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K.M. McKinley

K. M. McInley resides near Inverness, in Scotland, not too far from Loch Ness, but not too close either. You never know what’s going to come out of the water.
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Gates of the World

Gates of the World — (2015-2016) Merchant, industrialist and explorer Trassan Kressind has an audacious plan – combining the might of magic and iron in the heart of a great ship to navigate an uncrossed ocean, seeking the city of the extinct Morfaan to uncover the secrets of their lost sciences. Ambition runs strongly in the Kressind family, and for each of Trassan’s siblings fate beckons. Soldier Rel is banished to a vital frontier, bureaucrat Garten balances responsibility with family loyalty, sister Katriona is determined to carve herself a place in a world of men, outcast Guis struggles to contain the energies of his soul, while priest Aarin dabbles in forbidden sorcery. The world is in turmoil as new money brings new power, and the old social order crumbles. And as mankind’s arts grow stronger, a terror from the ancient past awakens… This highly original fantasy depicts a unique world, where tired gods walk industrial streets and the tide’s rise and fall is extreme enough to swamp continents. Magic collides with science to create a rich backdrop for intrigue and adventure in the opening book of this epic saga.

The Iron Ship: A slow but richly immersive read

Readers’ average rating:

The Iron Ship by K.M. McKinley

K.M. McKinley
’s The Iron Ship is a sprawling, slow build of a story that mostly follows the POV exploits of five siblings whose stories generally wend their own way, though each intersects with the others in varying ways and to varying degrees. With its large cast, leisurely characterization, separate plots, unhurried approach to worldbuilding, and focus on an accretion of detail (admittedly, sometimes to a somewhat befuddling amount), I can’t say McKinley’s debut is particularly energetic or compelling. But it does suck you in even as it acts as mostly prelude to what is to come.

The setting is “Earth” (not our Earth, McKinley is at pains to tell us in her afterword), a world with two moons and a sister planet known as the Twin that may possibly be edging ever nearer as part of a millennia-long cycle. Mo... Read More

The City of Ice: Still slow moving, but a worthy follow-up in a fascinating series

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The City of Ice by K.M. McKinley

I was going to start out this review of K.M. McKinley’s The City of Ice (2016) by saying that I could pretty much cut and paste the first paragraph of my review of its predecessor The Iron Ship, since it matched exactly what I’d say about The City of Ice. But then I realized why say I could when I actually can do that. So here it is, with some edits.

The Iron Ship City of Ice is a sprawling, slow build of a story that mostly follows the POV exploits of five siblings whose stories generally wend their own way. With its large cast, ... Read More

Bill chats with K.M. McKinley

This week K.M. McKinley, author of The Iron Ship, stops by to answer some questions about her fascinating debut novel set in a quasi-industrial world and centered on a quintet of siblings. It’s a book you’ll want to pick up, so read on to learn how it came about. We’ll be giving away a copy of The Iron Ship to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Bill Capossere: One of the aspects I liked quite a bit about The Iron Ship was that we were presented with a world with a clear sense of a future via industrial/technological mom... Read More