“The Olympian Affair” by Jim Butcher: Complex and Amazing

For centuries the Cinder Spires have safeguarded humanity, rising far above the deadly surface world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses rule, developing scientific marvels and building fleets of airships for defense and trade.

Now, the Spires hover on the brink of open war.

Everyone knows it’s coming. The guns of the great airship fleets that control the skies between the last bastions of humanity will soon speak in anger, and Spire Albion stands alone against the overwhelming might of Spire Aurora’s Armada and its new secret weapon–one capable of destroying the populations of entire Spires.

A trading summit at Spire Olympia provides an opportunity for the Spirearch, Lord Albion, to secure alliances that will shape the outcomes of the war, and to that end he dispatches privateer Captain Francis Madison Grimm and the crew of the AMS Predator to bolster the Spirearch’s diplomatic agents.

It will take daring, skill, and no small amount of showmanship to convince the world to stand with Spire Albion–assuming that it is not already too late.

In the second book of “The Cinder Spires” series by Jim Butcher, he has continued the story of Albion and the Spires in a complex and amazing fashion. “The Olympian Affair” has intriguing heroes, added characters, and complex political maneuvering that will be all for nothing if Grimm and his crew aren’t too late. I love those additional voices and the complexity of war that Butcher depicts in this second novel. 

One of the elements that I love about Jim Butcher is that he is able to capture multiple voices and weave together a nuanced and complex plot in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you’re reading. I found the cats simply a delight and a wonderful infusion of humor in an otherwise tension infused novel. He also manages to weave together the dynamics of war, both emotional and powerful as survival and war crashes on Olympia. He especially does a great job of giving both sides of the war in the characters that he depicts. The ending of the book will leave you wanting more, however. There are several questions left unanswered and in this, it felt very much like the second book in a series. I truly hope we get the next book soon.

If you love Jim Butcher’s writing and haven’t read the first book in the Cinder Spires, I truly recommend you read it soon. You do need to read the first book to truly enjoy the second novel but there is enough detail to allow you to understand the world without it. The emotional ending and the powerful relationships will keep you engaged. This is a complex and amazing story. I can’t wait for more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 duels.

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