The Court of the Air (Jackelian #1) by Stephen Hunt
Publisher/Year: Harper Voyager, 2007
Format: UK paperback
Two orphans on the run, each with the power to save the world…
When streetwise Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has recently been apprenticed to, her first instinct is to scurry back to the poorhouse where she grew up. But there she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it slowly dawns on her that she was the real target of the attack.
Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle. But when he is framed for his only relative’s murder he is forced to flee for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air.
Molly and Oliver each carry secrets in their blood–secrets that will either get them killed or save the world from an ancient terror. Thrown into the company of outlaws, thieves and spies as they flee their ruthless enemies, the two orphans are also aided by indomitable friends in this endlessly inventive tale full of drama, intrigue and adventure.
What I thought
My thoughts on this book are a lot like this book in itself–all over the place. On one hand, I struggled with it, and on the other hand, I loved it. So meanwhile, I’m also kinda wondering: what the hell did I just read?
This wasn’t my first rodeo–I’ve read high fantasy before. Even steampunk fantasy. But honestly? I feel like most of my struggles with this book could have been resolved with two things: a map and a glossary. Don’t mistake me, I’m certainly not one to complain when an author makes a reader do a little work when it comes to world building. But c’mon, throw a dog a bone, man. I finished this book feeling like I didn’t grasp a good portion of it, but also still kind of loving it.
Because for as confusing as this book could be, I tried to just ride the waves because I loved how unique and imaginative and different this was. I was totally sucked into this world as I read, even though I couldn’t even begin to try and describe it.
Overall, this has to be one of the strangest books I’ve ever read and one of of the strangest reading experiences I’ve ever had. I really don’t know if I’d recommend this to everyone, unless you’re in the mood for a challenge. As for me, I think I’d certainly like to continue this series–I’m not ready to be done with this world just yet.