This is a sequel, that I picked up on an emergency book run. One was called The Light Ages, by the way. I have not read it, though the plot synopsis sounded a bit familiar. The writing is so good that I am definitely going to hunt down more MacLeods.
But the writing is nice and dense with imagery and worth-while sentences. I don’t mind jumping in after momentous things have clearly already happened.
Alice is the main female character – Greatgrandmistress of a magi-technical guild: telegraphers I think. She’s slowly revealed to be a manipulative killer of anyone in her way (was that known in book 1, I wonder?).
Her son has tuberculosis for the first 20% of the book and then recovers miraculously. He has some Darwinian insights (enjoyed the moments as he and his girl try to come up with the right ‘brand’ for their concept).
Then, the book leap-frogs 17 years forward. The story resumes by following the son of those two primary characters, who never did run away together to the Galapagos islands.
I understand skipping ahead to the next crisis point in this world, though it was a major discontinuity and really broke up my momentum in following the characters none of the 3 leads had quite the same immediacy when the story resumed.
A very impressive book overall.