The Northern Sunrise by Rob J Hayes

Rating 8.5/10
Chases, duels, romance, airships and a fortune to be won or lost.

The Northern Sunrise is a standalone book by the author of The Ties that Bind trilogy. Set in a new world of corruption, deceit and thievery; mixing magical fantasy and alchemy-punk with a healthy smattering of airshippery.

"There comes a point in every thief's life where one has to take stock of all that they have achieved. We have stolen almost everything there is worth stealing: Prince Henri's Jadefire ring, the Marquisse d'Bola's collection of prized toy soldiers, Elize Gion's Living Autumn, the very first airship schematic, and who could forget we definitely made off with Baron Rivette's pride. The trick, I find, is not to break in. No. The trick is to convince the mark to invite you in.”

Isabel de Rosier and Jacques Revou are two professional thieves who are forced into a final job for Renard Daron and are watched over by Daron’s enforcers: Franseza Goy and Amaury Roche. Hayes has a confident and expressive writing style, the characters are distinct and colourful and the situation they find themselves in is challenging.

I enjoyed the dialogue and banter between Isabel and Jacques, their relationship: professional and romantic convinced, and I was fully invested in whether they would succeed with the biggest challenge of their careers.

It all moves quickly, with a few twists, lots of humour and dangerous problems to navigate. The steampunk technology is exciting and seamlessly fits the story. Interestingly, the background and world this is set in has a distinctly French feel to it, which is a pleasant change. I particularly enjoyed Isabel and Jacques’ attempts to fool the aristocracy. There are chases, duels, romance, airships and a fortune to be won or lost. With this effort Hayes has proved he is a fantasy author to look out for.

The Northern Sunrise by Rob J. Hayes
Published 2014 by Rob J. Hayes

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