Age Recommendation: Upper YA/Adult. Probably about 16 or 17 and over.
Warnings: Adult language.
Genre: Steampunk (Science Fiction/Fantasy), Action and Adventure
Taliah recoiled a little. “Priority 1? God, I’ve never even been in charge of a Priority 2 before!” Why was he even speaking to her about the highest ranking missions? “Do you honestly think I can handle it?”
“Without a doubt,” said Arklin plainly. “In fact, I’ve a feeling there’s no one else suitable for it.”
Sky Knight, by Sandra Harvey, tells the story of Taliah, a woman who has spent her life training to capture thieves and villains of the Skylands. Although she’s young, she has worked hard and risen through the ranks to become a Lieutenant. Her new assignment involves chasing after a pirate named Erikson Roarke, who wants both to evade her as well as convince her that everything she thinks she knows about her government is wrong.
This was my first adventure into the steampunk genre, and I absolutely loved it. It has many of my favorite dystopian tropes, but is set in an entirely different sort of world and goes far beyond just those things one would expect from a book about potential political turmoil. The plot was full of unexpected twists, Roarke might be my new favorite pirate character, and the writing was both beautiful and funny. There were a few occasions in my Kindle epub copy of punctuation mistakes, and I sometimes came across sentences that were a bit confusing for me, which is why I placed this book at 4.5 rather than the full 5 stars.
Aside from those little things, however, I thoroughly enjoyed Sky Knight. Harvey has crafted a tale of political intrigue, romance that the reader immediately hopes will work out, and all manner of steampunk items that anyone would want to have for themselves. I wouldn’t recommend this book to young readers, as the language is quite strong throughout, but for those readers who don’t mind such things, it’s sure to be a hit.
Perhaps my favorite moments were the ones that didn’t seem altogether relevant to the plot. The little world-building moments and Harvey’s ability to weave in things that seem insignificant at first but end up meaning incredible amounts later on – all of it came together into one story that is both believable as well as exciting. I will say that the beginning seemed to start out slow, as I was waiting for Taliah’s assignment to hunt down Roarke, but all of it mattered in the end and made the slow start completely worthwhile. So if you give it a go and feel hesitant, don’t give up on it! I promise, it’s worth it and everything will make sense in the end. Well, most everything. It’s not a standalone, after all!
Harvey is an independent publisher, so Sky Knight will be most easily accessible via Amazon or an e-reader. Once you read it, I’m sure you’ll agree: It’s utterly brilliant. I cannot wait for the sequel.