A bounty hunter with a death wish. A girl with fearsome powers. A kingdom on the brink of destruction.
Serena dreams of leaving her unforgiving desert home far behind in her very own airship. But when an assassin’s knife meant for Serena kills her friend instead, the rebellious orphan ventures into the corrupt heart of the kingdom to discover who put a price on her head. With each new turn, she edges closer to uncovering the awful truth… And the mystical powers brewing deep within her.
After his fiancée’s death, soldier-turned-bounty hunter Tyson Gallows is eager to sacrifice his life in the line of duty. When a foreign enemy assassinates a high-ranking official, he vows to bring them to justice. On the hunt for a killer, Gallows exposes a sinister plot that proves his fiancée’s death was no accident.
Driven by revenge, Serena and Gallows must join forces to take down the conspiracy before the kingdom falls to ruin.
Symphony of the Wind is the first book in a gritty epic fantasy trilogy. If you like hardened heroes, bloody action, and dark magic and monsters, then you’ll love Steven McKinnon’s visceral adventure.
Buy Symphony of the Wind and climb aboard a brutal, breathtaking thrill ride today!
I was sent a digital copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Steven!
What an amazing, intriguing adventure this book was! The fast-paced action grabbed hold of me from the get go with the crew of the Liberty Wind airship getting caught in a deadly lightning storm, while trying to fulfill their water collecting duties as Raincatchers, and didn’t let go until the end! One of Steven McKinnon’s strengths is writing exciting, cinematic action sequences which are easily visualized, and he displays this talent again and again throughout this book.
We are introduced to the two main characters, Tyson Gallows, ex-soldier, now working as a Bounty Hunter alongside his partner Damien Fireri, and, green-haired orphan Serena whose heritage is a mystery and an important one at that!
This book has everything you could possibly ask for from a fantasy; genetically engineered monsters; undead “wraith” soldiers; airships; magic; mind altering drugs; a hero with PTSD; a filthily corrupt underworld; smuggling; a prophecy about a mind-controlling siren; siege warfare; conspiracy theories and even a famed songstress!
The city of Dalthea, where Symphony of the Wind is set, is corrupt, its watchmen easily bought and sold, it’s citizens starving and dying of thirst. Since the war against the Idari two years ago, which ended with a ignogen fusion bomb wiping out the fleet and poisoning the ocean, water has become a rarity and the Raincatchers are a necessity. Water tokens have become more valuable than money. McKinnon does a fantastic job of bringing this war-torn, steampunk world to life:
The cauldron-black walls of the skyport hangars curved like the Outer Wall that surrounded the city. Place used to be a fortress, and the black spikes on the ramparts made it easy to believe. Arching, metal ribcages steepled towards the sky like some hellish temple, threatening the pristine blue. Not the most welcoming sight, given it was the first thing folk would see when they disembarked.
There are multiple PoV characters in this book, each with completely different and solid backstories and with exciting story arcs. Their arcs are cleverly linked together with common background elements from the world of Dalthea appearing often in multiple character’s stories – Milo selling his tasty Kringla swirls, Elsie begging for water, the ever present news announcements over the Information Tower system – to name but a few. I loved this technique – they almost felt like Easter eggs each time one of them appeared.
I also loved feisty teenage Raincatcher’s apprentice Serena. She was independent and yet vulnerable. Keen to know more about what might be her tribe, she reads a book written by Myriel, the guildmaster of the Mages, who has taken her under her wing, and discovers a fear-inducing legend which could be tied up with her own destiny.
When Serena’s and Gallows’ story arcs meet we are plunged into a breakneck speed chase with the hunter becoming the hunted and each time you feel like you can maybe take a breath, yet another deadly peril appears to threaten their safety.
Symphony of the Wind is a relentless thrill ride – and a highly recommended one at that.
About the Author
Symphony of the Wind is Steven McKinnon’s first fiction novel, and is Book One of The Raincatcher’s Ballad. The Fury Yet To Come is a prequel novella set in the same world.
His first book, the true-life tale Boldly Going Nowhere, was released in 2015.
Steven was born in the bathroom of a Glasgow flat in the year 1986. He has since moved out.
To get the Raincatcher’s Ballad prequel novella — The Fury Yet To Come — for free, sign up to the author’s newsletter at http://subscribe.stevenmckinnon.net/