The Aeronaut's Windlass

Jim Butcher
The Aeronaut's Windlass Cover

A Fun Steampunk-Inspired Romp


Jim Butcher's latest book, the first of a new series, is a fun romp through a steampunk-inspired fantasy universe. Replete with mad magicians (called "etherealists"), talking cats, disgraced airship captains, monsters from the mist-shrouded surface of the world and more than a little in way of Victorian courtly manners, The Aeronaut's Windlass is a fairly hefty tome (630 pages) but Butcher keeps the action hurtling along and it does not feel half the actual length. My favorite character is probably Folly, the young etherealist apprentice, followed closely by Bridget Tarquin. I suppose Folly's way of communicating could be seen as irritating but I loved it. The way Bridget was able to relatively quickly figure Folly's idiosyncrasies out, and even understand her jokes, endeared Bridget to me. In fact, their relationship was the most fulfilling for me. The female characters are all strong and very well written and Butcher does a great job of balancing the worldbuilding with the storytelling. Obviously not everything has been explained about this universe, and what is explained only raises more questions rather than actually answering any. I'm a bit saddened that this is the only book in the series so far and that I'll have to wait for the second installment to be realeased but at least I have re-reading The Aeronaut's Windlass to look forward to in preparation for the next book.

Euan Morton narrated the audiobook and was fantastic. The characters were all very well defined by his different voices and accents. Just as James Marsters is the voice of The Dresden Files, I hope Morton remains the voice of The Cinder Spires.