By Natasha Pulley
I'm a big fan of Natasha Pulley's writing and I was so thrilled when I received an ARC copy of this book from the publishers. It promises a phenomenal journey into Victorian-era London to a haunted, steampunk version of nineteenth-century Tokyo.
It is also the sequel to The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, which I also read and loved.
It follows the story of Thaniel Steepleton to a posting in Tokyo. His brief is a strange one, the staff at the British Legation have been seeing ghosts and he is tasked with finding out what is going on. But whilst staying with his close friend Keita Mori, he starts to experience ghostly happenings himself. Then Mori disappears.
Pulley's worldbuilding is wonderful, and it focuses on a side of Tokyo that people don't really imagine, the rural setting and enchanting estate of Yokohama. Pulley is a character driven writer and the characters are so well rounded they leap out to you from the pages, Mori and Steepleton in particular you would imagine them being from some 19th century adventure novel such as King Solomon's Mines. There are also well done and beautifully evocative scenes between Mori and Steepleton. Mori's adopted daughter Six is also well painted and the type of character you often see in Star Wars as the fiesty child sidekick. I think what I love about Pulley's writing so much is she takes the reader to far off places, mixed with old school adventure and a modern twist of magic. This is old school reading which I love. My only note and why I didn't give it a full five stars is it wasn't quite as delicious as her first novel The Bedlam Stacks. But I would still highly recommend it.