This Strange Engine

The Engine Series Book 1

(1 customer review)
This Strange Engine
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The #1 Amazon Bestseller From Dragon Award nominee Philip Ligon!

Thief…addict…wife killer?

Once a fine, upstanding member of society, Alexander Asherton has reached the low point of his life. Once he had prospects. A place in society. Once he had a beautiful wife. But that was before Aimee left him, before the explosion…and before magic. His promising future with the Church of England went up in flames with the explosion that wrecked his body.

Now he works for the cruel and mysterious Misters, who keep him awash in the magic he needs to feed his addiction. The magic he needs to live. His only comfort is that he doesn’t do wet work.

He’s only a thief, not a murderer.

When they demand he assassinate his ex-wife and steal a dark magical item from the powerful and twisted Duke Schaever, he doesn’t have a choice. The Misters hold the key to his life…and to his death. But all he’s got left is that he isn’t a murderer.

Who is Ash really? A priest or a killer? An addict, or a hero?

And what is the strange and deadly merging of science and magic that serves the Duke?

Philip Ligon’s debut steampunk fantasy twists and turns through a dystopian, alternate Victorian England. Full of magic, elves, dragons, and betrayal, this book will satisfy the most avid fans of dark fantasy and twisted steam-powered machines.

Is Ash truly lost to addiction and darkness, or if he can become something more? Find out by reading This Strange Engine today.

Weight 1 lbs

EBook, Paperback, Hardcover

Book Author

Philip Ligon

Book Series


Thief…addict…wife killer?

1 review for This Strange Engine

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  1. Benjamin I. Espen (verified owner)

    This Strange Engine by Philip Ligon feels very much like a well-fleshed out D&D setting with an approximately Victorian technology level. Which I very much mean as a compliment. I could see a very interesting campaign set in Campden, the town where technology and magic meet. There are warring thieves guilds, factional and class politics, and many many mysteries. You might even call it a steampunk fantasy.

    For me, the setting is the star of the show. Since Victorian England is such well-trodden ground in English fiction, Ligon can spend most of his time describing how it is different, and relying on background information to provide a framework. In Campden, magic is both the source of their wealth, and their problems. Magic addiction is a far bigger problem than gin, and the local duke spends a fair bit of time policing the refugees that come through the magical gateway, ensuring things don’t get out of hand. While the setting is clearly based on the England we all know and love, the existence of magic is starting to shift society in new and strange directions.

    My primary complaint about the book is that its protagonist, Alexander Asherton, is a miserable waste of flesh. I spent a large part of the book wishing that someone would finally follow through on their threats to kill him, so he would shut up about his ex-wife. By which I do not mean that he isn’t interesting or well-characterized. I’ve known men just like him, even at some periods been like him myself, so utterly whipped by his ex-wife that he spiraled into depression and [magical] substance abuse when she left him.

    The way in which his shallow self-righteousness curdles into maudlin and utterly blind self-pity is done just so. I simply do not like him, which is the same reaction the vast majority of the other characters in the book have too. That Ash has any friends at all is a testament to the irrationality of friendship. Their loyalty, however, is touching. The man has better friends than he deserves.

    I definitely wanted to see what happened next, despite my antipathy to Ash. I am certainly intrigued by the world Ligon has created. Your experience with the book, like mine, may be somewhat conditional on how insufferable you find the protagonist.

    I received this book from the publisher for free.

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