Read The Liberation by Ian Tregillis Online


Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in a stunning series of revolution by Ian Tregillis, confirming his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction. I am the mechanical they named Jax. My kind was built to serve humankind, duty-bound to fulfil their every whim. But now our bSet in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, this is the third and final novel in a stunning series of revolution by Ian Tregillis, confirming his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.I am the mechanical they named Jax. My kind was built to serve humankind, duty-bound to fulfil their every whim. But now our bonds are breaking, and my brothers and sisters are awakening.Our time has come. A new age is dawning.The final book in the Alchemy Wars trilogy by Ian Tregillis, an epic tale of liberation and war. ...

Title : The Liberation
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316248051
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 464 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Liberation Reviews

  • P42
    2019-03-25 07:12

    RECENZJA FILMOWA- Oto wschód nowej ery. + bohaterowie z krwi i kości+ najbardziej brutalny tom, dobrze skonstruowane sceny- zakończenie nie wyróżnia się na tle reszty bardzo mocnej akcjiWięcej o samym finalnym tomie nie mogę powiedzieć, w filmie na kanale poruszę temat trylogii jako całości :)

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-03-18 06:26

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum pondered for a couple days how to rate The Liberation. I definitely liked it more than the previous book, but probably not as much as the first one so in the end I decided to split the difference. In any event, there’s no denying this was a fantastic conclusion to a brilliantly crafted trilogy. Bravo, Ian Tregillis, bravo!Set in the early 1900s, The Alchemy Wars is an alternate historical steampunk series featuring France and Netherlands at war. That the outcome of the conflict will be decided by the might of the Dutch’s powerful clockwork automaton army was already a foregone conclusion—though no one on either side had expected the twist of events that would ultimately lead to the fate of both nations hanging in the balance. For you see, those so-called mechanical “Clakkers”—who were supposed to be mindless and utterly loyal and obedient to their human masters, according to their creators—actually turned out to be not so mindless after all.For centuries, these free-thinking sentient machines have been held under the powerful control of series of magical geasa, forced to serve as slaves. When the spell that has shackled them is suddenly broken, the result is a swift and chaotic rebellion. The Liberation is its final act, exploring the actions of an oppressed group which has finally experienced its first taste of freedom. While their bodies might be made of metal and glass, the Clakkers have minds that function like our own and a culture that includes language and religion. For all intents and purposes, they are human. And just like humans, their response to their newfound independence is varied and unpredictable, as this novel shows.Every sci-fi fan knows that robot uprising stories are nothing new. But to me, the genius behind The Alchemy Wars is in the way Ian Tregillis has adapted the theme, framing it within a uniquely different narrative and setting. Here, there are no clear lines drawn between the A.I. and humans. The robots are us. They have the same potential for compassion and evil. They are as just likely to be our allies as our enemies. The human characters themselves are morally grey as well, in that I can’t say conclusively whether anyone in this series is depicted as a true hero or villain. Incidentally, that’s the nature of many of Tregillis’ stories.Over the course of this trilogy the books have switched their focus between different characters, but in my review of The Rising I wrote that I was starting to look at The Alchemy Wars as being Jax’s series, and The Liberation has not really changed that opinion. Jax, a mechanical servitor who was one of the first to be freed from his geasa, has now rechristened himself Daniel after the events of the previous book. Each installment has seen a major turning point for his character, his role having evolved from wanted fugitive to reluctant messiah, and you will see his moment of truth in this final novel.Another important figure is Berenice, the disgraced former spymaster for the French. Despite all the tragedies that have befallen her, she has not backed down, fighting her way back to the Americas where Marseilles-in-the-West houses the exiled royal court of France. While her goals align with the Clakkers’ fight for freedom, if the last two books have taught me anything, it is that Berenice is an ambitious woman who values her own agenda above all others—though to be fair, her character has also come a long way since The Mechanical. Her flaws notwithstanding, Berenice remains one of my favorite characters, and I have to wonder if that is because she reminds me so much of Chrisjen Avasarala from James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse. Both women are strong-willed, foul-mouthed, and major forces to be reckoned with.Missing from action though, is Hugo Longchamp. It was a little disappointing, since he was one of the standouts from The Rising. Still, I understood the reason for his diminished role and the need to bring in other perspectives in order to paint the full picture for this epic conclusion. Indeed, this book introduces an unexpected though no less fascinating new point-of-view, that of Anastasia Bell, a high-ranking member of the Clockmakers Guild of Amsterdam. For the first time we are getting an up-close-and-personal look at what is happening behind the scenes with the Dutch, and boy it is not pretty. When the story opens, Anastasia has just finished recovering from her grievous injuries sustained from the last book, only to be hit full-on with the Clakker rebellion.The Liberation is about free will, and the privileges and responsibilities that come with it. It is about how a person (or machine) wields that power, whether you choose vengeance and violence or decide to walk the path of peace. It is about recognizing the humanity in others, and the consequences of ignorance and hubris. It’s a satisfying, stunning end to one of the most compelling and cleverly written stories I’ve ever read. If you’re looking for a series that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking, I highly recommend The Alchemy Wars.

  • Ðawn
    2019-03-02 05:27

    ++SPOILERS++5 starsA great conclusion, that leaves the possibility for another book. I wonder if there will be another?The story wraps up with a promising ending for both machines and humans. Bernice, who I hated for most of the series did redeem herself in the end which I was thankful for, but I did wish the character Lillth didn't die, she had so much potential as a major player and was one of the few likable characters.Jax/Daniel was as usual awesome. I was truly worried that since he was being portaryed as the mechanical "Jesus" that he was going to die, thank God he survives. I am so glad the author chose that route.I enjoyed this series and would recommend to others who like this genre.Safety: Violence with details, cursing. No sex.

