“The Aeronaut’s Windlass” by Jim Butcher: Superb Storytelling

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity. Within their halls, the ruling aristocratic houses develop scientific marvels, foster trade alliances, and maintain fleets of airships to keep the peace.

  Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. Loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is damaged in combat, Grimm joins a team of Albion agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring his ship.

  And as Grimm undertakes this task, he learns that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

Simply put, in “The Aeronaut’s Windlass” (Cinder Spires 1) Jim Butcher has created a novel with superb storytelling. With the next book coming out in less than a month, I wanted to go back and re-read the first book. In doing so, I remembered everything I’d loved about this world and the storytelling.

First, every character has a reason for being in the novel. From Mawl the cat warrior to Captain Grimm, everyone is integral to telling the story. Each character has a moment to shine and they are complex and dynamic characters. I love that the story is told from different points of view. In such a complex novel, it’s necessary so that the reader can gain the full scope of the narrative. Jim Butcher does this so skillfully. Even though the story switches voices throughout, the story never feels like it drags and the narrative always picks up right away. 

I also love the dynamic and compelling quality of the storytelling. The story moves with a quick pace but leaves room for slower moments of dialogue and character development. The descriptions of the etheric energy and how it works never drags down the narrative but adds to the action. Each character is a delight to read and the overarching story is addictive. The resolution of the story gives a taste of what’s to come and I cannot wait to read the second book in The Cinder Spires series. The Aeronaut’s Windlass is superb storytelling and well worth reading again. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 cats.

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