Blog Tour & New Release: Clockwork Gypsy (The Enchanter Chronicles #2) by Jeri Westerson
A diabolical plot is afoot to kill thousands by connecting England’s railway lines to a deadly curse. The beautiful and mysterious Mingli Zhao, Special Inspector to Scotland Yard, enlists the help of Leopold Kazsmer, the Great Enchanter, who uses his skills with summoning Jewish daemons to perform true magic to help solve supernatural crimes. Meanwhile, a Hungarian Romani—part man, part clockwork—will stop at nothing to kill the man he believes is responsible for his hell of an existence that is slowly grinding his mind into the nothingness of gears and pistons. It’s a race against time for Leopold to stop the fiendish plot of the railway barons, fight off a plutocratic society of goblins, struggle to gain the romantic attentions of Miss Zhao…and discover the identity of the Clockwork Gypsy before he kills again.
Genre: Faeries, Mystery, Steampunk, Supernatural, Suspense--
Picking up six months from the end of the The Daemon Device, Leopold Kazsmer is still trying to figure out what his new normal is. After his world was thrown upside down, he is off balance and uncertain where his future lies- as well as his confusing feelings for the absent investigator Mingli. When Mingli shows up out of the blue to get Leopold's help on a very complicated supernatural case, Leopold is jumps in with both feet. Hopefully he can figure out his feelings for Mingli, solve the case and stay one step ahead of the person stalking him.
The Enchanter Chronicles can best be described as a historical mystery with supernatural and steampunk elements. The mystery felt very methodical, with an almost Sherlock Holmes vibe, where every lead is followed and facts are discovered and the puzzle pieces are assembled. But then we add in the supernatural elements such as demons, magic, fae and scary goblins that want to eat people and the craziest kind of glamour. And sprinkle in a dash of steampunk with spectacles that allow other dimensions to be viewed, umbrellas that are more than meets the eye, men who are not made of flesh, inspectors who have inventions that are so intricate they are almost magic themselves.
My favorite part of the story is all characters and the dynamic between them. We have Leopold who is very naïve for a demon summoner/Romani thief/very public magician, always being prim and proper in every situation and having no idea how to act on his romantic feelings. He is the main character so we know him very well and I found him to be very real, full of doubts and uncertainty just like anyone else. But the side characters were just as detailed and interesting as Leopold, and I loved them all together. We have a demon best friend/parent-like figure, an automaton that gives tarot readings and has the most human emotions, a ghost detective who should never have been made into a ghost, and a mysterious no-nonsense female investigator who shows up out of the blue and mixes everything up in the best of ways.
This series is 100% unique and the perfect choice for anyone who likes a paranormal twists to their classic historical mystery. You will never see the surprises coming, but I strongly recommend picking up the first book and starting there!
Catch up on The Enchanter Chronicles!
Book Blurb:The Daemon Device (The Enchanter Chronicles #1) by Jeri Westerson
London, 1891. Prince Albert has survived his brush with death. Dirigibles, like dark leviathans, surge through the sooty air of London. Steam powers the engines that supply electricity to the new electric lights along the Thames. And Jack the Ripper appears to be on the loose again on the seamy streets.
Someone is killing women and gutting them for their body parts. Is it Jack, or a far more sinister plot afoot than murder?
Leopold Kazsmer is a magician, the Great Enchanter. Ashamed of his Jewish-Gypsy heritage, he has fashioned himself into a proper English gentleman, though he harbors a carefully guarded secret; He has learned the dangerous art of summoning daemons. When he was a child, a tattoo was bestowed upon his wrist by the denizens of the Otherworld…the same night his father was killed. Though it gives him true magical powers once he’s made a sacrifice of blood, it is also his curse, for through it the creatures of nightmares have become aware of him.
With the help of Raj, a tarot-reading automated man, and Eurynomos, a shrewd Jewish daemon who helped Leopold through his tragic childhood, Leopold must discover what is behind the revolting murders that suddenly seem to involve tight-lipped German scientists, guarded Romani, ghosts, and the beautiful Special Inspector, Mingli Zhao. Is she truly from the secret depths of Scotland Yard or is she instead a heartless spy and murderess?
In a breakneck chase through London’s streets and fighting hand-to-wand high in the skies inside a lethal airship, Leopold must destroy a secret society to defeat their plan for world domination, unmask the girl, and rescue his daemon friend from the deadly Daemon Device before all is lost.
The rich history of demons or daemons (same pronunciation) is convoluted and complicated and ultimately up to the eye of the beholder.
“Daemons”—the helpful kind as opposed to “demons”, the decidedly unhelpful kind, play an important role in my gaslamp fantasy/steampunk Enchanter Chronicles series, that follows the adventures of my Jewish/Romani magician, Leopold Kazsmer, the Great Enchanter, who finds himself mixed up in supernatural crimes he often helps Scotland Yard to solve. He learned the dangerous art of summoning Jewish daemons at his father’s knee. Though, as it turns out, his father was drawn into the Otherworld of Gehenna and sacrificed his life for his son and died there.
Or did he?
Though daemons help my fictional magician perform true magic, I have plucked my own version of daemons and demons from the rich tapestry of lore about the supernatural. The lore starts, naturally enough, in Genesis, though you have to go to the Talmud—a compendium of essays and arguments about what every part of the Old Testament means—that explains the emergence of demons and tries to argue that God could not have created such evil.
The Talmud describes that demons were created at the twilight of the sixth day and put the blame on the sin of Adam and Eve. Other traditions blame it on fallen angels or the offspring of humans and fallen angels. Still other traditions put the blame on Lilith (the real first woman rejected by Adam—he seems picky for the only guy on the planet) and uses sex with other men (where did they come from?) to produce demons.
Now these demon fellows wreak havoc and plague humans with all sorts of evil, from simple temptations to complicated and unpleasant shenanigans, including possessing the body.
But the daemons I concentrate on for my fictional purposes come from the Greek idea of benevolent nature spirits. They are lesser deities or even a guiding spirit. It is the Latinized form for the Ancient Greek and Indo-European word “daimon”, meaning “god”, “godlike”, “power”, “fate” as well as “provider” and “divider” from the latter root. You can see how this sort of creature pitted against the Judeo-Christian nemesis can make for interesting drama. And an interesting take for one’s own lore.
The realm of Gehenna—the place souls go at death, the gate to the afterlife, which the Hebrew Scriptures are virtually silent about—is where my daemons and demons reside, and can only come to our plane when summoned. But it doesn’t mean that those with evil intent can’t summon them. Light, dark, good, evil all clash in the universal struggle. Hey, it’s an old trope but it still works.
Los Angeles native JERI WESTERSON is the author of historical novels and fourteen Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Mystery novels, a series nominated for thirteen national awards from the Agatha to the Shamus. Jeri also writes the Enchanter Chronicles, a historical fantasy/steampunk mystery series, the latest of which is CLOCKWORK GYPSY and releases, appropriately enough, on Halloween. Both THE DAEMON DEVICE and CLOCKWORK GYPSY ebooks are 99 cents! See her other books—medieval mysteries, historical fiction, paranormal books, and an LGBT mystery series—at JeriWesterson.com