The Brass Queen, a new Gaslamp fantasy romance already receiving good buzz, publishes on January 12, 2021, and is a witty, imaginative debut from Elizabeth Chatsworth.
Disclosure: I received a free copy from Smith Publicity to write an honest review. I was not financially compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.
Elizabeth Chatsworth debuts wonderfully with a blend of fantasy, adventure, alternate history, and romance in a Victorian steampunk setting.
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk, Gaslamp, and Romance.
She knows a liar when she sees one. He knows a fraud when he meets one.
In a steam-powered world, Miss Constance Haltwhistle is the last in a line of blue-blooded rogues. Selling firearms under her alias, the “Brass Queen,” she has kept her baronial estate’s coffers full. But when US spy J. F. Trusdale saves her from assassins, she’s pulled into a search for a scientist with an invisibility serum. As royal foes create an invisible army to start a global war, Constance and Trusdale must learn to trust each other. If they don’t, the world as they know it will disappear before their eyes.
If you like the Parasol Protectorate or the Invisible Library series, you’ll love this gaslamp fantasy—a rambunctious romantic romp that will have you both laughing out loud and wishing you owned all of Miss Haltwhistle’s armaments.
Book Review of The Brass Queen
The Brass Queen is a light-hearted, fast-paced page-turner with continuous action, lots of mystery, flawless worldbuilding, a swoony slow build romance between the “Brass Queen” and an American cowboy spy, and deliciously descriptive outfits; not to mention the unique armaments.
This book was simply a delight to read. It almost felt like the excitement of watching a Doctor Who episode set in a parallel world.
What I especially loved about this debut from Chatsworth is just how deep the worldbuilding goes. There is much to explore in the book (and hopefully in sequels) that should excite fans of steampunk and good fantasy worldbuilding.
Chatsworth also has a distinct wit and lively writing style. This wit lends itself particularly well to the growing romantic relationship between Constance and J.F. Trusdale, which is sure to please romance fans – especially if you enjoy Old Hollywood comedic banter and TV couples like Miss Fisher and Jack Robinson.
Overall, if you love Victorian fantasy novels or even intelligent romance with witty repartee, this is the book for you. Of course, this is a must-read for all steampunk fans. But there is crossover appeal here.
If you appreciate historical fantasy, Victorian romance, sci-fi, Gaslamp, adventure novels, or smart romances, check this book out. It’s a fun, escapist, and inventive read worth your time.
The Brass Queen is full of potential in the media space. The worldbuilding is rich, the characters memorable, the villain amusing, and the story entertaining, so much so that it is hard not to imagine a full-blown media franchise.
Who wouldn’t want to see the costumes as described in the book? It would be a costume designer’s dream. Or the set design, for that matter? Or go on fun adventures with Constance and Trusdale in a Miss Fisher/Jack kind of way?
And I would love to see Queen Victoria in a steampunk costume. (Yes, Queen Victoria has a small but significant role in the story.)
As an adaptation, The Brass Queen could work as a series of films (especially if there is a sequel in the works). It could also work as a TV show or even a limited series. The sky’s the limit. Or maybe there is no sky!
I would love to see more of these characters, more of this world. And an adaptation or other media extras would be welcome and suited to this world. It was built for transmedia (telling stories across media platforms).
Content Note: The book is PG-like with mild innuendo and adventure-violence.
You can find out more about Elizabeth Chatsworth and her book (and other short stories) at elizabethchatsworth.com.
The Brass Queen Book Trailer
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“The stuff that dreams are made of.”
“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.
I have loved none but you.”