Review No.101 – The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters – G.W. Dahlquist

Viking, 2006

Miss Celeste Temple did not come to the city seeking intrigue and conspiracy; she intended to get married. When her fiance abruptly ends their engagement and compounds the insult by offering no explanation for his change of heart, however, Miss Temple is determined to find out why. The search for answers will cause her life to fatefully intersect with two of the most unlikely men – poetry lover, library patron and killer for hire Cardinal Chang and the dutiful German surgeon Doctor Abelard Svenson – and take the three of them to more sinister places than they could ever have imagined.

I was drawn into this book by an irresistable title and kept there by an engaging, intricate steampunk adventure. The plot is skilfully crafted, different events seen from different eyes slowly revealing an epic conspiracy. Dahlquist’s writing is clear and crisp, consistent with the style of the era, and his three protagonists are flawed, complicated, interesting people. I had a few reservations about the female characterisation, but never to the point I wanted to stop reading. The intrigue continues in a second novel, The Dark Volume.

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