Isabel de Rosier and Jacques Revou are two professional thieves who are forced into a final job for Renard Daron and are watched over by Daron’s enforcers: Franseza Goy and Amaury Roche. Hayes has a confident and expressive writing style, the characters are distinct and colourful and the situation they find themselves in is challenging.
I enjoyed the dialogue and banter between Isabel and Jacques, their relationship: professional and romantic convinced, and I was fully invested in whether they would succeed with the biggest challenge of their careers.
It all moves quickly, with a few twists, lots of humour and dangerous problems to navigate. The steampunk technology is exciting and seamlessly fits the story. Interestingly, the background and world this is set in has a distinctly French feel to it, which is a pleasant change. I particularly enjoyed Isabel and Jacques’ attempts to fool the aristocracy. There are chases, duels, romance, airships and a fortune to be won or lost. With this effort Hayes has proved he is a fantasy author to look out for.