“History is a myth shaped by the tongues of conquerors”
My first Roshani Chokshi read was definitely a thrilling ride. The world she shaped is very unique and spellbinding. I truly appreciated all the details, however, the details were also confusing at times.
The story takes place in 1889 Exposition Universelle in France. A place where new technologies are emerging. A place where beyond the glamour, ugly and forgotten things took place as well. History does not always unveil the macabre things that happened among the glam.
The story is told in different POV’s through the eyes of a few characters, these characters all have a dark past that they are either trying to run from or change. We see the secrets that make up the tale. The main character Severin is a smooth talking, secretive and manipulative person. He has an agenda that rules most of his actions, to reclaim his fallen and stripped titles as one of the main house leaders. He enlists a team of friends who are going to help him reclaim his house and his titles through what they call acquisitions, a fancy word for stealing antiques that hold secrets. These friends are from different parts of the world and they each hold a unique secret ability that Severin wants to use to his advantage. I do believe he cares for his friends, but it is no secret he hopes they will ultimately help him in his grand scheme. When one of the other house members enlist the team to help him secure a valuable piece from another house leader Severin is trapped in helping him, but his true wants may be at arms reach with this acquisition. The success of the plan will hold their fate.
This novel was so detailed and different that it did often leave me feeling confused for the first half of the novel. I see why a story like this needed to be set up and crafted, but with all the detail I missed a lot of character and plot development to descriptions and explanations. I later learned that this is going to be a trilogy and I can appreciate the set up more.
I am curious to see where all the character development goes into the next novel, especially because the ending leaves you wanting more. I give this novel 3.5 stars as it was a challenging read and it only hooked me towards the end.