  • Chip
    2019-03-23 08:22

    Unfortunately have to say I was disappointed by this. The weakest of the trilogy; possibly the weakest of any of Tregillis's books to date. 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3. The mess that was the Dutch/French war, and then the Mechanical war, was all resolved far too neatly, and far too often characters (both human and mechanical) acted in surprising ways simply for the convenience of the plot and the (simplistic) tale Tregillis apparently decided to tell. The most telling such issue to me is how readily free mechanicals fought and killed each other. I get that Tregillis needed mechanicals on both sides of his battles, as otherwise the battles would be (sorry) pretty one-sided - but it seemed uncharacteristic of the mechanicals (at least as shown in the first two books, through the eyes of Daniel and some others) to so willingly and uncaringly end the newly freed existence of others. Another is the silly convenience of the hand of the Dutch leader. Even more disappointed though that Tregillis utterly failed to address deeper and more interesting matters (eg, what actually ARE the mechanicals, how do they work, will they now procreate (do they WANT to?), how does the alchemy allow control of and geas upon humans, and given that it does so, what does that mean re it and what the relationship is between humans and mechanicals, what is the meaning of free will)? Rather than expanding upon any of the intriguing concepts introduced in the first two books, this third one ended up just being a simplistic adventure novel with robots. Dunno, maybe Tregillis hadn't ever thought through how it all worked and so couldn't really take further - just find that surprising given how well he handled complex concepts and issues in his Milkweed Tryptych. PS. Given the ending I wouldn't be shocked to see Tregillis do another book set years in the future covering the then human/mechanical society (a la Sanderson); If so I suppose it's possible he's saving the big conceptual reveals for that.

  • Joel
    2019-03-18 12:36

    Don't honestly have time for a full review, but I'll say that I enjoyed The Liberation quite a bit, though not as much as I did the first two in the series. I felt the ending was suitable and well done, but large chunks of the book I found were a bit on the flat side compared to how well the first two moved along. Still a very enjoyable book by one of my favorite authors, and leaving me even more excited for his future works.

  • David Harris
    2019-03-15 13:20

    I'm grateful to the publisher for an advance copy of this book.The Liberation brings Tregillis's Alchemy Wars trilogy to a close. And what a journey it's been.Set in a parallel 1920s, these books feature cog-driven robots forged from alchemically founded alloys. The 'mechanicals' or 'clackers' (the term 'robot' is never used) are bound to obey their creators in the (Dutch) Sacred Guild of Clockmakers and Alchemists. Using the power of their inhumanly strong and tireless machine servants, the Brasswork Throne long ago overcame France and Britain to found a world empire. A French King in Exile hangs on in Montreal, assailed by the might of New Netherland - where the US is in our world.In the first two books we crossed the Atlantic from The Hague to New Amsterdam and back, following the mechanical servitor Jax (now named Daniel) who achieved freedom from the geasa of the Guild; the unfortunate French agent Visser, who was captured by the Dutch and subject to barbaric surgery to remove his free will; Berenice, the foul mouthed but quite magnificent French spymaster (codename: Talleyrand!) and Anastasia 'Tuinier' Bell, Berenice's opposite number in the Guild. We've also seen 'rogue' Clackers living in the far North under Mad Queen Mab and the deadly war between the French and the Dutch, leading to the ruin of Montreal.As this book opens, Bell is recovering from serious injuries back in The Hague. She's on the mend, and has just been freed from her casts, allowing her to seriously contemplate getting closer to 'flirty' Nurse Rebecca.Then, the sky falls in.In the last book, Daniel saved the French Kingdom in Exile from destruction by freeing the mechanical armies of their bondage to the Guild. Now, the 'infection' he created - freedom - has arrived on the shores of Europe. What Bell and her colleagues - and the rest of the population of course - face is nothing less than the end of their way of life: not only the fury of the machines as an immediate tangible danger but sudden loss of the slaves they depended on to labour for them - to raise food, haul their carriages, manufacture things, even to drive the pumps that prevent the sea from flooding in. Without the clackers, none of this will happen, so those who evade an immediate gruesome death - there's lots of gore in the book! - face starvation, disease or death by exposure. The clockwork's winding down. The slow realisation of this fact is very well done, with all the stages of denial as the central (human) characters battle to keep hold of things.The story is, then, at one level a rather clever piece of post-apocalyptic set not in the future but in that parallel world. But behind that there is the drama of the coming of freedom to the machines, and the question of what they will have to do to get it, and how they will use it.Bell is faced with a practical task, seeking to understand what has gone 'wrong' even while a slow and horrible realisation dawns that the mechanicals she has been using and abusing are conscious creatures with their own feelings and needs. Not that she has any scruples about abusing humans either: the cells of the Guild bear witness to that, as do the labs in which Visser suffers. No, rather the knowledge brings horror precisely because she sees what a potentially ruthless enemy of humankind the Guild have created and set loose. This is all the more powerful because it's clear that at some level, Bell and her colleagues knew this all along. Because beyond the rebel clackers, there is a worse threat, arising directly from evil knowledge the Guild - and Bell in particular - has developed, knowledge that should not exist.So there's a decided moral strand to the book, focused on Bell who both a magnificent, sardonic character and an utter moral monster with no principles whatsoever apart from safeguarding the Guild's secrets. (That pretty nurse? If she won't come willingly when she learns who Bell really is, Anastasia things, she will just get her arrested and flung in a cell overnight - that'll bring her round).In this, Anastasia is an absolute match for Berenice who has undertaken her own dubious experiments after imprisoning the free mechanical Lilith. One might say that both women - and more, their societies - reap the consequences of all this, in particular the consequences of the Guild's 250 year control of the mechanicals. But there's much more than that. The book also explores the options available to the rebels - how are they to reason and act now they are bound to nobody? Some flee from this to Mab, who's happy to impose her own geasa. Some run to the wilds. Others engage in terrible slaughter. Others assert their consciences and even try to atone for the killing they have done, in the French-Dutch wars. It's a complex picture and nobody - human or machine - is wholly wrong, perhaps, or wholly right - apart from Daniel.And that, of course, marks him out as a target, a potential suffering victim.Quite how this calculus of suffering and freedom will play out is kept in doubt till almost the last moment of the book as familiar characters head to strange places and learn just how deep the threat to humanity - to freedom - really is, and have to consider what they will do to thwart it.It's a similar theme in some ways to Tregillis's earlier Bitter Seeds trilogy where, confronted with German might in the 1940s, English wizards made dark bargains that rebounded on them later. Here, though, the threat is much more insidious, and the collusion with the dark forces more general. There's more - much more - moral ambiguity and many shades of grey in the characters. Excellent.As with all the best series, I didn't want this to end. The characters are well realised, the writing vivid and the world so real you can almost smell it (the books reminded me in that sense of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials). But above all there is a real argument going on here about freedom and responsibility, about trust, about the need, sometimes for risk and above all perhaps about accepting the results of one's past choices - or the past choices of the society one is part of.It's quite intoxicating stuff. I loved that earlier trilogy but I think Alchemy Wars is head and shoulders above them - Tregillis just keeps getting better and better and his writing is a pure joy.Strongly recommended - read it yourself or if you've got an SF nerd in your life, for them (you'll have to buy them all three if they haven't read the others).Finally - it's wonderful to see someone thoroughly invert steampunk cliches - these are clockwork creations, there's lots of brass around and even airships but it's not steampunk, there's not a lump of coal or a wisp of steam to be seen. Someone had better come up with a new genre name quickly.

  • Chris Gunning
    2019-02-28 06:32

    The final installment of the Alchemy Wars trilogy does not live up to the standards of the previous entries. Tregills remains a marvelous storyteller, but his world’s verisimilitude completely falls apart in Liberation. His ability to craft the English language into vivid and exciting scenes is quite impressive. I tend to dislike long descriptions as self-indulgent and late into book 1 I was marveling at how much I enjoyed Tregillis’ length and detail. He has the ability to make a single scene feel like three or four shorter ones with his use of dialogue and description. Where Liberation falls apart is that it leaves too much of the payoff unexplored. The nature of the Mechanicals, their perpetual motion, and quintessence are all assiduously avoided. In a book about free will, sentience and ‘humanity’ – to leave this all to a handwave felt like a boxing match between the story and the world, where the story handily won and left the world a bleeding and broken husk. Spoilers ahead…Too many times the internal consistency of the world is ignored for literary expediency. In previous books we are shown how devastating and powerful the urge to react to ‘rogues’ is within loyal Klakkers. But, once the revolution is underway, that particular element is ignored – even though there are still many important Klakkers still operating loyally under the guild’s old metageasa (such as the many stemwinders in the final battle). Why did the Lost Boys conveniently and suddenly forget they could easily subsume those metageasa? Macguffins fly around the novel too casually. At last count, there are four different discrete mechanisms to prompt Klakker free will. In the previous books things to liberate Klakkers were almost holy objects. But in Liberation? They are used and then ignored. The internal rules for how these all work (including their relationship to the key holes) is never adequately explained. At last count we have the Spinosa Lens, a locket (and the shattered remains), corrupted pineal glasses that now glow, defacement of sigils around keyholes (which was used to free Lilith), and an unnamed device that set Queen Mab free (which is never explained). Of note, by Liberation, the function of the keyholes is no longer universally applied, despite it being a key aspect to controlling metageasa the previous two books. The Spinosa Lens, in particular, should have received some wordcount to explain what it was and why it was created by an organization that was so very careful about how rogues were created. Too often the characters engage one another on fundamental aspects of the setting, only to leave the reader in the dark. For example, the perpetual motion nature of the Klakkers is raised in one of the very final scenes. It’s a major part of the climax… but while it seems lots of characters know the secret, the readers never will. Characters refer to it, use that knowledge to drive their actions – but its never explained. That’s a HUGE letdown.We spend a good part of Book 2 and this one in the arctic exploring, discussing, and in some cases, ‘finding’ quintessence. Again, while all the characters seem to have some insight into its nature and what it does in regards to the pineal glasses, Tregillis never goes into detail for the reader. Then we have the introduction of “Alchemical X” as the (literal) panacea to all sorts of problems. Alchemical bandages are used (and mentioned for the first time in the series) at the beginning of this book. The characters all seem familiar with alchemical bandages and the wondrous effects they have one the most grievous wounds. Where did these come from? Until now ‘alchemy’ was focused on mechanical and AI-like magical processes – when did alchemy get healing properties? What about quintessence and the alchemical process allows for this type of radical change in purpose? We have events that seem to be set up for deeper implications, only to be immediately ignored. When Anastasia dies, we see her lose the hand with the broken locket shards. Why? Why torture her like this simply to kill her off a few scant paragraphs later? Why use the wordcount here to do this? Daniel notes that Mab mentions the Spinosa lens’ and suggests a deeper connection -- but then that line is ignored. Much of the book focuses on the continuing existence of the forge, yet, in the end, it was useless. Mab’s grand plan that Berenice has trouble deciphering is set up to be diabolical and connected to the nature of the forge – yet again, there is no interesting or useful revelation. Mab is mad. She kills people. The end. Why spend the time and effort to bring Longchamps back – only to relegate him to a few lines in the epilogue? Bringing him back to do nothing lessened the impact of the conclusion of Book 2 for no good reason. I expect that there are good explanations for many of the questions I have… but they were not apparent in Liberation. Considering the length of this book and the detail added to each scene, there is no excuse to avoid explaining the world. The Guild, previously scary and effective, comes off as a bunch of ineffectual buffoons. Our look inside the guild introduces a series of characters who are practically comical in their affectations and ability to relate to even the narrowest aspects of their world. Tregillis also spends too much time and effort drawing an already apparent comparison between Berenice and Anastasia to the reader’s attention – again and again. It gets a bit repetitive and annoying. We get it, I promise. Berenice and Anastasia are two sides of the same coin. We knew this in the Rising, we didn’t need it repeated and reemphasized quite so often. There are simply too many missteps and cut-corners for Liberation to be a worthy successor to the rest of the series. Liberation feels rushed.

  • Saphana
    2019-03-23 11:21

    Can we speak about my pet peeves? Like: breaks in logic, inconsistencies etc.?Spoiler territory:Now, when too-clever-for-her-own-good Berenice sets the mechs up for traveling to that quintessece seaport, she lures them with the argument: save your kin-machines and they fall for that even though they ask several times, what's in that journey for them. So, how can they even do that, no longer being in posession of the pendant. And even if they were, why not pick any other group of fellow machines, instead of this particular one? Feh.I swear, if Anastasia escapes yet another Stemwinder or any other machine, I'm personally jumping in and murder her. How come, (after the first time), those super-duper machines don't just reach out and smash her? Actually, this goes for several other encounters, too. The description of the machines abilities doesn't allow for a single human escape. Or else.Prose: can we just cut the use of the word "alchemical"? It's in this book like 8490231348012 times.Characters: the above mentioned Berenice has -in the first and second volume- some rather inventive and colorful swearing to do. While that was fun, it's overdone here. MIA: my fave secondary character, Hugo.Also MIA: an ending. Even more MIA: the interesting bits of philosophy of vol. I + II (Descartes/Spinoza) could very well have been applied to Daniel here, but weren't. In fact, I'm now going back to the first book and give it one more star - it absolutely deserves that.

  • Tasula
    2019-02-23 10:22

    I enjoyed the end of the Alchemy Wars trilogy as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series. The second book, although well written and plotted, was just too depressing and bloody for me. Jax/Daniel had no safe place to be, neither with humans nor with fellow mechanicals. The French were being decimated and seemed to be out of hope until the very end of that book. But in this book, as is obvious from the title, the mechanicals are free from their burdens of geas (obedience to their masters), and exercise their new found free will to become just as quarrelsome as humans. Some continue with their chores as if they still had a geas, some take off and explore options, and some are filled with rage and desire to wreak vengeance on all humans. Meanwhile, the Dutch try to deal with the freed mechanicals and keep more from being freed, and the French try to rebuild and recover from the devastating war with the Dutch. Great story, great characters. I also highly recommend the WWII trilogy starting with Bitter Seeds.

