Kit is on the run – she doesn’t know who her enemy is, Lord Dredmore or Lord Walsh, nor does she know exactly why both of them are pursuing her so passionately, but she hides as more and more of her life is attacked and destroyed.
But as she tries to hold the pieces together, she learns of the true threat not just against her, but against the whole city. Ancient, immortal beings released from long captivity and split into factions at war – and one of those factions is coming to the city and determined to reduce everyone to little more than mindless slaves
And Lord Dredmore is deeply involved in the whole conflict
The world building of this world continues in the same style as the first book – in that it is rich and confusing. The world is huge. I strongly suspect the author has a huge stash of notes, alternate histories, magical rules and a vast amount of detailed work to really produce this alternate world. And it is fascinating – not just what was grasped from the first book – the alternate history, an America that lost the Revolutionary War, the magic that is so prevalent, the class system and its added bigotries against the Native Americans and women, but also in its expansion with the introduction of the Tillers and the Reapers and the whole Aramanthan thing.
But it was confused. A lot of this information was introduced extremely quickly, with little chance to truly assimilate it or digest it. Many times I had to flip back to try and catch up and sometimes I just plunged on not understanding and hoping things would become clear. I was lost several times, I had to work to keep up others.
Excellent world, amazing, imaginative and vast fun – but incredibly confusing and poorly conveyed.
I know some readers have also had problems with the language use – and there is a glossary at the back of the book. I didn’t – but then most of the language use are variations of anglicised slang, so, being English, it’s probably less of a problem for me.
I feel the story, because of this, rather lurched out of control. It started strongly, Kit running around trying to hold her life together as her enemies try to destroy her. She faces the law, she faces vandalism, she faces murder attempts and she continues to rise above and try to not just survive but survive on her own terms. Including the line:
“If I can’t live as I want… then why go on?”
As she rejects any suggestion that she leave the city and hide.
It’s action packed, it’s edge-of-your seat reading and we have so many diving questions pulling us in.
And then we get the answers and it’s like one great big brick wall of confusion laid across the tracks of the story and I’m laid in the wreckage of the train that was the plot trying to figure out where we’re going and why (that metaphor fell apart along the way).
Suddenly there’s possessed soldiers and magic stones and children with magical powers and Kit’s grandfather’s involved and there’s more possession and an invading army and secret societies and special powers which are super magic but completely separate from magic… I think?
The story continued as well as it could – we had action, we had Kit still directing her own life. We had Kit determined to save the city and Dredmore and being pretty cunning with it – but it was built on the shaky foundation of the very confusing world building. Well written, even well executed – but a great story can only go so far when the reader is confused and doubling back.