Trafalgar and Boone and the Books of Breathing by Geonn Cannon is the third book in the Trafalgar and Boone adventure series. Dorothy Boone and Trafalgar of Abyssinia are enemies turned allies that travel the world searching for lost artifacts and thwarting evil where they can.   

They are also founders of the newly created Mnemosyne Society, which is a collaborative group of fellow adventurers that have come to agree that they get farther ahead by helping each other rather than compete against. Each member has their own skills and talents that the group as a whole can call on. And those group skills are desperately needed when Dorothy finds herself in a most precarious predicament.

Everyone agrees to help, even Dorothy’s fiancé, Desmond, who is a mild mannered professor AND her beard. He puts his life on hold to help Dorothy, despite the fact that he has no physical conditioning for adventuring.

Trafalgar and Boone and a few others of the society make haste to Egypt to stop the man that is threatening the health and welfare of Dorothy.

And back in London Dorothy’s lover, Beatrice Sek, goes on her own journey trying to discover her true origins as one of the four Elementals in the world.

The world of Trafalgar and Boone is set in London after the Great War, sometime in the 1920’s. The draw for me is that Cannon’s world is one of steampunk with the added bonus of magic.

The Characters

Trafalgar of Abyssinia is a deep and dangerous woman who has overcome a lot to not only travel from Africa to London, but also thrive as a woman in the adventure trade.

Dorothy has been significantly luckier in life with being trained by her aunt (a great adventuress herself) and inheriting a tidy sum of money. And as fascinating as I found their rivalry in the first book, I have to say that Cannon has really developed each woman in the subsequent books, making them shine as part of their adventuring duo.

The side characters are also worth noting. Dorothy is in an open relationship with her assistant, Trix (Beatrice Sek). They love each other more than any other but have no qualms seeking physical pleasures with others.

Desmond is Dorothy’s fiancé and he is dedicated and loyal to a fault. They also love each other deeply though it is in a much different way. Each uses the other as a prop to maintain a certain “image” within civil society.

Then you have the other supplemental characters. You see them off and on throughout the series and it was nice to see familiar faces make an appearance here, if only to prove the worth and loyalty of the Mnemosyne Society members.

Overall Geonn Cannon writes characters that are deep and interesting, people I always want to know more about.

One thing that I noticed about this book more than some of Cannon’s others, is the diversity of the characters. Cannon has always written a wide range of people and sexuality. With Books of Breathing, there is an even wider array of types, all of which feel completely natural. I particularly enjoy seeing this kind of diversity in novels, especially if it can be written seamlessly as this was.

The Writing Style

As an action novel I’d say the pacing over all was fairly fast. There were plenty of times where the characters were able to build and bond. By that I mean build upon their own character and essence, as well as bond with others. But throughout you also had a sense of movement with their travels and the scenes of confrontation. As a reader I was pulled along the story in an exhilarated rush.

The Pros

Trafalgar and Boone give me that taste of adventure that I grew up loving. And I get it while reading about confident capable women winning challenges and beating back evil, while maintaining themselves respectably in a “man’s world”.

They have access to a variety of cool devices to aid in their exploits, and they fully own their sexuality. Another thing I particularly loved about Books of Breathing is the detail that the author imparts with some of the language and dialect. Toward the beginning, one young character says, “You two are just jake!”

From beginning to mid-century, saying someone was “jake” was a way of implying that you think they’re a pretty good person. Another moment refers to an ancient Egyptian man knows he is in the year nineteen hundred and twenty-one, but rightfully doesn’t know what the numbers mean in reference to his time. As he shouldn’t since the modern year is based on a calendar that came about centuries after the man’s original time. Very cool details.

The Cons

I personally don’t have any cons for the book beyond a few minor editing errors. Though I can say that a few may be put off by the open relationship that Dorothy Boone has with her assistant. And others may not like getting descriptions of an aroused male, which is necessary based on the plot and circumstance. But those things are minor in context of the entire undertaking.

The Conclusion

I can’t really say anything bad about Trafalgar and Boone and the Books of Breathing. It is a solid addition to the entire series and continues to develop the characters and world that Cannon has expertly crafted. It’s not a romance, though there is love that can be found within it. But if you like action and adventure in the style of Lara Croft or Indiana Jones, if you like dapper dressed women, steampunk devices, and multiple types of magic, then this book is certainly for you.

Excerpt from Trafalgar and Boone and the Books of Breathing by Geonn Cannon

Here imprisoned, gathered to the bosom of the not time, but ages, lies Amenemhat, High Priest of Amun. Beloved advisor… trusted… and so on. Here released, the beloved Amenemhat, granted new life and freedom from the warm embrace of Amun.

Her voice caught in her throat and she swooned where she sat. She closed her eyes to fight the sudden lightheadedness. One hand reached out for her tea, but her fingers trembled too much to grip the handle. She coughed roughly, tasting spittle on her lips as she pushed her chair back and rose unsteadily onto her feet. She felt like she was choking or being choked from within. She felt as if the room was spinning was room the if as felt she felt as if the room was—


He placed his hand on the table and stared it at. Small. Feminine. Pale and pink. He straightened his back and looked down at his body. Female. Trousers, a belt. White. There was the taste of something on his tongue. An herbal drink. His stomach was empty. He examined the room again for clues as to where he was and how long he had been imprisoned. There were not many. Bound books lined the shelves, dozens of them.

He heard voices from below and moved to the top of the staircase. Lights. Men and women speaking a language he didn’t recognize. He looked back at the table, the statue which had been his home for centuries untold stood near the lantern. He would return for it before leaving. For the moment, his most pressing desire was learning about his circumstances. He began descending the steps and hoped whoever waited below would pay no attention to a scholar stepping out for a moment.

He paused at the bottom of the stairs. A woman behind the bar. A blonde man sitting at a table, with a brown-haired man in a booth behind him. An older woman leaned upon the bar, elbows bent and fingers steepled in front of her. With the exception of the Oriental bartender, everyone in the bar seemed to be White. After a moment to examine the people without being noticed, he crossed toward what he hoped was the exit.

The beautiful woman with brunette hair looked in his direction and smiled. “Hu-low da’r’thee,” the woman said. He continued walking, eyes on his goal.


He was almost to the door now, but someone was approaching from behind. He heard rapid footsteps on the wooden floor. Someone touched his arm and he turned to see the Oriental woman. She returned his gaze with concern. She spoke too quickly for him to decipher. Now everyone in the room was looking at him. The elderly woman at the bar seemed concerned. He met the Oriental woman’s gaze in time to see something harden in her eyes.

“U’ah not Da’r’thee Bune.”

Whatever her words meant, it was clear they knew something was amiss. The woman’s grip tightened on his arm. He twisted at the waist and pulled free, his other arm coming up almost without thought to shove the woman away. She stumbled, eyes widening with shock before she recovered and advanced again. Again he moved without conscious thought, shoving his arm out like a piston and hitting her hard in the chest. When she stumbled, he punched with the other arm and caught her on the chin.

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Trafalgar and Boone

The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone

Trafalgar and Boone in the Drowned Necropolis

Trafalgar and Boone and the Books of Breathing

Trafalgar & Boone and the Children of the Burnt Empire

Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781944591366
  • Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC (September 1, 2017)

Geonn Cannon Online

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It really depends on how you like your steampunk.

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