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Mages & Mechanisms
Devin Harnois. October Night, $8.81 trade paper (244p) ISBN 978-1-72494-383-5
Harnois (Shadowmancer) blends magic and steampunk into an entertaining gay romance. Leander Weatherford, a 24-year-old artisan of beautiful clockwork creatures, seeks to save his family’s faltering business by employing a mage to bind spirits to his creations and so keep up with the latest fad. He hires Jak Higashi, a foreigner with a forged mage license fleeing a shadowy past. The duo finds immediate success thanks to Jak’s charming salesmanship and unusually gentle approach to inviting spirits to animate Leander’s machines. Their skill catches the notice of unconventional Baroness Wilhelmina Norrington, who offers them a shocking sum to make her a life-size dragon companion and whisks them off to the imperial capital to work. Closeted Leander frets over his attraction to Jak, worried about the disapproval of a society that accepts queerness among the upper classes but remains bigoted against the common folk. Leander’s fears, though, are no match for Jak’s flirting and the pair embark on a secret sexual relationship. Sensitive and steamy sex scenes and smooth worldbuilding make for a thoroughly pleasurable reading experience. This is a fun, escapist treat. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 06/19/2020

Release date 08/01/2018

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