I’ve read yet another awesome indie novel. I’m excited to share my thoughts with you on The Girl in the Clockwork Tower by Lou Wilham today.
This book is not just for Rapunzel fans–there’s also a little something for those of you who adored Tangled, too.
Let’s talk about this book!
Rating: 4 Stars
A tale of espionage, lavender hair, and pineapples.
Welcome to Daiwynn where magic is dangerous, but hope is more dangerous still.
For Persinette—a lavender-haired, 24-year-old seer dreaming of adventure and freedom—the steam-powered kingdom of Daiwynn is home. As an Enchanted asset for MOTHER, she aids in Collecting Enchanted and sending them to MOTHER’s labor camps.
But when her handler, Gothel, informs Persi that she will be going out into the field for a Collection, she decides it’s time to take a stand. Now she must fight her fears and find a way to hide her attempts to aid the Enchanted or risk being sent to the camps herself.
Manu Kelii, Captain of the airship The Defiant Duchess, is 26-years-old and hasn’t seen enough excitement—thank you very much. His charismatic smile and flamboyant sense of style earned him a place amongst the Uprising, but his fickle and irresponsible nature has seen to it that their leader doesn’t trust him.
Desperate to prove himself, Manu will stop at nothing to aid their mission to overthrow MOTHER and the queen of Daiwynn. So, when the Uprising Leader deposits a small unit of agents on his ship, and tasks him with working side by side with MOTHER asset Persinette to hinder the Collection effort, he finds himself in over his head.
The stakes are high for this unlikely duo. They have only two options: stop MOTHER or thousands more will die—including themselves.
What I Enjoyed
I’ll say this forever and ever: I love fairy tale retellings. And this one is an extremely charming and enchanting version of Rapunzel. Fans of Tangled will see similar themes, such as MOTHER being an organization that keeps Persi locked away and Gothel, the apathetic handler. And yes, don’t forget the long hair.
I also love a good character development that depicts a shy, timid character growing into a strong, driven one. This growth was so relatable to me; I enjoyed reading along and watching Persi light up as she discovers her abilities, her goodwill, and her passions.
Manu is also a delight. Very much the smolder-master Flynn Ryder, Manu also learns to fight his battles his way without losing sight of why he’s in the fight in the first place. Persi and Manu are surrounded by other delightful fairy tale creatures to create quite the magical steampunk aesthetic.
My Final Thoughts
Wilham tells a great story of resistance and acceptance. Next to Persi, we learn a bit more about accepting what makes other people special and letting those traits blossom instead of diminishing it. Everyone’s got a little spark of something to fight for.
This book is ideal for YA readers but I think even New Adult readers will enjoy this retelling of Rapunzel. There’s also some LGBTQTIA+ representation that will appeal to inclusive readers.
Hopefully, I shared enough to pique your curiosity. Want to get reading? If so, I highly recommend you look up Lou Wilham on social media: