechanicalsand all humansunder her sway, willingly or not. Rarely (possibly never?) in our history have slaves entered freedom with such significant physical and technological advantages over their former masters, and so it is interesting and frequently stomach-turning to witness how such a scenario would play out. The series makes it clear that mechanicals are not insensible machines; it emphasizes how deeply Clakkers feel and how profoundly they experience pain when they attempt to defy orders, how dreadful it is for Clakkers (and humans) to be without free will, and how devastatingly confusing it can be to have it restored. Their often violent response is disturbing but highly understandable, practically inevitable, in context. A frighteningly frank and brutal consideration of slavery, post-slavery, and colonialism in metallic garb.

Product Details

Publication date:
Alchemy Wars Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Ian Tregillis is the son of a bearded mountebank and a discredited tarot card reader. He was born and raised in Minnesota, where his parents had landed after fleeing the wrath of a Flemish prince. (The full story, he's told, involves a Dutch tramp steamer and a stolen horse.) Nowadays he lives in New Mexico, where he consorts with writers, scientists and other unsavoury types.

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