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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
R.S. Hunter’s steampunk novel, The Exile's Violin, Book I of the Tethys Chronicles, is led by a tough, one-eyed private detective, Jacquie Renairre. She has been quietly investigating her parents' murder with her late uncle, Serge, and their work has paid off. Now she will hunt down the people responsible for murdering her parents and reclaim her father’s guns and key. Much to her annoyance, socialite Clay Baneport joins her as her new partner, or rather a sidekick. When they are hired to investigate a conspiracy to start a war, Jacquie and Clay are about to discover the vital connection between the conflict, her father’s key and an ancient legend.
To begin with, I love the cover design. It's definitely eye-catching and superbly reflects the story. The Exile’s Violin isn't a saccharine or mild steampunk fiction, nor is its lead character Jacquie Renairre. She was hurt as a child and her revenge does include killing. The pace of the story is somewhat slow, yet the action scenes more than make up for it when they occur. Overall, The Exile's Violin would make a great movie. The premise has originality even though the direction of the plot isn't entirely unfamiliar. I’m a fan of strong female characters and Jacquie doesn't disappoint me. Clay is ideal as her charming sidekick - his wittiness provides humor for any situation that the pair face. The duo grows in terms of characterization as the story progresses, and this element is wonderfully done by Hunter.