The Aeronaut's Windlass

  • by Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by Euan Morton
  • 21 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jim Butcher, the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors....
Since time immemorial the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion - to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake....


What the Critics Say

"Obie Award winner and Scottish-born Euan Morton narrates this sprawling opening volume of The Cinder Spires with the spirit of a buccaneer and an ear for a couple of dozen different vocal rhythms and dialects from the British Isles. Morton is especially adept at naturally carrying on the conversations between the growling shipmates and the highborn Gwen. Morton keeps the action moving and speaks 'cat' perfectly." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Brave New World

From the creator of such works of art as the “Furies of Calderon” and “The Dresden Files” Jim Butcher has now focused his immense talent onto, what is being called, the steampunk genre in his latest series, ”The Cinder Spires.”
Steampunk seems to be the latest trending term devising the name from a blending of sci-fi and fantasy with technology and aesthetic design inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery and the cyber punk genre.
The first book, “The Aeronaut’s Windlass,” is rich in Old World aristocratic political structures known as Spires, vintage clothing,” blended with magnificent airships, (reminding me of the airships in the “Grimm Noir” trilogy by Larry Correa) contesting in aerial naval battles, and other typical noir references usually associated with steampunk.
The plot moves quickly and Mr. Butcher introduces many characters and multiple action scenes that, at first seem distracting but soon become distinguishable and fit the story well. Bridget, scion of a once-prominent noble house on the verge of ruin and her cat, Rowl, Highborn Gwendolyn Lancaster, her “warrior born” cousin, Benedict; the grizzled Captain Grimm; and master etherealist Ferus and his assistant, Folly are a motley group of disgraced veterans and novices that are sent off to stop the mysterious force behind a very coordinated and deadly series of attacks on Spire Albion by its rival, Spire Aurora.
There is plenty of action and the society is open for some political backstabbing. I always think that it is a good book when you wonder what is going to happen next.
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- D "I read, I write; I listen"

The Aeronauts

If this were not such a trusted author, I am not sure I would have continued after the first few chapters. We are begin with a character who is brilliant, but bored and in order to get what she wants, which is to join the Guard, she is willing to blast her way out of her mother's drawing room. Her Mother tells her house guards that her opposition to her daughter's leaving is really manipulative. Because the daughter only does things she thinks other people do not want her to do, the Mother is only pretending to oppose her. HUH? So what military unit would accept a spoiled brat, where is the wind ship Captain?

But this is Jim Butcher and yes, his characters grow and learn. And the reader is delighted to be with them. The characters and their story lines are woven together so skillfully that by the end of the book, which by the way is non stop action, we not only know them well, but are invested in them. When the book ends we miss them. Jim Butcher just gets better.

I am not sure why the narrator read this book as if he were quietly teaching a course in Victorian literature at one of the British Universities. I think the publishers, really should rethink the direction given to this reader. The choice of voice used here would be great for Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, even Bram Stoker. But the people in this book are warriors.

Euan Morton is a skilled narrator. I listened to his early work, in which he did a credible American soldier's accent, and seamlessly went into an SAS operative, along with family members of these two men. So in spite of the skills he brought to this book, the Publishers chose the most low key academic voice, even during a deadly battle of wind ships, hand to hand combat, and Pub brawls.

And still this is a great book. It is well worth the time spent listening to it.
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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-29-2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio