Author: KZ Snow
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/29/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
One day a shadow is cast on the Mechanical Circus, a rollicking seaside carnival where imagination meets machinery, when a tall, cloaked figure approaches the stand of Will Marchman, a young patent-medicine salesman. Thus begins the adventures of Will; Fanule Perfidor, commonly known as the Dog King; vampire Clancy Marrowbone; and Clancy’s former lover, the mortal Simon Bentcross
This trilogy has been on my radar for ages, and I’m not sure why I didn’t read it. I am glad I got the opportunity to read them altogether though, and to review them, because they’re really, really good.
The Mongrels of the title are part human, and part something else, and to be allowed to mix with the Pures their racial mixture is marked on their skin. Some mongrels pass for human , and are not marked, but some have webbed hands, furry ears, tails etc. And they live in Taintwell, a village/ ghetto outside of the city of Purinton. Fanule Perfidor (Fan) is the elected leader of Taintwell and at a mechanical circus meets Will Marchman who’s an elixir salesman at the circus. The attraction between the two is immediate, and despite mongrels being deeply unwelcome at the circus Fan and Will begin an affair. Another resident of Taintwell is a sensitive ghost, who fears that the elixir Will sells is not all it seems, and at the same time Fan is investigating the sinister disappearance of mongrels. As the relationship between Fan, who has manic and depressive episodes, and Will deepens, so does the mystery over the disappearances. Mongrel also introduces us to Clancy Marrowbone, a vampire and former lover of Fan and Simon Bentcross a human and former lover of Will.
In Merman the second book in the trilogy Clancy and Simon, who dallied briefly in Mongrel, have been apart for 2 years, while Fan and Will have been together for 2. The merman is an old, old friend of Clancy’s , who Clancy tries to help as he claims to be alone and hunted. Simon, who know lives in Taintwell, distrusts the situation but because Clancy’s immortality and avoidance of settling down is loath to say or do anything about it. As Fan and will also get pulled into the mystery of the Merman, Clancy has to decide what he wants, and how or if he will change his ways.
Merman does a great job of linking the couple from Mongrel and expanding on the relationship between Clancy and Simon and at the same time reinforcing how distrustful those outside Taintwell are of people who are different.
In Machine, the final part of the trilogy we get to discover the origins of Mongrels, also to see how our heroes are doing. Machine focuses on the Spiritorium, which claims to be able to cleanse people, Fan is not taking the tonic that allows him to control his moods, and ends up driving Will away. At the same time Clancy and Simon have their own issues , then Clancy disappears. Machine was more adventure the romance in the main, and a thrilling ending to the trilogy.
KZ Snow created a fascinating world with characters I really cared about, the balance of romance, mystery and adventure was extremely well done and I loved the world of Taintwell, and also the relationship between Fan and Will.
Highly recommended, also the covers are stunning !
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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