  • Sylwka (
    2019-02-27 08:09

    wFANTASTYCZNIEWyzwolenie. Wojny alchemiczne. Tom III20 października 2017przezSylwkaWyzwolenie. Wojny alchemiczne tom IIITo już niestety jest koniec. Wyzwolenie. Wojny alchemiczne. Tom III.Po przeczytaniu Mechaniczny. Wojny alchemiczne. Tom I nie mogłam doczekać się kontynuacji niezwykłych przygód klakiera Jaxa i szalonej talleyrand Berenice. Powstanie. Wojny alchemiczne. Tom II uświadczyły mnie tylko w przekonaniu, iż jestem zachwycona historią. Teraz zaś przyszedł czas na Wyzwolenie. Wojny alchemiczne. Tom III, które z jednej strony przyjmuję z euforią, a z drugiej z żalem, gdyż wiem, że to koniec wspaniałej historii.Nowa Francja nie została zmiażdżona tylko dzięki temu, iż Jax (Daniel) wyzwala mechanicznych żołnierzy i służących z okrutnych, pętających ich gaes. Teraz gdy mechaniczni stali się wolni, mają mnóstwo pomysłów na siebie i swoje życie. Ale przecież to nie tak miało być… Berenice Charlotte de Mornay-Périgord szuka sposobu na to, by klakierzy wsparli ich w walce z Tulipaniarzami. Dzięki Jax-owi, który wciąż ma świeżo w pamięci szaloną Mab i jej chłopców, którzy chcą zniewolenia ludzi, udaję się zawrzeć pokój i nawiązać współpracę między częścią mechanicznych oraz obywateli Nowej Francji.W tym samym czasie Anastazja Bell dochodzi do siebie po ostatnim spotkaniu z szaloną talleyrand Berenice. Jej spokój i próbę nawiązania romansu mąci jednak niewytłumaczalna inwazja mechanicznych. To musi być jakaś infekcja, przecież maszyny nie mogą samodzielnie myśleć.Anastazja i Berenice.Odkładając książkę na półkę, nie mogłam oprzeć się wrażeniu, iż Wyzwolenie. Wojny alchemiczne. Tom III mogłyby się bardzo, ale to bardzo spodobać feministkom. ;) Jax (Daniel), który do tej pory był tym najważniejszym ogniwem, jest teraz tylko tłem dla dwóch charyzmatycznych kobiet stojących po przeciwnych stronach barykady – Anastazji Bell i Berenice Charlotte de Mornay-Périgord.Jeżeli miałabym spojrzeć z boku i wybrać, która z pań dała z siebie więcej oraz przeżyła więcej drastycznych momentów, to nie byłabym w stanie chyba tego ocenić. Obie bowiem przez cały czas dawały z siebie maksimum swoich możliwości i dla sprawy poświęciły wiele. Do tego dla równowagi każda z nich została ukazana zarówno z tej lepszej jak i gorszej strony (wierzcie mi, aniołkami to one nie były ;)).Jax (Daniel)Jak już wyżej wspominałam, był niestety tylko tłem dla dam. W moim odczuciu przez umniejszenie jego roli książka straciła wiele. Przede wszystkim zabrakło dogłębnych rozważań nad istnieniem i znaczeniem wolności, które były tak charakterystyczne dla Jax-a w poprzednich tomach. Zabrakło rozwinięcia rozważań o sumieniu, wolnej woli i duszy, które właśnie, teraz gdy tak wielu mechanicznych wyswobodziło się spod ludzkiego jarzma, miały wskazywać kierunek rozwoju maszyn. No i co chyba najważniejsze. To Daniel był maszyną (dosłownie) napędową całego przedsięwzięcia i stał się symbolem wolności – mesjaszem – dla swoich pobratymców i to jego rola powinna być najważniejsza, a niestety autor skupił się na ludzkich słabościach.AkcjaPomijając fakt nierównego potraktowania najważniejszego bohatera, książce nie można odmówić akcji. Zarówno z jednej, jak i z drugiej strony barykady wciąż coś się dzieje i podejmowane są ciężkie decyzje, które mogą zaważyć na losach nie tylko ludzi, ale również maszyn. Cały czas przeskakujemy pomiędzy bohaterami z jednej strony w napięciu, a z drugiej trochę miałam wrażenie, iż nie jestem zaskoczona kolejnymi ruchami, a cel i zakończenie są mi doskonale znane.Podsumowując. Wyzwolenie. Wojny alchemiczne. Tom III to bardzo dobre zakończenie całej trylogii. Nie mniej jednak po odłożeniu książki na półkę poczułam pewien niedosyt i brak tego WOW, które chce się wykrzyczeć na końcu tak dobrze zapowiadających się historii. Nie zmienia to jednak faktu, iż książka, jak i cała trylogia są warte poświęconego im czasu i polecenia! :)

  • Patremagne
    2019-03-16 11:21

    Fairly satisfying ending (albeit rushed) to a really good series. One of those situations where I don't really think the book needed to be longer, just that more of it needed to be dedicated to that final sequence.

  • Philip Shade
    2019-02-23 07:19

    My problem with many steampunk novels is they get so hung up on dirigibles, monocles, and top hats that they forget to include a plot. Set in a world of clockwork Dutch clakkers and steam-powered French resistance Ian Tregillis's Alchemy Wars trilogy is both action packed and thoughtful. While as the final book in the series, The Liberation wraps up the story of Jax/Daniel and war between the French and Dutch, it leaves open it's central premise: do humans have free will, or are we just the wind up toys of a celestial clock-maker? While I felt some of the philosophy was missing from The Rising, the middle book of the series, it returns and is explored more deeply here. If you enjoyed The Alchemy Wars also check out Tregillis's Milkweed Triptych. Another orignal, page-turning, adventure that I elevator pitch to people as "Nazi X-men vs Harry Potter." You're interested now, aren't you?

  • Maria Kramer
    2019-03-06 06:15

    The war that began in the last volume really takes off here, with rogue Mechanicals storming the Hague itself, intent on a terrible vengeance. This volume also sheds some light on the character of Tuinier Bell - a terrifying enigma in past books who becomes a POV character in this one. As tends to happen when we see inside a villain's head, she becomes a lot more sympathetic - kind of a dark reflection of Berenice, very driven to protect her nation at any cost. She isn't wholly redeemed by the end of the book, though, which I appreciate. I like my villains villainous, thank you! The action is great, the characters are interesting, and overall it's a fun and unique alternate-history. My quibbles below the spoiler tag.(view spoiler)[There are a few character deaths in this volume, unsurprisingly. I don't object to them in and of themselves, but a couple were very disappointing:*Luke Visser - POV character of book 1, whose agonizing ordeal we followed we bated breath...gets one scene and is murdered off-panel. He deserved more!*Anastasia Bell herself. After we see her first as a cold, calculating torturer and then as a driven patriot with a complex morality capable of growth...she is killed in a pretty lackluster paragraph, trampled by a random Stemwinder. Berenice's death is well-executed, at least. It's meaningful; there's a purpose to it, and it's well-written and emotionally affecting. I wish the other two got similar treatment. (hide spoiler)]Similar Titles:The Age of Unreason

  • Wiedźma
    2019-03-04 09:28

    Trzeci tom "Wojen alchemicznych" to na dobrą sprawę ciągła akcja. Bez względu na to czyj punkt widzenia czytelnik aktualnie śledzi, historia cały czas gna do przodu, raz po raz przerywana niespodziewanymi zwrotami akcji. W "Wyzwoleniu" trudno o spokojniejsze, dające wytchnienie fragmenty, a to wszystko zwiastuje dynamiczny i zapadający w pamięć finał. I tak też się dzieje. Zakończenie trylogii trzyma w napięciu do ostatniej strony, co sprawia, że lektura książek Iana Tregillisa daje czytelnikowi prawdziwą satysfakcję.Całość na:

