“She had never realized with such painful clarity how much she had taken even a shilling for granted.”
What I expected:
I liked the idea of this book, based in Victorian England with steam power as the main energy source. But really, believed it would turn out to be a soppy romantic novel, with a betrayal twist.
What it was:
The novel tells about the life of Lady Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, who prefers mixing recipes for explosive purposes over those for housekeeping purposes. She is on the cusp of being presented at court, just a couple of weeks to go, with lots of social events in the build-up to the the big event. Suddenly the rug is pulled from under her feet and she finds that she must leave her London house very suddenly and in trying to find somewhere to stay her circumstances are turned around completely.
She takes up life with a group of individuals , who with her leadership become a leading underground gang.
She attends an interview for the position of assistant to Andrew Malvern of the Royal Society of Engineers, who she discovers is a business partner of an acquaintance. This gives her pause for thought about the position.
The book ends rather abruptly, obviously the next book continues the story. It turns out that there are 10 books in the series. I don’t know if I will read any more of them, seeing as this one was just that little bit too short on length and substance. A shame that the set hadn’t been compiled of 5 longer books, which would have been worth investing time and money in reading.
3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)
London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.
At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.
When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . but sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .