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Clockwork Boys: 09/21/18
Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon) is the first book in the Clocktaur duology. It's a quest to get information on horrifying surreal creatures that are terrorizing the trade routes.
The book draws heavily on your typical D&D campaigns but tweaked in way that Vernon does with her middle grade books, but with an adult audience in mind. That means there is swearing, drinking, violence, atrocities, sex, etc. There is still her humor and her unique take on things.
Now in terms of the road narrative project, this first volume can read as a scarecrow / minotaur adventure to the city by a well traveled road. The scarecrows are the party, coerced to protect the kingdom by means of flesh eating tattoos that somehow know when they are straying from their mission. The road is the trading route that has now been overrun by the clockwork boys (later renamed clocktaurs). The goal is a well known city, now known only as the possible source of these armies of destruction.
In a greater world view, one could argue that the final destination isn't a city, but a uhoria in that there is a longer history than what the current kingdoms know about. There are Wonder Engines (also the title of the second book) that harken to a more advanced era.
But as this advanced era is a thing of the diagetic past and not exactly influencing the present, I am sticking to the city as the highest destination goal for this book.