The Brass Queen (Brass Queen #1) by Elizabeth Chatsworth
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Publisher: CamCat Books
Genre: Sci-Fi / Alternate Historical Reality
In 1897, a fiery British aristocrat and an inept US spy search for a stolen invisibility serum that could spark a global war.
Miss Constance Haltwhistle is the last in a line of blue-blooded rogue inventors. Selling exotic firearms under her alias, the ‘Brass Queen,’ has kept her baronial estate’s coffers full. But when US spy, 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 they know will literally disappear before their eyes.
No beating around the bush here. I need more books from this world! I was thrilled when I saw it announced that there will, at the very least, be 2 books in this series.
As a huge fan of steampunk, I am always on the lookout for books that have this element but I very rarely find books that do it well. The Brass Queen managed to bring in the steampunk atmosphere brilliantly though! There is even an added element of a multiverse which I found utterly unique in this type of story.
Constance is a great character who is quick thinking and unabashedly self-sufficient. Her interactions with Trusdale are wonderful and I could not get enough of their scenes together. My only gripe with her side of the story is that we don’t get enough of her being an inventor. It is more alluded to or considered an afterthought for the convenience of a couple of plot points but I never really felt like she was the head of a huge underground operation.
Trusdale was so much fun to follow and I really enjoyed his POVs. Throwing a cowboy in with the British aristocracy was a treat to read. I will say that the synopsis didn’t quite get his character right either though as I did not find him inept in the slightest. He’s actually quite a competent character and I was waiting for him to have a bunch of slip ups but they never came - to his credit.
In general, the entire story delivers far more than the synopsis promises. I found myself turning the pages quicker and quicker because I loved how things were unfolding and how the story was setting up for things so much bigger than I could have expected. There were a few aspects that threw me a bit and had to wrap my head around as well as some elements that seemed a bit too convenient, but I knew immediately that I didn’t care and just wanted more haha.
I can easily see why this book has been on so many Top Books lists and cannot wait for The Brass Queen: Grand Tour which is supposed to come out in 2022!