This is an absorbing, richly-detailed historical adventure set in the late Victorian period which enthralled me from the start.
Luciana is grieving the loss of her beloved Grandfather, the Magnificent Marko, when Thursby, the Master of the Grand Society of Magicians turns up on the day of his funeral demanding to search their home. Luciana realises that he is searching for the key behind her Grandfather’s Golden Butterfly illusion, but she is determined to find it first. So begins her adventure into the theatres of London alongside her childhood friend, Charley.
Luciana is a girl outside her time who is not prepared to conform to the norms of Victorian society. She wants excitement and adventure, and protecting her Grandfather’s legacy provides her with just this.
This story cleverly weaves together a fast-paced intriguing adventure with social issues related to women’s role in society. Luciana, who is resourceful and determined, has no intention of letting society dictate to her as she searches out more and more pieces of the puzzle leading to the Golden Butterfly. However, the more she finds out … the more questions are raised. Where do her nightmares about fires come from? What does her Grandfather really want her to discover? Will Thursby’s all-consuming desire for the Golden Butterfly lead to the destruction of Luciana’s dreams?
This story is a spectacular jigsaw which, when finished, reveals an incredible family history, steeped in sacrifice and love.
Thank you to NetGalley and Stripes Publishing for an e-ARC of this book.