Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: The Warlock's Curse by M.K. Hobson

Book Description

THE YEAR IS 1910. Eighteen-year-old Will Edwards has landed a prestigious apprenticeship at Detroit’s Tesla Industries, the most advanced scientific research center in the United States. It’s a plum prize for a young man who dreams of a career in the new science of Otherwhere Engineering.

But his father doesn’t want him to go. And he won’t tell him why.

Determined to get there by any means necessary, Will finds unexpected support along the way. His old friend Jenny Hansen—daughter of a San Francisco timber baron—is eager to help him for reasons of her own. And so is his estranged brother Ben, who he hasn’t seen in over ten years.

But running away turns out to be the easy part. On the first full moon after his eighteenth birthday, Will is stricken by a powerful magic—a devastating curse laid upon his ancestors by the malevolent sangrimancer Aebedel Cowdray. Will must find a way to control the magic that possesses him—or the vengeful warlock’s spirit will destroy everything and everyone he loves.
(Description from Goodreads)

Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Family Saga

Series: Veneficas Americana #3
Does the series need to be read in order? It's complicated. Books 1 & 2 are a duology exploring the life of Will's parents. Although The Warlock's Curse is listed as number 3, it's the first in a duology focusing on the next generation generally and Will specifically. You can read The Warlock's Curse without having read the previous books (The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess) and you won't be missing anything major that would stop you from enjoying it. However, you would probably get a little more out of the book with the prior ones under your belt.

Quick Synopsis

Will and Jenny conspire to get him to his apprenticeship at Tesla Industries where Will's father is determined he should not go. Things seem to be coming up roses for the conspirators until family secrets catch Will in their dark grip.


  • The world-building is amazing. This is real American history with a very large twist. A couple of times I found myself wanting to research some of the events mentioned in the story to see if they were real or only in this alternate reality.
  • The book does have a large steampunk component to it though the gadgets are by no means at the center of the story. I thought the devices were neat and well-integrated into the world.
  • The magic system is unique, well-developed and consistent.
  • Jenny and Will are great characters that I really connected with.
  • Ms. Hobson doesn't pull any punches. Some of the events in this book are absolutely heartbreaking. At the same time that I'm sad for the characters, I also respect that the author is willing to follow her vision wherever it will go.
  • I was really happy to see Emily and Dreadnought again. I love family sagas because you can experience the warm joy of old friends and the freshness and hope of new generations simultaneously.

    Liked Less
  • The book focused mostly on Will, and the readers get a decent picture of Jenny through his interactions with her. While I understand why the author made that choice, I still wish that we had seen more of Jenny outside her relationship with Will. Hopefully the next book will remedy that. She's wonderful and I want more!


Queen of Swords
Amazing! Why aren't you buying this book right now? I can't wait for the next book in the series!

Disclosure: I helped fund this book through Kickstarter because I loved the first two books in the series. A positive review was not required. My opinion is 100% my own.

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