The Corsay Books
are an as-yet uncompleted book series by Chris Braak. The first two novels, The Translated Man
and Mr. Stitch
, are set in the city of Trowth - an Alternate Universe
version of Victorian London
. They follow the adventures of Elijah Beckett, Elizabteth Skinner, and Valentine Vie-Gorgon. These three are members of the Coroners, a law enforcement group dedicated to fighting the dangerous and exotic sciences known as Heresies.
The overall aesthetic of the series can be described as Lovecraftian Steam Punk
, prominently featuring Body Horror
, Eldritch Abomination
, and fantastical technology made of brass. The world is closely realized, with intriguing details of Trowthi history and culture woven into the page-turner narrative.
A third novel, In Corsay
, is planned.
These books provides examples of:
- Alien Geometries: How the Excelsior was supposed to work. Also the cause of the titular translated man.
- Alternate Universe
- Black and Gray Morality: The Coroners' attitude of zero tolerance and summary execution is clearly oppressive, but may be justified given the dangerous nature of the Heretical Sciences.
- Blind Weaponmaster: Skinner
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Valentine is quite eccentric by the standards of Trowthi society
- Determinator: Elijah Beckett, and - to a lesser extent - Elizabeth Skinner
- Disability Superpower: The Knockers are blinded to focus their abilities of auditory clairvoyance.
- Fantastic Racism
- Hallucinations: Induced by overdoses of the powerful narcotic Fang.
- Handicapped Badass: Skinner
- Hostile Weather: The city of Trowth has this in spades, ranging from a Second Winter cold enough to kill an exposed person in moments to psychestorms, which drive anyone not sheltered by copper-plating insane. This often proves an inconvenience.
- Layered Metropolis: An architecturally improbable example rather like a Lovecraftian Steampunk channeling-suicidal-amounts-of-Perdido Street Station version of Coruscant, spurred on by an architectural war. Yes, really, it all Makes Sense In Context. It started when one noble family built a tall, spindly tower with a view of the river, which offended another noble family who made a squat ugly tower in front of the tall spindly tower as an insult. It escalated into war, until a new front opened up when one architect built bridges over a major thoroughfare that went through his property. Soon, people started building on top of the bridges, to the point that it became a massive, towering, constantly constructed city.
- Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The Coroners' job description.
- Keep the Home Fires Burning: Skinner and Karine are only employed by the Coroners because most of the young men are away at war.
- Last Name Basis: Fitting given the quasi-Edwardian setting. Beckett and Skinner are almost always referred to by their last names. Curiously, however, Valentine goes by his first.
- Mad Scientist
- Master Swordsman: Valentine, Skinner, and many members of the Trowthi aristocracy.
- Non-Idle Rich: Valentine Vie-Gorgon
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Beckett's enormous Feathersmith revolver, and Valentine's two pearl-handled revolvers.
- Silly Reason for War: An architectural war at that, started because one noble family was insulted by a tower from another family that blocked their view.
- Sword Cane: Skinner has one
- Victorian London: Trowth is something of an Alternate Universe version, albeit with more malevolent weather.