December is a strange month for me because of traveling to get home and other plans, and having to recon with my own success at completing my own goals (not going to touch on that whatsoever here). It was a month where I read a bunch of things in translation and a singular ARC which feels more in the direction of how I want to be reading into 2023.
We go back to the world of a cute blond girl haunted by a buxom woman executed under mysterious circumstances a decade prior to the events of the book.
This second volume features more of everything. More betrayals, more characters, more intrigue. I really enjoyed the pacing, which is not reflective of how long it takes me to get through. The chapters delve into backstories of characters we’ve heard of before, like Lily Orlamunde, and new players in the political games. There’s also a focus on the struggles of the working class, showing that the chaos has further reach than just petty rich people problems.
While there are villains in the sense of Scarlet’s antagonists, but there are much darker forces afoot. The crime syndicate of Daeg Gallus is a force to be reckoned with, being involved in threats and actual deaths of other nobles. It’s fascinating to see everything unfold, and the daggers and walls close in around on Connie, whose only crime coming into this story is being haunted by Scarlet.
It would introduce so many spoilers to talk more specifically about the title, but we finally figure out what the title refers to, and the conspiracy only thickens.
My May goals were fairly modest: get new glasses, start the process of renewing my passport, and continue working on the revision. I did all that! And I worked out 3-4 times a week, and I feel like things are steadily trucking along. I think I can finally listen to audiobooks again, and I super missed it.
There was an author interview practically every week. Take a look:
It took me a minute, but I did enjoy reading this light novel, the first in a new series. It’s got a noble woman haunted by the ghost of another whose execution she witnessed, court intrigue, and conspiracy galore.
The book takes place in a secondary world with about as much technology as present in the late 1700’s on earth. There are viscounts and kings, emperors, delegates from other realms, and a smattering of international politics here and there.
The main character, Constance Grail, needs to do one thing to live up to her family name and that’s to be sincere. She’s also engaged to a lecherous duke and is haunted by Scarlett Castiel, who’s quite infamous among noble circles. She’s out for revenge and enlists Connie’s help . The dichotomy between these two is so fun so far. Where one is timid and polite almost to her own detriment, the other is ruthless. It’s this contrast that really keeps the story going. There are so many threads introduced, and, by herself, I’m not sure Connie can manage them all, but with having a new fiancé and Scarlett at her side, I’m sure she’ll get to the true reason why Scarlett was executed in the first place.
Nobles play badly and there’s conspiracy and artifacts afoot.