The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey by Shawn Speakman – Review

Published: September 7, 2021

Publisher: Grim Oak Press

Series: The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey #1

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 320 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 3.5/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

Forever shamed for family actions a century earlier, Antiquity Grey is a young woman living in a far-future city of Erth. It is a life of danger and hardship, dragons and advanced technology.

But when she discovers an outlawed and operational mech buried in the sands of her planet, she realizes its secrets hold the power to reverse her family’s dishonor while challenging the Imperium’s off-world oppressive might.


This was purely a cover/title request and I don’t regret it at all! I mean, who can resist a book about a girl with an illegal mech trying to overthrow the oppressive ruling class? Certainly not me! 

Antiquity Grey is a headstrong, inquisitive girl and during one of her many explorations, she uncovers a mech in the desert. Turns out it was the mech that her grandmother had piloted during the war, but it was sabotaged and it appeared that she had fled the battle she was about to enter. Thus was Antiquity’s family grey-shamed, their name and power stripped and forgotten by all. 

Of course Antiquity pilots the found mech into the city to be seen by all. She naively thinks people will be happy, but it only terrifies them for the danger it presents. When she must flee for her life, she’s joined by two of her childhood friends and one of her enemies. They meet fascinating people along the way and must stay ahead of the ever-present danger that lurks behind them.

The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey is a good book somewhere between YA and Adult fantasy and will appeal to both audiences. The characters may be teens, but the plot is quite serious in nature and fortunately doesn’t have any of the YA tropes that can be a big turn off to some readers. While I didn’t immediately connect with the characters I did grow to like them as the story progressed and they became more three dimensional. I like the blend of sci-fi and fantasy elements – mechs, dragons, and oppressors who live in the stars made the story extra special. I’m not 100% I’ll continue on with the series, but this was pretty enjoyable.

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