Alchemy and mechanical construct come together to form Clakkers; robot servants with awareness, driven by varying levels of geas to make their owners lives easier.

“What mechanicals might or should not know is irrelevant. They obey those they are made to obey, protect those they are built to protect, and slaughter those they are told to kill.”

page 50

In the Louis XIV era, the French harnessing the Clakker technology is top priority in order to turn the tides against the Dutch’s own Clakker forces. But what happens when one goes rogue, wanting to be free and free others?

Why is this on our bookshelf?

George R.R. Martin’s endorsement goes a long way, but if that’s not enough for you, Ian Tregillis is a Clarion alum, and holds a Ph.D. in physics. As an already accomplished author, there’s plenty of reasons to make room for this on our shelf.

Rating (4 stars)

Having only read one other of Ian Tregillis’ novels (which was also heavy on the religious and philosophical subject matter), I knew I was going to enjoy The Mechanical.

Many of the same ideas made an appearance here in a slightly different format/setting. There’s a LOT to think about in this tale, and it’s presented beautifully. From the setting, to the characters, it’s simply gorgeous.