Giant metal dragons, hundreds of years of war, a touch of magic, and a dash of politics make up the Havemercy universe.
Sometimes you pick up a book and a few pages in you realize “Holy snap, there’s a lot going on here.” In addition to steampunk dragons, political intrigue, and homosexual scandals, the Havemercy series also plants itself into a vaguely magical sort of world, with a select few with magical abilities that is used fight what seems like a never-ending war.
While Havemercy is something of a complicated premise told from the perspectives of four characters, their entwined stories provide a surprisingly unified plot that slowly fills out a world that otherwise might be a bit overwhelming.
To make things simple, the story splits up into two sets of characters.
Royston is a disgraced magician sent to live in the countryside, much to his aristocratic city-boy dismay. Hal is his brother’s children’s country-boy tutor. Royston was exiled in the first place for sleeping with the wrong noble boy, and so young and naive Hal is sure to be more than a little tempting. Hal is an intellectual trapped in the countryside with little to do but read, so Royston’s knowledge of the rest of the world is its own temptation.
Back in the capital city of Volstov, Rook and Thom are not so much facing temptation as absolute hatred. Rook, all around badass with a bad attitude, is a pilot for magic/machine dragon Havemercy, which is used to fight neighboring enemies the Ke-Han. Thom, student and all around nerd, has been selected to try to teach Rook and his fellow pilots basic social skills, which they are all severely lacking.
All the while, war is raging on the borders and a mysterious illness is sweeping through Thremedon.
I won’t say that Havemercy is the perfect book, but it’s certainly entertaining and enthralling. Havemercy is just the first book in the series, and I’ll say the same for all of them: If you need a fun series to binge read and get in a few of your guilty pleasures, these are the books for you. While the premise is kind of all over the place, the characters are charming, and you may find yourself shipping a few pairs as you read (be careful though, some things are not what they seem!).
Overall, Havemercy (#1 of the Havemercy series) gets a B+ from me, and an invitation for any fans of the series to come talk to me! I rarely find anyone else to talk to about them!