Clockwork Heart is a delight, a very original theme with varied characters and an interesting plot. Our heroine, Taya, is an Icarus, a messenger who flies using special wings impregnated with Ondium to counteract her weight. The world of Ondinium is a semi-medieval, many-layered one with different castes who live in different parts of the land with sometimes only an Icarus moving between them.
When Taya rescues an Exalted, a member of the upper caste, from a damaged cable car, she finds herself mixing with other Exalteds, including the handsome and charming Alister Forlore as well as his outcast clockmaker brother, Cristof. However, the accident to the cable car appears not to have been an accident at all.
Other sabotage takes place, people start to die, and Taya finds herself investigating with Cristof and some other people. Could there be a plot to damage the Great Engine, the mechanical computer at the heart of Ondinium? Can she trust those with whom she works? Can she keep her Icarus wings despite having to go against the rules and training?
From the start of this book I was hooked, eagerly turning pages to find out what happened next and to learn more about the interesting world. The terminology, much of it borrowed from Latin (Icarus, lictors, etc.), is never confusing, although I never quite got a handle on the various Engines and machines and how they worked. The cast of characters widens as the story progresses, but it's easy to keep up with who is who, and there are nice touches of characterization for some of these bit parts.
My only reservation about the book is that I didn't always understand Alister's behavior towards Taya on such a slight acquaintance, but Clockwork Heart is still an excellent read. I'll look out for other books by this author.