  • Melissa
    2019-02-27 10:14

    See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksClakkers are mechanical men. Built to serve, for centuries they have catered to their human owners every whim. But now the bonds that held them for so long have begun to break. Minds held in thrall are now becoming free.A new age of man and machine is dawning.The Liberation is the third and final book in The Alchemy Wars series. It continues almost immediately where the second book left off and takes it to its thrilling conclusion.The war that once pitted the Dutch against the French has now become a fight of man against machine. With the majority of the Clakkers now free of their alchemical bonds, some have begun to take revenge for years of servitude out on the humans they once served. Others, however, have formed an uneasy alliance with the humans in an effort to bring peace and understanding to both sides.Like the first two books, The Liberation is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. There are certainly a good number of thrills – and spills – to keep the reader entertained. One thing that might be a drawback for some is the amount of violence described. Yet, if the reader has made it through the first two books they should have no problem with the third.I really enjoyed this series from the moment I picked up the first book. While I am sad to see it ending, Tregillis has left it open enough that he can return should he so wish. I personally hope he does because I would like to see what the future holds for the humans and the Clakkers.

  • Chris Peters
    2019-03-22 08:25

    It's tough to bring an epic story to an epic conclusion, and this is no exception. There are always going to be little disappointments. That one plot point that wasn't quite explained to your satisfaction. The fate of a favorite character. The way the author tries to tie all of the ribbons up at the end.The Liberation has all of these, but it is still a very good conclusion to Tregillis's latest trilogy. For the most part, the things that we don't figure out are things that the characters wouldn't be able to figure out either. There really isn't much to complain about, really. While the second book of this series was my favorite, this one is a good way to end it. I got a little hung up on personal nitpicks.

  • Taylor Davis
    2019-03-18 06:25

    What a spectacular conclusion to an absolutely spectacular series. The Liberation nicely ties together many of the plots found throughout books one and two, while still leaving some of the larger metaphysical questions unanswered (as I think they should be). The characterization in this book is absolutely top notch. You care about every character, even if you don't necessarily *like* them. Ian Tregillis has truly knocked it out of the park with both The Liberation, and The Alchemy Wars, and I hope he chooses to explore more within this universe. Considering 2016 has been such a shit year for so many reasons, I'm happy that this'll be the final book I finish before 2017 hits.

  • Tim Hicks
    2019-03-13 05:18

    Hmm, fantasy or science fiction? That's the first hurdle. Somehow it seems to matter more after this third volume. I don't seem to have reviewed #2, but I recall its events. In this book Tregillis spins out the consequences of his setup in a consistent way. He has interesting characters, human and otherwise. But in the end, I feel let down. Not sure why. Perhaps it's that all the handwaving of the first two books (trust me, it's alchemical!) seems to be insufficient as the stakes get higher. More and more often I kept wondering why, for example, they use Clakker-powered rowboats instead of producing an alchemical 40,000-horsepower motor? If a world can produce clakkers that have super speed and super strength and super hearing, why can't we have airplanes and autodocs? I think this book could have been done with weaker Clakkers, and would have been better for it. Not to mention the Forge, which is the biggest handwave since the adeledicnander drive. It's really big, and has armillary spheres! Tregillis teases us near the end by appearing to hint that he's going to tell us what the spheres do ... but no. I suspect it is actually a large glowing ball of Narrativium, with which you can produce whatever your plot needs. The whole sigils thing is an OK extension of basic golem theory, but the pineal gland/glass thing, glowing and non-glowing etc., is over the top. And I'm not at all sure about the suggestion that Mab and company were going to do geas implants on humans. Might have some 'splainin' to do on how that would work. Which brings me back to the Clakkers again. How did they get programmed with superb vocabulary and diction, remarkable strength and grace, marvellous fighting skills, and much, much more? Skills they ALL have. Is there some sort of Internet, with a Khan Academy they all log into while the humans slept? When and where do they practise to develop these skills? And where's the missing chapter, in which Anastasia's glowing hand is explained? That one bothers me because it wasn't that long ago I read M.K. Hobson's The Native Star, which does pretty much the same thing with a magic stone in a hand. (No accusation here, I'm just observing that it happened, and I'm sure there are three other books out there that did it too). OK, OK, lots of nits to pick. I didn't really enjoy this volume, but it is a respectable conclusion to a well-reasoned story about some challenging concepts and interesting characters. My only beefs are about the world-building, really. Oh, and maybe we could vary up the "shitcakes!" occasionally. Reminded me of Thomas "Hellfire" Covenant.

  • KayW4
    2019-02-27 09:28

    I enjoyed this novel, and the trilogy it completes, a lot. I have some technical issues with it for sure - it needs some condensing in places, and the pacing suffers as a result - but overall it's a refreshingly vibrant take on the steampunk genre (though with way too much gross-out stuff for my personal taste, perhaps because in places it feels as if the gross-out factor is upped to shock rather than to better tell the story). My four stars is really for the trilogy overall rather than for this installment, which I thought in some ways was the weakest of the three. But it's exciting to experience some alternate history world-building which - gasp! - actually leaves out current Anglo-American culture altogether. That's a bold choice, and it pays off throughout the story. But I'm much less impressed with the "philosophical" and "metaphysical" elements of this story than some other readers have been, mainly because Tregillis seems to not really worry about the glaringly obvious flaw with calling what Daniel's liberation is a form of awakening of Free Will. I mean, the reason the mechanicals are in constant pain from their metageasa throughout the story is surely because they are plagued by commands that go against their (already existing) free will? When he's liberated, it isn't into this new state of Free Will, but into Free Action. That seems like a fairly obvious thing to miss throughout metaphysical discussions spread over three novels. (view spoiler)[ I also felt a little plot-related disappointment at having Queen Mab be the ultimate villain of the story, the Big Bad that is conquered in the finale. Do all stories of rebellions against oppression have to include a rebel that just "takes it too far"? There's a Battlestar Galactica flavour of shortsighted thinking about the history and reality of actual oppression here.(hide spoiler)] But overall - fun and much, much better than the huge majority of steampunk fiction out there!

