Tales of the Captain Duke by Rebecca Diem

May 05, 2018

To the winds, to the clouds, to a life lived well,
Take me up to the sky!
To the heavens above and the land far below,
Pilot, keep to the sky!
To the sun on your face and the stars in your eyes,
Captain! Give us the sky! 

Tales of the Captain Duke center around Clara, a stowaway with a secret and a very dusty ballgown. When the ship she steals away on is overtaken by pirates she will have to use her wits AND etiquette classes to save their lives and begin her life of piracy aboard an airship in a fictional steampunk Victorian world.

This series is a fun rousting saga full of spunk and colourful characters and of course, the charming Captain Duke with his fiery red hair and dimples. (I'm swooning okay? I picture him as an even more roguish/handsome version of Prince Adam.) I had so much fun reading the four novellas about the steampunk Robin Hood of the sky and his crew. I was also vaguely reminded of Firefly, especially after meeting Captain Marie Buchanan who, in my mind, was a dead ringer for Zoe Washburne who is one of my favourite characters ever. Diem's characters are all lively and full of Victorian charm while taking you on an adventure full of piracy, romance, and a slew of females demanding equality. Diem writes strong women who fight for their spot in an era where women were dainty incapable creatures and pants were exclusive to men. (Heck yes to strong females!) The world building is also incredibly believable with the proper dialogue, the different airships, and even the sibling arguments. 

This series is steampunk, but you don't have to have a gigantic knowledge OR love for steampunk to appreciate the story. It is subtle and never laid plainly about in an info dump. As far as I know this is my first encounter with steampunk (I've read quite a lot of books so I don't always remember everything I've read. This is what happens when you start life out as a bookworm.) and I really enjoyed it!

These are fast reads with appropriate amounts of action, romance, and interesting world building. I really had so much fun reading them!

If you like Firefly, Robin Hood, a dashing male character, or a good romping adventure tale, this series is for you! Of Tempest and Teacups, the final novella in the series will be published May 21st, on Victoria Day so get your orders in!

my rating: 3.75/5

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