This is a fascinating blend of steampunk, magic and illusion. It also features the complex world of carnies, gypsies and circus entertainers. Duncan describes the tight-knit community feel to a tee. If you’re not one of them then you’re an outsider, regardless of your connection to them.
Elizabeth has a birth connection to that way of life, which helps her to navigate the dangerous and murky waters of the circus people, but the price on her head makes her a target.
Tasked with not only finding a fugitive of the Patent Office and some obscure machine, she also has to make sure she doesn’t fall into the mucky hands of the lecherous aristocrat she is running from.
Elizabeth is so convincing I think now and again she even made me question the existence or non-existence of her brother Edwin Barnabus.
I was also convinced this was written by a woman. It had a certain flair and understanding to it, I just wouldn’t have expected a male writer to be able to reproduce on paper. Not that it matters, other than the fact I was really surprised. My bad, awfully sexist I suppose.
Regardless of whom it was written by, this is a very well written book, with a great pace and an even better plot. I really do look forward to reading the next in the series.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.