Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Legacy of the Clockwork Key by Kristin Bailey


This book caught my attention on Edelweiss because of the title. I have a thing for keys and am just naturally drawn to them. I’m glad that my obsession brought me to this whimsical book by Kristin Bailey who is also from my neck of the woods.  Legacy of the Clockwork Key has a lot of elements that will be sure to capture many readers. Readers who enjoy historical romance, steampunk and adventures like Sherlock Holmes with a little surprise science fiction will become a fan of this series; this book has it all. Oh and so sorry for not explaining the science fiction part of this book, it would just spoil it. I can easily compare this book to Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard. I know a lot of readers fell head over heals for Dennard’s mix of genres and feel theses readers specifically should check out Legacy of the Clockwork Key.

Kristin Bailey has a unique writing style that is very graceful. She can make a simple task as making a bed seem elegant. Meg captured me on the very first page. Her circumstances have changed abruptly and Bailey weaves Meg’s past and present situation neatly, which is what kept me glued to her story. The storytelling of Meg’s background is never jolting. I would say it’s more intimate and cozy. But Bailey does know when to light the powder keg and does it constantly during the many adventures that take place in this book. In a London Victorian setting I visited secret chambers, a dusty doll shop, rode in a mechanical carriage, sailed a ship and even took a stroll in a labyrinth. I mean come on people that’s a lot of adventure packed into a single book, and I didn’t even include everything. Plus, it’s set for a sequel so you have to read Legacy of the Clockwork Key now.    

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Summary:

A teen girl unravels the mysteries of a secret society and their most dangerous invention in this adventure-swept romance set in Victorian London.

When a fire consumes Meg’s home, killing her parents and destroying both her fortune and her future, all she has left is the tarnished pocket watch she rescued from the ashes. But this is no ordinary timepiece. The clock turns out to be a mechanical key—a key that only Meg can use—that unlocks a series of deadly secrets and intricate clues that Meg is compelled to follow.

Meg has uncovered evidence of an elite secret society and a dangerous invention that some will stop at nothing to protect—and that Meg alone can destroy. Together with the handsome stable hand she barely knows but hopes she can trust, Meg is swept into a hidden world of deception, betrayal, and revenge. The clockwork key has unlocked her destiny in this captivating start to a trilogy.


This review will a bit longer than others because I fell in love with all the characters and settings. I have never highlighted so many favorite parts of a book before. So let’s get down to Meg. She is an intuitively smart young lady. She misses her family and is left alone with only memories to comfort her. These memories are what will get her through her adventure to seek out the truth. Her stature prior to her housemaid status is what makes her funny at times. She is very respectful and when in the presence of Will the groom who lives in the carriage house, she becomes a bit fluttered and timid by his dismissal of such things as his bracers (suspenders) not being on his shoulders properly. Meg goes from a proper young lady to a lady with bite when her key takes her on a journey to discover the secrets of her family. I thought that it was sweet when Meg realizes what the key actually is and how important she was to her grandfather.

Will survives on nothing but his wits. He has a tragic story that I don’t entirely believe is finished. I may just be hoping that it is included somehow in the sequel. He is similar to Meg in a lot of ways but the loss of family and being alone is the most prominent. Meg sees him as a mystery at first only because she isn’t sure if he can be trusted. He is very loyal to their superior who lives in the house they both work in. Will is sort of the innocent in this journey. Everyone has a reason to search for answers but I suppose his reason is Meg. After he develops feelings for Meg he feels he isn’t good enough for her because of his lack of stature, and it broke my heart when he tells Meg, “I would ruin you, Meg.”  Kristin Bailey gives him very memorable dialogue.

Oliver and Lucinda are like the Han Solo and Leia of this book. They are two adults who have been friends since childhood. Oliver and Lucinda provide romantic tension because of their history. Oliver is a man of privilege who serves as a guide for Meg in her adventure. He does not look down on others and always takes an opportunity to flirt with Lucinda who does not exactly welcome it. Lucinda is a wonderful friend to Meg and is much like a big sister to her. I enjoyed her because of the fire Bailey gives her.

There are so many reasons why I loved The Legacy of the Clockwork Key. I will certainly be attached to this book for a while. The adventures are something that a reader wouldn’t normally tie together. A world filled with beautifully detailed machines of brass that are invented to ride over ground, on sea, and in air still float in my mind because I want to see them. I wanted to see the drawings and the plans for them as Bailey described them. I also wanted to see the automaton’s that come to life and the smirk Will gives Meg when discovering them. The scene on the ship reminded me of movies like The Goonies and Pirates of the Caribbean with a sprinkle of Stardust.

Can you tell how in love with this book I am? I will definitely have to own a physical copy of this book because I found the story so beautiful and hopefully one day will add it to my growing signed collection. I highly recommend this book and encourage people to share it with teachers, librarians, and any other readers you can think of. 


Kristin Bailey is currently on a Blog Tour promoting The Legacy of the Clockwork Key. Click HERE for a list of her stops. 

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