Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review: The Bronze And the Brimstone by Lory Kaufman

The Bronze and the Brimstone (Verona Trilogy, Book 2)
by Lory Kaufman
Release Date: June 7, 2011
2011 Fiction Studio Books
Softcover Edition; 334 Pages
ISBN: 978-193655808-7
Genre: Young Adult Post-Dystopian
Source:  Review Copy from Pump Up Your Book

4.5 / 5 Stars

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention to the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

My Thoughts
The Bronze and the Brimstone picks up several months after the events in The Lens and the Looker, and features most of the main characters, along with a few new ones, introduced to us in the first novel.  Hansum, Shamira, and Lincoln have settled into their new lives quite comfortably and have resigned themselves to remaining trapped in fourteenth century Verona.  And while at first everything seems homey and good, you can soon pick on the undercurrents and the tensions that existed in the first novel as the characters learn to deal with an environment that is considerably different from the one in which they grew up.

I have always been rather intrigued by the concept of time travel, and have often wondered if it were ever discovered whether we, as a human species, would rather muck up our past because we would never be able to avoid introducing future technology into it.  This is basically what this novel is about as Hansum, Shamira, and Lincoln, with the help of their trusty genie, Pan, set out to save themselves politically and socially, introduce technology that would not be seen for hundreds of years.  I was especially intrigued to see how the author would deal with this and how it would all play out, and I was not disappointed as nature has a way of always intruding and fixing up problems.  Personally, I loved the resolution to the mess the three teens created, but I was surprised as well as I was not expecting it to be dealt with in the manner that it was. 

As a history buff, I really enjoyed the particular attention to detail the author demonstrated in the historical facts in this novel.  I loved reading about the daily life of the people of Verona and its outskirts, the palace life, how things were dealt with by the Podesta, and it certainly gives you an insight into why the nobles did some of the things they did or made some of the decisions they made.  Life would definitely not have been easy for anyone, of any class, for different reasons. 

My only disappointment in this novel was the particular attention it paid to Hansum and his doings rather than to Shamira and Lincoln.  While they were featured, I found it to be more to do with Hansum's doings rather than for themselves and I am really hoping this changes in the next novel as I really enjoyed the development in all of their characters.

The Bronze and the Brimstone was a worthy sequel to the Lens and the Looker.  It was full of interesting historical tidbits and fascinating characters that twisted around a plot that was for the most part original and fun.  I am looking forward to the further adventures of Hamsum, Shamira, and Lincoln in The Loved and the Lost when it is released.


  1. Comment from Lory Kaufman: Thanks so much for your indepth review, Stephanie. For those interested, yes, I too would like to show more of Shamira and Lincoln. I'm now working hard on book three, The Loved and the Lost, and believe me when I say, while I know how I want it all to end, sort of, how we get there is as much of a mystery to me as the reader. That's the fun of it. I figure, if I surprise myself on how things happen, then maybe I'll give the reader more fun surprises too. The last thing anybody wants is something formulaic.

    As for Shamira and Lincoln, I think I'll be able to make the third book a little longer. There are constraints on an author's first books. But I suspect The Loved and the Lost may be about 15 to 20% longer, so I'll be able to bring the other two protagonists more front and centre.

    Thanks again and stay tuned . . .

  2. I'm looking forward to it!! Thank you so much for visiting.