🎧The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher @longshotauthor #EuanMorton @AceRocBooks @PRHAudio #LoveAudiobooks

Posted September 7, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 15 Comments

🎧The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher @longshotauthor #EuanMorton @AceRocBooks @PRHAudio  #LoveAudiobooksThe Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher
Narrator: Euan Morton
Series: The Cinder Spires #1
Published by Penguin Audio, Roc on September 29th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 630
Length: 21 hours, 39 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: NetGalley, Purchased
AmazonAudibleLibro.fmBarnes & NobleApple
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

I reviewed The Aeronaut’s Windlass in 2015 when first released and read a print paperback ARC.  I loved it with all the hearts.  I am going to repeat my 2015 review here and follow with my update of reading in 2023 with an eARC and the audio I purchased.   I am relieved I decided to reread before the new installment, The Olympian Affair in November, because there is much I have forgotten.

This is steampunk?  If so, it is perhaps my first one and I loved it.   I am uncertain if this story is in the past or in the future, an alternate universe for certain.   The ships seem a combination of old and new with some being made from wood and then some armored, with sails, but also special crystals for other power.   The ship’s weapons include cannons and guns. People have knives and swords and rifles and gantlets.

The characters are lovely and we get a broad spectrum of types, from low to high members of society.  And there are competent and the not so competent.  There are confident and the doubtful.  But all of them are multi-faceted and not just a cliché of style.   I love them, the good, the bad and the ugly.  

I guess I would say there are supernaturals in The Aeronaut’s Windlass or at least other species.   The warrior-born and the etherealised are two of the types to learn in this world.  Cats also have an interesting role.

The story is a bit war / military like with lots of great action, but this is more like a swat team against terrorists at the beginning of a much larger conflict story.  The foundation here is solid and fascinating, but there is more to come.  One of the reasons I love military and battle stories is the technology described; I found that here.

For me, the icing on the cake in The Aeronaut’s Windlass is the humor.  There is also a touch of romance and some great relationships, not just romantic relationships but many types.  It makes it real for me and gives all the feelings.  An excellent start for this new series – I can’t wait!


I agree with my previous review in all aspects.  The world and characters are rich and diverse and fascinating.  Gwen and Bridget are both brand new to military service. They get thrown into the deep end and are wildly successful to the confusion of all sides of the conflict.  I found this hilarious.

Normally in a longer fantasy book, I rely on the audio performance to keep it moving for me and help me pronounce all the different names and places.  This was a very unusual case because I found I connected better when reading the print / ebook than while listening to the audio.

The story is far from finished at the ending.  The world is on the brink of war, which the agressors were beginning in a clandestine surprise opening salvo.  There is much yet to learn about the magic and the reasons for the war.  No doubt the ragtag, oddball team we met here will be up to their neck in it.  I do highly recommend The Aeronaut’s Windlass and reading it now, especially if like me it has been 8 years since your first read.


Giggle worthy quote:

“Miss Lancaster, having taken note of your talents and your, ah, determination to stay the course, regardless of how ill-conceived it may be, I am sending you to be a smoother.”

“A what?”

“Your duty is to smooth the way for Master Ferrus’s inquisition. The inquisition must keep moving forward. You are to avoid, overcome, or knock down any obstructions that may block your path.”

Gwen found herself frowning. “I’m not sure I know how to do that.”

“I’m not sure you understand how to do anything else.” Benedict quipped.



I believe this is my first listen to this narrator.  The voices were portrayed well with appropriate tones and accents.  I was very comfortable with the performance. The pace felt very slow, so I listened at a faster setting than normal at 2x speed.

Listen to the clip:  HERE

About Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

Rating Breakdown
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Posted September 7, 2023 by Anne - Books of My Heart in Book Review / 15 Comments

15 responses to “🎧The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

  1. Like you, I also read and enjoyed the first book back in 2015 and was hopeful for the second installment (as well as more Dresden) at that time. I’ve got the ARC for book 2, but I will not have time to re-read book 1 before that. I’ll look over my notes, but I may be bugging you if I can’t recall something. I’m wrapped up in re-reading the first two AMAZING books in Hearne’s Seven Kennings series. It’s SOOOOOO good. But two very long books!