Dec 182013
 

Lyle’s second book takes us to France, Venice, and tantalises us with the unfulfilled idea of a trip to the New World. This second book raises the stakes and, in true Angry Robot style, is filled with action and intrigue. We discover more about how Skrayling society works. The Alchemist of Souls was a pleasant surprise, but this second volume, whilst very readable felt a bit flat. Venetian intrigue is called an impenetrable knot, but unwound with ease; a few glaring inconsistencies in the Skrayling magic rules stand out. Fun, engaging, but I wanted a bit more to chew on.

 

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Nov 262013
 

I was really ready to not like this book. There’s so much that could go wrong with it: from racial tension around introducing “skraylings” into Elizabethan England to the perils of bringing – i.e. screwing up – Elizabethan England. It was with pleasant surprise that I found this book to be an engaging, page-turning read. The set-up: a lovable rogue who should be in the upper classes is slumming and failing to make ends meet, for his mad brother in Bedlam, and his best friend is gay and in love with him. Sounds like a awful set-up, but it kept me going.

 

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