The Rising – Ian Tregillis

The Rising

Published: 1 December 2015
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 480
Series: The Alchemy Wars #2
Format Read: Audible


Jax, a rogue Clakker, has wreaked havoc upon the Clockmakers’ Guild by destroying the Grand Forge. Reborn in the flames, he must begin his life as a free Clakker, but liberation proves its own burden.

Berenice, formerly the legendary spymaster of New France, mastermind behind her nation’s attempts to undermine the Dutch Hegemony — has been banished from her homeland and captured by the Clockmakers Guild’s draconian secret police force.

Meanwhile, Captain Hugo Longchamp is faced with rallying the beleaguered and untested defenders of Marseilles-in-the-West for the inevitable onslaught from the Brasswork Throne and its army of mechanical soldiers.


I just realised that it is nearing the end of the month already and I am still behind on my reviews for last month so I am going to keep the coming few reviews as short as possible to make up for lost time. I know, it is probably not ideal, but who has time to read through a nine page essay on my thoughts of a book, right?

The Rising was the follow up to Tregillis’ novel The Mechanical that I did a re read of late last year in preparation for book 2. I got exactly what I asked for in my original review and I really liked the way that the story was going. Although Jax took a bit of a back seat in this one to find his own way and the things he learns about his new freedom. I liked the inclusion of so many references to Peter Pan. Not how that boy stole unsuspecting kids to go and live in his fever dream, but the fact that some one could sell a lie and make millions of other “free” automatons think themselves free, only to find out that they are only mind controlled by a much older version of themselves, the shackles only shifted to a false leader, surprise surprise… Also calling Queen Mab´s domain Neverland was a good fit. What I liked that this book did was that it painted the mechanicals trying to find humanity in a world where humans seemed to be near totally devoid of it. Humans ,as most of us should know by now, are pieces of shit. Not everyone, mind, but it only takes a few to give us all a bad name.

Father Visser, the priest that got a total raw deal at the end of the first book, that I said I wanted to see more of, got a total redeemed story line. If he will ever be the same I highly doubt, but I was happy to see him get some sort of peace and that some one finally could help him out of his torture. The scenes where he was involved were quite visceral and violent, but I liked it.

Bernice on the other hand, always scheming, always looking out for herself also got what I had hoped for and at the same time I was glad to see that one of her plans work against her. She never saw Jax´s way of thinking or reckoned it into her schemes and I was happy to have Jax once again come out on top, where the third book will take me I have no way of knowing yet as the aftermath of books one and two just opened sooo many new avenues that Tregillis can take me on.

Another mechanical I was happy to see back was Lilith. Half renegade from the first novel, turned free agent, turned Clockmakers´ play thing, got her revenge in as well. She was a great companion to read along side Jax´s journey and it proved that no two mechanicals can see focus lens to focus lens, yet still coexist and find a way to grow closer together. That sentence in no way implies that there was a love story in this novel, I am merely stating that we could all learn a lot from it if we took the time to be more tolerant towards one another.

Longchamp, on the French side was also very funny to read about. A hard ass commander with the task to conscript his whole nation in preparation for the Dutch-Mechanical assault. His very creative way of telling his subordinates off and secretly being a softy himself, he was the right pick for that side of the book. I have never seen or heard of a take no shit, kick ass and take statements later, but also knits underpants and clothes for the many orphanages in his area, it was rather sweet.

Storywise I have difficulty in remembering everything that went on as it´s been over a month since I finished this novel… We were still in an alternative version of history, where the Dutch were bad as they came up with the mechanicals, and the French had to cower behind their high walls and resort to infiltrating them with spies to hope to glean at least some form of secret as to the inner workings of the Clockmakers Guild. There were, as with the first novel, quite some colourful swearing going on. I will never look at a tulip and not think of it as a swear word again…

The Rising got a 4 out of 5 on GR. I can only recommend it to those that have read the first novel and liked it. And perhaps to people looking for alternate history steampunk with the added mix of Alchemical magic into it.

So much for keeping things short…

Till next time

8 thoughts on “The Rising – Ian Tregillis

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