Wednesday, March 18, 2015

London like you've never seen it....

5 stars
I admit it, I am wowed by this book. It has so much of what I love, nothing that I don't, and it's put together amazingly well. This is a must-go-get-now kind of book. Science Fiction. Fantasy. Mythology. Conspiracies.

Our story begins after the death of Eiliff and Aedric Tenning. They leave three children behind in the care of Aedric's sister Arianne. Twins Eluned and Eleri Tenning are sixteen, younger brother Griff thirteen. All four believe the couple was murdered and an automaton, a secret commission, stolen. Arianne has to support the children financially and emotionally, which means helping them find out why their parents were killed. One of the few clues left behind leads her to Sheerside, the home of a powerful vampire. She plans to enter his service, no small commitment, in order to investigate and secure a place for her charges. It doesn't go at all as she planned.

I love the idea of a world where Gods are as real as you and I are, with visible powers and each region's old religions flourishing to become living entities. I didn't find the various mythologies difficult to keep straight. Vampire-Pharoahs for Egypt, a female trinity monarchy for Prytannia( England, Wales, and part of Scotland), and the Tuatha de Danann in Danuin(Ireland).

Political conflicts appear to be centered mostly around gods and fulgate, the power-retaining rock that acts as a battery in most machines and equipment. The system is complex without being difficult. The world building occurs slowly, as details become relevant to the plot. I find it much easier to retain the details that way. There is a glossary at the back, but I didn't need to use it.

The characters are varied and wonderful. Arianne has a series of life-changing experiences, but doesn't become overwrought. She's very adept at hiding her emotions, which is both good and bad. Although she's able to remain clear-headed in nearly every situation, to the grieving children she appears aloof. All of them have difficulty reaching out and letting go. This is what I would expect so soon after the loss of parents and sibling and all the changes it thrust upon them.

The conspiracy was a good one. I didn't see it coming, but it wasn't far-fetched. I don't feel tricked, and the investigation was a thrilling ride. I especially like that the book ended on an ending, not a cliffhanger. Interest in the next book, for me, is based on my connection to the characters and the world rather than dangling bits I need to resolve.

The Pyramids of London is the first of five planned books in The Trifold Age series. This world is certainly big enough, and Ms. Host is certainly talented enough, to delight us with four more books in this setting.

Thank you NetGalley and Andrea K Höst for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Andrea K. Höst's blog - Autumn Write