The Sin in the Steel by Ryan Van Loan
English | 2020| Fantasy | ePUB | 10.5 MB
Ryan Van Loan’s The Sin in the Steel is a sparkling debut fantasy set in a diverse world, featuring dead gods, a pirate queen, shapeshifting mages, and a Sherlockian teenager determined to upend her society.
Heroes for hire. If you can pay.
Brilliant street-ratHer mind leaps from clues to conclusions in the blink of an eye.
No. Not in crime—in crime-solving.
They’ve been hired for their biggest job yet—one that will set them up for a life of ease.
If they survive.
Buc and Eld are the first private detectives in a world where pirates roam the seas, mages speak to each other across oceans, mechanical devices change the tide of battle, and earthly wealth is concentrated in the hands of a powerful few.
It’s been weeks since ships last returned to the magnificent city of Servenza with bounty from the Shattered Coast. Disaster threatens not just the city’s trading companies but the empire itself. When Buc and Eld are hired to investigate, Buc swiftly discovers that the trade routes have become the domain of a sharp-eyed pirate queen who sinks all who defy her.
Now all Buc and Eld have to do is sink the Widowmaker’s ship….
Unfortunately for Buc, the gods have other plans.
Unfortunately for the gods, so does Buc.
I looked up at that, expecting to see a dark room awash with lantern light glittering off the blades and saws and pincers meant to pry the truth from our lips whether we willed it or no.
“Do we now?” Whatever else I meant to say caught on my tongue as my eyes finally took in the room they’d brought us to. Gods. Guard forgotten, I looked past the woman and felt my mouth slacken. No torture table here, but something far more dangerous.
They’d brought us to a library—at least that is the only word our tongue has for it—but “a library” meted it poor justice. It was labyrinth-like in its shelves that rose from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, with the far wall a dim specter in the distance, barely illuminated by a score or more of chandeliers. It wasn’t the size of the space but the sheer quantity of what it held that made my throat clench as if in want of water. Books … no, tomes, packed side by side on every shelf, sometimes stacked double in height. Everywhere my eyes turned there was another cover in mismatched bindings and sizes and colors staring back at me, another voice to be discovered, another bit of information to banish my ignorance, another morsel of magic to be consumed.
Three hundred and sixty-seven. Even Eld hasn’t read as many books as I have, and he’s old. I’d thought myself well-read, versed in the subjects of enlightenment, but here was a treasure to beggar my meager achievements. Here was a sun to my mere pinprick in the darkness. I could spend a dozen years here and not finish. I inhaled deeply, absorbing the dusty incense into my bones; a shiver covered me in gooseflesh. A dozen years.
The musket barrel pressed harder against my neck, bringing me back to the reality of my situation—on my knees with a gun to my head and enough evidence painting Eld and me as murderers to see us executed on the spot.
“You’ve a need for friends.”
“I have friends,” I said, trying and failing to keep my gaze from wandering across the shelves behind her. One. Anyway. “But I’m not sure I follow you.”