The Lady Astronomer by Katy O’Dowd

Posted April 22, 2014 by Lillian in Reviews / 2 Comments

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a good Easter weekend. I had to take off yesterday to catch up with my motherly duties, but this week is jam packed with exciting stuff! Today’s book is very reminiscent of classic fairytales and I truly loved it. And one day I believe my son will as well. It is truly a fairytale for all ages!


I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

The Lady Astronomer by Katy O’DowdThe Lady Astronomer by Katy O'Dowd
Published by Untold Press, LLC on October 30, 2011
Length: 194 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Rating:

Lucretia's quiet life as an astronomer and hat-maker is quickly turned on its head by her brother. He is commanded by the king to build the grandest telescope in the land. Unfortunately for Lucretia, she is introduced to his majesty as her brother's assistant. Her nights spent on rooftops gazing at the stars are replaced by adventure and danger. In a race to build the Forty-foot telescope on time for the king, her misfortunes take their toll. When Lucretia finds herself held hostage at the Clockwork Court, the innocent country girl doesn't know who to trust. The lady astronomer finds court life to be more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Even if her brothers manage to build the telescope on time, she might not live to earn her freedom.

With the help of her brothers, Freddie and Al, and her constant companions Leibniz the Lemur and Orion the Eagle Owl, Lucretia embarks on a journey that could change her life forever. Can she find the strength inside to balance her new life and overcome the obstacles threatening her destiny? Only the stars will tell.

What a sweet story!

The Lady Astronomer by Katy O'Dowd is a throwback to classic fairytales of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth. And I loved it! This story revolves around Lucretia and her brothers Freddie and Al. Freddie and his sister are astronomers for the King and have been commissioned to make a forty-foot telescope and chart the skies. Unfortunately for them this means a move, and after several unlikely mishaps Lucretia finds herself away from her family and in the King’s court until the telescope is completed.

The characters are so charming and well written. Lucretia is a petite woman with no physical beauty due to malformations from disease as a child. She also must wear a mono scope fashioned by her brother Al. This has never bothered her. She is strong-willed, stubborn, and very loyal to her brothers. Freddie is the eldest brother and also in many ways the father to his sister and Al. He is also quite smart and unable it seems to  do anything without his sister. Al is the middle child and an inventor. He is very imaginative and always thinking up new ideas and creations. But I can’t forget Orion the owl and Leibniz the lemur, Lucretia’s pets but in many ways they are her children.

The story itself is very much like a fairytale and the style of writing puts me in the mind of Neil Gaiman and C.S. Lewis. Very classic and completely magical! Al’s creations, like his clockwork orchestra, come to life with their own thoughts and ideas even though they are simply made of metal. But this magical component is so well blended with the everyday that it feels as if this world exists!

With strong characters and such a well thought out world, the book is captivating and I personally can’t wait for my son to be old enough to enjoy this book as much as I have. It is truly a fairytale for all ages!

About Katy O'Dowd

Katy is an arts and entertainment journalist and has worked for Time Out, Associated Newspapers and Comic Relief and her articles have appeared in The Times (London), Metro (London) and many other arts and entertainment publications, paper and online.

Alongside writing with her Dad under the pen-name Derry O’Dowd, whose first book The Scarlet Ribbon was chosen to launch the History Press Ireland’s fiction line, she writes under her own name. 'The Lady Astronomer', a YA Steampunk tale was released by Untold Press in 2012.

Katy reviews for the Historical Novels Review and the British Fantasy Society.

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