Returning to the world of the Clockwork Boys was a lot of fun, if only because it gave T. Kingfisher the opportunity to introduce several new fantastic characters to the universe.
This isn’t an action-packed book, and mostly takes place as the characters trudge back and forth between three towns, but damn is it a fun book. Halla and Sarkis are such a fun duo, counterbalancing each other nicely even as Halla drives Sarkis up the wall with her endless curiosity. Then there’s Zale and Brindle, and we have our traveling band to round out the cast much in the way we had Slate, Brenner, Caliban, and Grimehug in the original duology. Make no mistake, though, these are all distinct characters with their own quirks and personalities, and they all shine bright.
The book switches between Halla and Sarkis as they strive to get Halla’s inheritance back from her truly despicable relatives. The perspective shifts and deep dives into Sarkis may actually be what shaved away the impact of the big reveal about Sarkis at the end for me, though I will argue that considering the fact that Sarkis was a mercenary, the idea of him being a traitor shouldn’t have been all that shocking to Halla. That was the only point when the plot felt a bit uneven for me. But the rest of the book is great, and so worth reading as Halla fights for her livelihood and autonomy while Sarkis tries to keep his humanity. It’s a really good fantasy romance book with a solid dose of dry humor, and I enjoyed it immensely.
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