The Manual of Aeronautics: The Art of the Leviathan Trilogy–by Mordicai Knode

I was at a reading for Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan when he mentioned off-hand that it would be a trilogy… with an illustrated guide to the world he was building, in the style of the Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World.

Now, there are a lot of reasons that I liked the Spiderwick guide—I’m a big fan of Tony DiTerlizzi, for instance—but the deep reason is that I’m gonzo for apocrypha. Those sorts of bits and extras that deepen worldbuilding, whether they are art books like Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Art of the Animated Series or in-world mythology like The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The icing on the cake with The Manual of Aeronautics is that Keith Thompson does the art for it, as he did for the series.

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Filed under Essays, Review

2 responses to “The Manual of Aeronautics: The Art of the Leviathan Trilogy–by Mordicai Knode

  1. This is NOT steampunk. There is no steam-powered engines and in fact, the characters scoff at them right away in the book. This is Dieselpunk. Although, there isn’t any punk. One gender-bending character does not give this story any punk whatsoever, since the other main character is royalty trying to regain his thrown – so he’s not a punk.

    So, to recap, NO steam, NO punk, but a great speculative fiction well worth the read. The characters are well written, the plot moves fast, the tension is well done, the world is well crafted. Mr. Scott Westerfeld knows his craft as a writer, and he knows it well. I just wonder, does he think this is steampunk or was that a marketing decision out of his hands?

    I really liked the book. Fun, excellent read, but I’m tired of seeing it on steampunk lists when it goes against the staples which make up steampunk.