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The Censor's Hand is a magnificent debut
October 3, 2017
The Censor's Hand Book One of the Thrice~Crossed Swords Trilogy by A.M. Steiner Ptolemy Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 14 May 2017
A M Steiner has a great future as a writer. The Censor’s Hand is a captivating fantasy with a unique worldview and an unusual and uncanny take on magic. The masters of magic do so by going to strange and unusual extremes. There is not one way to do magic. It is highly individualized. It is also highly profitable and previously open only to men. The masters of the Honourable Company of Cunning sell their endeavors to the highest bidder. This has caused the rise and ruin of many including Jonathan - a man whose mill hasn’t fared well since the winds have been diverted by magic.
The story begins with a conspiracy and a murder. From there we are introduced to the main characters. Miranda - an extremely able young woman, a genius who wants to become a master of the cunning arts, something no woman has ever been permitted to do. Daniel is determined to become a censor, a guardian of justice, both to protect his family and to make amends for his sister’s disappearance long ago. Jonathan his brother is struggling to survive, and is willing to take drastic steps - but he is the last to expect how far he is willing to go to ensure his family’s survival.
This is the first novel of the series, and if the two to follow are anywhere as good, readers will be in for a treat. I enjoyed The Censor’s Hand immensely and look forward to reading the next novel in the Thrice-Crossed Swords Trilogy.
5 / 5
I received a copy of The Censor’s Hand from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
"We do not dabble with magic; we capture it, structure it and sell it."
So claim the powerful masters of the Honourable Company of Cunning. Operating from the forbidding island of the Convergence, their arcane works have reshaped society. Now a censor, a guardian of justice, has been murdered in their midst and a terrifying conspiracy will be revealed.
Miranda, one of the hundred adopted daughters of the Dowager Duchess, wants nothing more than to become a master of the cunning arts. Only a fool would doubt her genius, but never before has a woman been permitted to wield such power.
Jonathan faces ruin. The sails of his mill haven't turned since the Company diverted the winds of Bromwich to their advantage. He's always been a devout and law-abiding man. How far will he go to protect his family from destitution and the gangsters at his doorstep?
If Daniel, his brother, passes the tests to become a censor, maybe he could protect them. He might even get the chance to make amends for what happened to their sister. But in the real world, justice is elusive, and the damage of the past can rarely be undone.