Gloria Meredith-Astor has inherited an extremely wealth and successful munitions company, one that is set to make a vast profit off a potential future war
And she doesn’t want it – not the munitions and certainly not the war. She is determined to turn her guns into ploughshares and she adamantly will not allow a war to be fought because of the weapons her company created, no matter what erstwhile family members wish.
If she has to hare off across the continent and ambush a train to stop it – then so be it.
This is one of those series that always makes me smile when there’s another book out – and this book is no exception
The series has a semi-shifting protagonist and this time it’s Gloria Merriweather-Astor. Now, I can’t say she’s one of my favourite protagonists, but I’ve always liked the idea of her, as I’ve said before. I like the idea of her because it would have been so easy, so very very very easy, in any other series to make her the villain. I probably wouldn’t have even criticised it if she were because there are so many other excellent and awesome female characters in this series, that having a single vapid/immoral/damn fool cardboard cutout villain would not have ruffled the waters
But that is not this series, that is not what this series does. So, I loved Gloria for that – for turning out to be brave and dedicated and awesome and full of morality and integrity even in the face of extreme pressure when she could just as easily have been a villain. But I am also interested in her because she is very different from the others. To a degree all the other protagonists have been misfits. They’ve not fit in the world they’ve been in – whether it’s Claire’s ambition and sudden poverty or the Mopsies rising from poverty to high society or Alice living among the raiders – they’ve all followed a different path because they haven’t had much choice in the matter. But Gloria has everything going for her – she’s the heiress to a rich, doting father who fully intends her to take over his company (despite him being evil and despite her being female). She has wealth, power, prestige, influence and she is also quite capable of realising any ambition she may have without every doing anything other than what is expected of her. She’s not like any of the other protagonist who must fight for what they want, their career, the life they choose, the family they value – Gloria doesn’t have any hard choices she HAS to make
But she makes them anyway. She makes hard choices because they’re right, because of principle, because of morality perhaps even out of a need to change her family and her business’s legacy: but Gloria’s is ultimately the most unselfish path and that is unexpected.