September 23, 2016 by kitmoss
Warning: This book contains one dashing cad, one half-mad witch, two vengeful ghosts, various assorted demons and enchanted creatures, a pinch of revolution—and the illicit use of pith helmets.
With this the reader is assured of a delightful sojourn in the company of Val and Aleister as they travel together in a fantasy version of British colonial India to find a magic crown hidden in a remote mountain temple.
Valentine Strange, if that is his name, needs to earn some serious rupees to pay off his many creditors, either that or get out of town fast. A mission offered him by the High Priests fits both bills, requiring that he put his life in danger on a long mysterious quest. The downside is that he must allow the company of a kinda freaky witch guy everyone says is mad. In fact, he is, having been tampered with by a demon earlier in his life. Who wouldn’t that make nuts?
Val finds the witch, Aleister (of course) a pain in the butt and full of unpleasant surprise and really rather attractive and… and what they learn to know and admire in each other makes them a dynamic duo hard to best.
In the meantime, the novel becomes a warning against giving power-crazy priests your confidence and belief, and a call to revolution that definitely is a mixed bag.
I don’t know what it is, but the skewed doppelganger India and England just serves to make the mystery more intriguing. If my levity about the book is deceiving you, then rest assured that the novel is a serious adventure with a wistful love story. It is Josh Lanyon after all, and that’s a guaranteed terrific read.