Item description for The Steam Magnate (The Broken Glass City Mosaic series) by Dana Copithorne...
Departing from formulaic themes involving quests, magicians, and mythical animals, this fantasy novel followsa characterwith powers more ordinary than most uber-wizards. Havinginherited the steam-power legacy and the mysterious ability to funnel the assets of others into his own coffers through the mere use of ink and paper, Esonishated by some and feared by others. While recovering from a disastrous relationship with a woman of his own magical kind, he meets a young woman who isn't who she claims to be, andEson must now defend himself against challenges far too close to home. Set in a world that is a tempting concoction of fairy-tale charm andeveryday existence, this work explores the inequities of social class and the realities living among the less fortunate.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.3" Width: 5.2" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Sep 30, 2006
Publisher Aio Publishing Company
ISBN 1933083085 ISBN13 9781933083087
Reviews - What do customers think about The Steam Magnate (The Broken Glass City Mosaic series)?
A Different Kind of Fantasy... Jan 8, 2008
The Steam Magnate is published by Aio, a small press specializing in what they call "books that stir your soul". I can't say that The Steam Magnate stirred my soul, but I can definitely say that I found this book to be absolutely amazing. The story takes place in a unique blend of science fiction, real world, and fantasy, put together into what I can only call obscure steampunk. The elements of steampunk are there, but they are almost intentionally made so they don't devour the story. Copithorne has managed to develop a world that is surreal and real all at the same time. The elements of fantasy are kept to a level just above what would be called magical realism, making this world seem so much like a Victorian age Earth, with some modern attachments. The summary: Kyra is under orders to search for a man who possesses something of great value to the Heiress--certain documents that hold great sway. But the man she's searching for, Eson, is no ordinary person, and so she too finds herself under his influence. She's strangely attracted to him and as she becomes entwined in Eson's world she finds herself struggling to understand who she is and the the world around her. Eson, however, possesses unique abilities that allow him to bind people to him so that he can use them to his advantage. Some love him and others wish to see him imprisoned in the same home left to him by his ancestors. After recovering from a disastrous relationship, he meets Kyra and as his affections for her increase, so too does his realization that the challenges taking over his life are a little too close to home. To put it simply, this work is stunning. Copithorne's prose is superb. It's fluid, powerful, and gripping. I found myself dragged right into the world and unable to escape. This is prose to look up to, in my opinion. This is also not your typical story. While it flirts with the lines of science fiction and fantasy, it isn't a story of adventure, but a story of characters. The focus is on Kyra, Eson, and Jado (a character I didn't mention in the summary), and how they are affected and influenced by everything that goes on. Taken into account that this is a highly literary work, The Steam Magnate never ceases to be beautiful in its creation. One criticism I think is that perhaps some of the characters feel a little under developed. Kyra is painted clear, but there could be a little more of Jado to give the reader more cause to care. I personally found Jado to be very interesting, but at the same time I feel as though we didn't get to know him well enough. This may be more personal opinion though. In any case, the book is a must read. It was absolutely enthralled with how Eson seemed to almost be a vampire-like character. He reminded me of Dracula, only charming and less creepy--oh, and no sucking blood. His powers are not grandiose, but so very limited that the character himself has to expend considerable effort to even use them. I think this is a rather brilliant idea that diverges from other fantasy. The short version of all this is: pick this book up. It's absolutely beautiful and I intend to cherish it. Aio is looking to be a fantastic small press publisher that we should all be looking out for.
Wonderful imagination, would like more imagery. Apr 27, 2007
Dana Copithorne has a great imagination. I loved her ideas here: the Glass City, the northern steam territories, the rich coastal city, the natives from a strange land. And there's a wonderful melding of spiriual power and electrical power. Kind of helps us through this religious vs. scientific conundrum we're in these days. We want to believe in the old powers, but the new ones just keep usurping the world.
The novel feels like it moves too quickly for me. There's a lot of ground to cover, several important relationships to get established, locations constructed, good and bad defined, history unfolded. Because of the picturesque settings and unusual characters, however, I would have liked to move slower through the details of the day. I wanted to live through those relationships, places, and histories. Imagine a glass city. I would like to have seen more of the light filtering through all of the amazing bits and pieces. I would like to not just know who the good and bad guys were but really like or dislike them the way the main character, Kyra, did. I kept wondering who was going to turn on Kyra. Seemed like nobody ever did, but there certainly was potential for it. And people seemed to fall in "like" too fast. I don't want to say "love" because everything seemed only lukewarm. The passion of love was missing for me.
It's not necessarily the author's fault. With so much pressure put on authors to move things along these days, none of them seem allowed to show the important details, the moments, the observations. God forbid you'd ever remark on anything. What we, as readers are left with, is a list of events. Correct from the textbook's standpoint, but too grocery listy for my taste. I want to feel the satin and fur, smell the grime and perfume, hear the grunge and the butterfly. Can you imagine what a Glass City would sound like? I'd love to find out.
A good first effort from the author. A little detail added to her wonderful imagination, and a little slower pace, and we'd have a great new world to experience.
A book you will treasure Oct 11, 2006
Reviewed by Susan Pettrone for Reader Views (9/06)
"Kyra arrived late at night, on a crowded, rattling steam engine, at an ancient place they called the `City of Mirrors' or the `Broken Glass City,' depending upon the language used. The City earns these names from stained glass that has been superimposed onto the exteriors of the walls and walkways, as though glass were shattered and thrown about into patterns, some random, others deliberate".
And, so begins the poetic story of Eson, and the world which surrounds him, which we later find to be so very much like its name. Eson is a fortunate man. He has inherited a steam-power legacy from his family and though he is somewhat of a puzzling character, his strength is shown within the use of the power he yields within his world. Though powerful, he is also a solitary man, without real closeness within his life. It is this lack of connection that makes him a lonesome man surrounded by a world in which he wants for nothing except for love. Coming from a relationship that left him wishing he had never began it, Eson looks forward to meeting Sarah simply because she seems "robotic in nature" and he feels safe with her. But most of all, Eson is tired of being alone and seeks companionship with someone he can finally have a future with.
What Eson does not know is "Sarah" is not Sarah after all, but a young woman by the name of Kyra who has been sent to find Eson, create a relationship with him and acquire a certain "contract" or "deed." In a teashop during her first days in the city, Kyra meets Jado, a young man who works there, and learns there is more to the Shattered Glass City than she ever imagined. Jado tells her, "I look to the future, and to technologies, because I think technology can protect us from forces rooted in the past." It is this simple sentence that begins a chain of events that Kyra/Sarah never dreamed possible.
As Kyra meets up with Eson she forms a connection with him and a relationship in which he communicates more through his notes and drawings than through spoken word. His notes following his disappearances lead her and the reader into a part of Eson's world that is both magical and mystical in nature. It seems Eson has an inherited bottle of ink that can literally launch him into the vision he desires it to be. But it seems his drawings are not without a price, the same price his ancestors paid in generations past.
Through this book we see the relationship with Eson and Kyra develop, each having his and her own agenda. But as the book develops, we see a union between the two that is both surprising and engaging at the same time. What Sarah realizes at the conclusion of "The Steam Magnate," and how Eson's life changes, are moments the reader is swept into, with conflicting emotions.
The author does an extraordinary job of illustrating the world of Eson and Kyra in both language and simple line drawings throughout the book. The detail sketched by both words and pictures complement one another, to the point that the story depends upon both to be told well. I would highly recommend this book for readers of all ages, from teens through adult. While "The Steam Magnate" has an engaging, somewhat wistful storyline that many would appreciate, it also gives pause for other readers who find within the story, many aspects within their own lives as well. And it is such books that can draw the reader from their world into that of the characters; books that are to be both read and treasured. This is such a book. And because of it, those who read "The Steam Magnate" will become part of Eson's world as well.
Review of The Steam Magnate Oct 10, 2006
The Steam Magnate by Dana Copthorne is like no other book I have read before. Her style of narrative writing is descriptive and lyrical. Although daunted at first, the long stretches of narrative style being something I normally shy away from, I continued and it quickly drew me in.
The Steam Magnate is a fantasy, but it many ways it mirrors day-to-day truth.
The Heiress gives Kyra, after being caught in an act of larceny, a quest. She is to bring down Eson, who is the Steam Magnate, a position and power inherited by him through a long line of steam magnates.
A chance encounter on his side, draws Kyra into his world. Feeling safe within his power Kyra lets herself develop feelings for Eson.
Yet there is nothing safe about Eson's world. Like in today's society his power creates jealousy and envy among some. His enemies work tirelessly at bringing him down. Do they succeed? The answer makes for an intriguing read.
Ms. Copthorne's world became real to me, full of all of the joy and sadness of life. I found myself caring much for Eson and Kyra, wanting them to overcome their problems, both in the business paths they took and the personal issues they faced.
I am glad not to have missed this gem of a book. I believe you will enjoy it as much as I.
Barbara M. Hodges The Blue Flame The Emerald Dagger The Silver Angel The Child of Prophecy (Stargazer's Children) Shadow Worlds ( Co-written with Darrell Bain) Stones Enchanted (Co-written with JR Musick December 2006) Proud Member of EPIC and Authors Unlimited