June is a modern-day anthropologist who repairs centuries-old automatons—mechanized dolls that come to life. Upon her repair of a Russian writing doll that scribbles, “All who breathe do not live; all who touch do not feel, and all who see do not judge. Behold the avtomat,” June is faced with a brutal reality. There is a world running parallel to her own, in which the avtomat have been fighting for their survival for centuries. Her grandfather encountered an “angel” during World War II that demonstrated superhuman strength and left behind a metal relic. June now wears the relic around her neck, and she soon discovers that it connects her to the world of the avtomat—and she may be the only living human who can help them.
Peter is an avtomat created in the likeness of Czar Peter the Great. His tale begins in a workshop in Russia in 1709 and spans centuries as he lives his nearly immortal life among humans. The avtomat have existed for thousands of years, and much of their technology is lost. A war has broken out among them as they seek the technology to save themselves.
Daniel H. Wilson, a seasoned writer of fiction, nonfiction and comics, also possesses a Ph.D. in robotics. The Clockwork Dynasty is bravely imagined and satisfyingly executed. Wilson has woven a brilliant fictional world into history, making this book a great read for lovers of historical fiction as well as fantasy and sci-fi.