Book Review #14: Celadonian Tales Volume 1: Blood and Brass by Walter Shuler

Title: Blood and Brass
Author: Walter Shuler
Publisher: Deepwood
Release Date: 2011
Available Formats: ebook only

When I published the offer here on the blog concerning reviewing folks books, one of the hits I got was from a man named Walter Shuler. He also followed me on Twitter and has been a nice addition to my stream. You can find him there as @anakronistical. I had such a backlog of so many stories that it has taken me some time to get near the bottom. (If you sent me your book, and it hasn’t been reviewed yet, fear not, I haven’t forgotten.)

So on to the review.

Synopsis:  The city of Celadon is ancient. Some say the city has always stood and will remain until the end of days. Venture into a new world in three fantastical tales. The Clockwork Men tells the story of Haem, Lord Northwarden and the alchemist Mikael Thorne, while Behind the Red Door is the story of a common thief and the score of a lifetime. Beneath the Stone is a tale of murder within Celadon’s royal family and dark secrets uncovered from the past. (Stolen from

Setting: The stories (plural) in this book all take place in the land of Celadonian. As far as physical features, the land appears much the same as the world we know. However, magic is in abundance and there is a fusion of magic and machines that treads on the dark side.

Plot: The three stories that make up Blood and Brass are seemingly unrelated and have substantially different plot threads. They all feel like they are perhaps setting us up for a larger work that will flesh all three of these story lines out and perhaps bring them together a bit more.

Characters: While each of the stories included in Blood and Brass is truly a short story (the book weighs in at about 50 portrait pages in my ereader) the characters are where this book shines. There truly isn’t enough time to “get to know” each character as well as you might like, but the characters have a simplistic likability about them that draws in the reader and makes the pages turn much faster than you might have noticed.

Odin’s recommendation: I really enjoyed Blood and Brass. There are steampunk elements in it for those that enjoy this relatively new genre, but really, it is more of a traditional fantasy with magic making the mechanics work rather than steam. I would truly enjoy reading a much larger book where these opening scenes were winnowed down a bit perhaps, and introduced as to many many pages of adventure. However, at 99¢, you can’t complain about the price and you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth.

As an aside, you may have noticed I usually don’t link to sites where you can purchase the books from in the reviews. However, if you look to the right, you’ll see a carousel of the books I’ve most recently reviewed. If you click on one of them it will take you to the Amazon page where that product is sold. I’ve done this for two reasons. One, Amazon may not be the only place the book is sold, but most authors are now using Amazon so I can reliably assume that the book is sold there. Secondly, any clicks you make from the carousel (and better yet, purchases) helps me as an Amazon affiliate. However, please, don’t worry about buying from Amazon if you prefer another vendor, just buy the books!

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