The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

the-aeronaut's-windlass-by Jim-ButcherThe Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
Series: The Cinder Spires #1
Genre: Fantasy (steampunk)
Published by Roc, Sep 29, 2015
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: September 29, 2015)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
640 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…


  • Such a good book. I really enjoyed this book and it’s a great beginning to a new series.
  • I love the cover. Right away I have an idea this is a swashbuckling adventure story. And then I read the synopsis and find out there are airships!
  • I still have lots of questions about what exactly the Spires are, what has happened in this world, why the outside is so dangerous–but that’s okay. I have enough information to enjoy and understand this book and hope to slowly get more info.
  • I like the airships, the strategies and the battles. Very interesting and exciting. It’s with the airships we see most of the steampunk influence.
  • My two favorite characters are Folly the apprentice etherealist and Rowl the cat.
  • The etherealists are so interesting. We meet Folly and her teacher Efferus Effrenus Ferus. Apparently, etheric currents flow right through them instead of going around them like they do regular people. Regular people can wear goggles to protect themselves from the etheric currents, but there’s no protection for etherealists. Because of this etherealists see things other people can’t see and they’re all odd and more or less crazy.
  • Rowl the cat is a delight. He acts totally like a cat–the arrogance, the independence, the nonchalance, the bravery are all there. But he’s also more than we believe our cats are (maybe we just don’t know the truth!) He claims Bridget Tagwynn as his own. Bridget speaks Cat and is named Littlemouse by the cats.
  • Other characters like Gwendolyn Margaret Elisabeth Lancaster and her cousin Benedict Sorellin-Lancaster who is warriorborn along with Bridget Tagwynn are in the Spirearch Albion guard. Captain Grimm is captain of the Albion Merchant Ship Predator. He is a disgraced naval officer. We don’t know what happened, but know he was wrongly accused.
  • The Auroran enemies who attack the Albion Spire are very tough–Major Renaldo Espira (an Auroran marine) and even scary–Madame Sycorax Cavendish and the Silkweavers. I’m sure we will meet them again.


  • I want to know more about this world and get another book soon.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m very excited about this new series. I love the Dresden Files and am adding this series to my must read list!
  • I’ve read that three books have been sold. And Mr. Butcher has stories for at least nine books. Yay.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.
  • Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990’s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.
  • All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

2 thoughts on “The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher”

    1. This is really good, Mogsy! And I did consider a higher grade…I decided to go with the lower one for this first book. Because I expect the next one to be even better!


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