CW (via author’s website) : inferred (and highly condemned) pedophilia.
Prim and proper Enne arrives in the sinful city of New Reynes to find for her missing mother, but the city has other plans. Enne is quickly pulled in by Levi Glaysier, an alluring young street lord who helps her navigate the city and uncover its darkest secrets.
It was okay.
New Reynes seems to be an homage to early 20th century Monaco. Amanda Foody infuses this setting with what started off as a pretty basic magical system and history that becomes harder to follow as more layers are added.
The city transforms Enne and we follow her ascent into darkness. It was interesting watching her learn about the city, but I was constantly trying to wrap my head around the magic system in which everyone inherits two gifts. Some are normal skills like dancing or acrobatics while others are called “mysteries” which are things like protection, controlling fire, or reading auras. The way the powers work wasn’t always clear to me and there is also a currency called volts that plays a big role in the city’s history that was never fully developed.
I found Levi’s title as a street lord and gang leader to be a lot more nefarious than the actual character. Levi spends most of the book earnestly trying to escape a bad deal he made. He and Enne do make quite the team.
I did this on audio and Saskia Maarleveld once again has a million voices inside of her. This is another great performance for her.
I went to read other reviws for this book and I’m a little fed up with EVERY Book about vaguely Victorian anti-heros and street gangs being compared to Six of Crows. I picked up this book because I saw Foody talk about her publishing journey TikTok and how she’d been working on this book as a teen in the early 2010’s…before SOC. If anything I was getting Fullmetal Alchemist vibes from this book because Levi can control fire and the way he used it reminded me of Rory Mustang.