By Fire Above: A Signal Airship Novel

Robyn Bennis. Tor, $25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8879-7
Capt. Josette Dupre and the crew of the airship Mistral return (following 2017’s The Guns Above) in a more introspective study of the morality of war in a fantastical steampunk setting. Spending time in her nation’s capital city, Kuchin, to refurbish her doughty craft and provide a morale boost for the citizens, Dupre is forced to maneuver through social encounters as dangerous to her career as direct combat. Advised by her tagalong noble, Lord Bernat Hinkal, and his attractive older brother, Roland, Dupre survives a royal audience and goes on a mission to liberate her hometown from the occupying Vinzhalian army, only to find that the simple matter of battle is complicated by treason and mutiny. Bennis opens and closes with fierce combat sequences and layers in knotty questions about how to distinguish loyalty and romance from love, and balance obedience to superiors with duty to subordinates, all starkly highlighted by the life-or-death decisions forced on the characters. Readers will hear both the crackle of musket fire and the heartfelt cries of honest self-admission in this rich adventure. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
Release date: 05/15/2018
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