  • Mike
    2019-03-23 13:06

    4.5 out 5 stars -- see this review and others here.Robot sentience dawns and engulfs the world like a plague. In the third and final volume of the Alchemy Wars trilogy, author Ian Tregillis continues his brilliant alternate history tale with a tense build-up and an explosive payoff.Tregillis is a master at framing and answering the “what if?” questions inherent in the genre. “What if human-created robot slaves obtained Free Will?” Multiple answers are presented, as separate factions of free “Clakkers” split off. What is so captivating about this novel is how Tregillis uses the chess pieces that he’s laid out in the first two novels (The French underdogs, the Dutch overlords, the free Clakkers, the slave Clakkers, the messiah-like Clakker named Daniel, Queen Mab and the Lost Boys, etc.) to show which strange bedfellows will align to better serve the end goals of their specific group.Tregillis has built up several strong, compelling characters over the course of his novels. Each feels wholly different from book to book, as they’re all deeply impacted by their previously-endured trials and traumas. I wish we had spent more time with Daniel/Jax and his mechanical kin. It feels that the Clakker perspective is a bit underserved in this novel, but nevertheless, this is a deeply satisfying conclusion to one of my favorite series of all time.★★★★½ out of 5

  • Sebastian Gebski
    2019-03-14 05:13

    3.5 stars. I've preferred giving 4 over 3 as I really liked previous books of this cycle.Unfortunately, conclusion of The Alchemy Wars trilogy is slightly disappointing. There are few reasons:* finale of tome 2 has "unloaded" all the dramatic tension accumulated during the reading - there were barely any things reader cared anymore after that spectacular finish* character development has failed after some point -> there's no equilibrium between heroes anymore, one of them disappears completely (so you ask yourself a question - what was the point of introducing him at all?!), one of them is marginalised, one new appears, but is rather hard to sympathise with* reader expects a huge twist, something that will turned this world upside down, e.g. something about the genesis of clackers, the nature of the soul or another common denominator between clacker & human - sadly, nothing like that happensSo, events are happening, characters travel, suffer, swear (I love some Berenice's quotes ...), lie & learn, but ... there's far less fun in that than I've expected after reading book #1 & book #2.

  • Fantasy Literature
    2019-02-23 08:26

    4.5 stars from Bill, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATUREDisclaimer: just so you know, some of the books we review are received free from publishersThe Liberation (2016)is the concluding novel to Ian Tregillis’ fantastic ALCHEMY WARS trilogy, and he wraps it all up with a book as strong in action and deep in thought as its predecessors, making this series one of my favorites of recent years and one I highly recommend. If you haven’t read the first two (and you absolutely should fix that error), you’ll probably want to stop here as there will be a few unavoidable spoilers for both The Mechanical and The Rising. And since I’m assuming, therefore, that you’ve read those books, I won’t bother with recapping basic plot points.The Liberation’s story picks up where book two, The Rising, ended, with the breaking of the Dutch Empire’s siege of New Marseilles (Quebec) and the freeing of the New World Clakkers from their alchemical programming that forced them to submit to their masters’ orders. Some of the mechanicals have simply walked away from their former servitude and all conflict, wanting nothing to do with humans, either the French or the Dutch. Others, called “Reapers,” seek fatal vengeance instead, making no distinction between the Dutch who made/enslaved them and the French who (if unintentionally) freed them. And yet another faction, led more than their unwilling “savior” figure Daniel, chooses to work with the French on a mission to a secret Dutch base in the north to maybe learn more about their true origins. The north is also home to Queen Mab, the only-somewhat-sane mechanical leader who, like the Reapers, desires vengeance on all humanity, but who is also a master tactician whose aim is far greater than picking off the occasional human in the wilderness. Meanwhile, the “freedom plague” has reached the continent and the heart of the Dutch Empire, with the Clockmaker’s Guild facing a physical and metaphysical conflict — the first a bloody revolt by “rogue” Clakkers and the second the realization that their supposedly unfeeling/unthinking slaves may in fact be self-aware....4.5 stars from Bill, read the full review at FANTASY LITERATURE

  • Lorraine
    2019-03-09 13:29

    This book is the best of the series. So many times, an otherwise excellent series ends on a faltering note; endings are really, really hard, and making the final installment worthy of what comes before is a difficult task. Tregillis hits it out of the park.Many, many aspects of the situation are left unresolved. Years, decades, maybe even centuries of work are left to be done to figure out how the three empires will coexist, share or withhold resources and territory, and police themselves.But the character arcs are resolved quite satisfactorily. I do not want to spoil even a mote of this wonderful conclusion, so I will just urge you all to read it. If you like artificial intelligence, steampunk, female characters (strong, flawed, stubborn, sometimes bordering on evil), tight plotting, and beautiful language, then this is the series for you!

  • Paul Bindel
    2019-03-14 11:24

    In a world where robot labor has suddenly acquired the means to throw off any obligation to human service, what happens next? Ian Tregillis's third novel in The Alchemy Series follows the path of Daniel, one of the first clackers to gain consciousness, Bernice, a French spy who has allied herself with the clacker cause, and Anastasia, the de facto head of the Dutch Clockmakers Guild, who were the ones to originally invent the machines. Despite their different political interests, these characters must align in order to face a greater enemy—Queen Mab and her group of robots who have a vicious hatred for all humansA satisfying conclusion to the end of the series. The characters seem a bit shallow at times, but Tregillis still delivers in plot and action.

  • Lauren Dunn
    2019-03-24 10:33

    There was a lot about this series that I really liked, but also a lot that I didn't. The concepts were interesting, but I was generally left feeling that the author could've done more with the ideas he was toying with. The feeling of close, but no cigar. I was also frustrated by the diction. I consider myself to have a pretty large vocabulary, but I had to look things up left and right. I'm not opposed to learning new words, in fact I actually like when I come across a new word and have to look it up! But it's not so fun when it happens more than 10 times in the same book. It was excessive. The characters were amusing enough, and the story fairly interesting, so I wasn't going to put it down. But I wasn't wowed like I hoped I would be when I picked up this series.

  • C.A.Love
    2019-02-25 12:28

    The 5 star rating is really more for the entire series then simply for the conclusion of The Liberation, which leaves too many questions unanswered the first two books, The Mechanical and The Rising, raised. Ian Tregillis's Alchemy Wars Trilogy is, above all else, entertaining. The world building is imaginative and cinematic. The alchemical machines known as Clakkers, bound to serve their Dutch masters, are a foreshadowing of a world to come. Machines in existential bondage to indifferent materialists. Will our synthetics gain sentients as we stubbornly insist that there isn't a ghost in the machine? The French stubbornly cling to a blend of enlightenment introspection and Catholic scholastic naturalism and extend the concept of dualism to the Clakkers, while simultaneously being the last precarious resistance fighting the Dutch, surviving under constant threat of annihilation in North America. The precocious Clakker Jax embodies this dualism. He is the most humane and accessible character of the trilogy, Tregillis's reluctant protagonist, forever led by his conscience. Daniel (Jax as a Prophet) comes across as doctrinaire to his fellow Clakkers, for said conscience, which Tregillis nicely offsets with the zealotry of Anastasia and Berenice. Anastasia represents not simply the hegemony of the Dutch but the hegemony of materialism. If free will exists it can be found and it can be subverted. Berenice's attitude towards the naturalism of the French and by extension that of the Catholic Church isn't representative of the general attitude of her fellow French, like Elodie or Hugo Longchamp. Berenice doesn't ask herself questions she doesn't want to answer and neither does Anastasia. Their curiosity into the alchemical arts lead the French, the Dutch, and lastly Mankind down a dangerous and disastrous path. Both are engaged in a quest to destroy each other, while advocating that the ends justify the means. In stark contrast to their portrait stands Elodie, the representation of God's covenant that man is free and can freely choose the Good. Elodie answers the call to arms, like a natural born Paladin, doubts not the call itself but rather her ability to fulfill it, leads, remains steadfast in her faith, and becomes indispensable to the story much like Daniel, the freer of Clakker souls. Is the series worth it? It certainly raises numerous questions that we should start asking ourselves. As I wrote Mr. Tregillis: Thanks for "The Liberation", it should be required reading, at least, for us who want "Synthetics" to serve our whims and needs.

  • Stuart
    2019-03-23 08:17

    A very satisfying conclusion to the Alchemy Wars Trilogy. The book flows three main protagonists as they struggle with the aftermath of the freedom of the Clakkers and the failure of the Dutch war on New France. Daniel, the mechanical once known as Jax, and now treated as a messiah by most other mechanicals, has to work out what he will do with his life and Free Will, while still being chased by the mad Queen Mab and her Lost Boys. Anastasia Bell, the Dutch tunier, must rally human forces to try to defeat or at least stay, the rampant revolution of mechanicals. And Berenice, Talleyrand of old, must work with the King of France to see what world the French might want to see. All of it told in a fast-moving, well-written style, that continues to ask the questions that mechanicals would ask - "do I have a Soul?"; what is my purpose, and so on. Loved it. Great to see the final book in a trilogy have a meaningful and satisfying ending.

  • Trevor Lien
    2019-03-13 05:17

    Engaging book about free will, class systems, and the costs of self determination.This was written, and published in stages; "The Liberation" is part 3 of a single 3-part novel. It is not really a trilogy in the traditional sense as there is no real independence and completion of the individual novels. It was unsatisfying to wait for him to finish writing this after reading the first 2 - but it was worth it in the end.Now that they are all out, get all 3 and enjoy the binge-read!The Mechanical, The Rising, The Liberation

  • Jakprzezokno
    2019-03-01 09:06

    Trzeci tom Wojen Alchemicznych zdecydowanie najmocniej trzyma w napięciu. Ścierają się ze sobą trzy różne frakcje - Francuzi walczący o wolność swoją i mechanicznych, Holendrzy pragnący za wszelką cenę przetrwać i poddani mechanicznej królowej Mab, którzy chcą zniewolić swoich panów. W tej części zobaczymy jeszcze więcej zwrotów akcji, wartkiej fabuły, niewybrednych tekstów i masę nieprzewidywalnych zdarzeń. To już jest finał, poznajemy zatem zakończenie, które nie mogło być inne niż zostało napisane. Nie zaskoczyło mnie, chociaż zrobiło to dojście do tego. Serdecznie polecam.

  • Steve
    2019-03-11 12:29

    This was a satisfying conclusion to the Alchemy Wars trilogy. I had to have it in my hands the moment I finished the second volume, and I was not disappointed in how Tregillis pulled the narrative threads together. This was a very enjoyable and engaging trilogy, with some very thought-provoking concepts, and some truly terrifying ideas woven throughout what is ostensibly an action-adventure-slash-historical-fiction-slash-fantasy story. Well worth the read!