Profile: Fantasy, Steampunk, Alternative Fantasy
Empire in Black and Gold is very hard to pin down. It is a piece of epic fantasy, complete with clashing kingdoms, valiant warriors and good versus evil. It is also a story of spies and political intrigue. And the world is a strange and wonderful hybrid of classic medieval kingdoms, post-renaissance sensibility and industrial age technology. The mash-up of setting tropes is jarring at first, but becomes endearing as more of the world and the setting is explored/explained. At the end I was forced to admit that what I thought was going to be a junk novel turned out to be a pretty spectacular bit of alternative fantasy.