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The Apprenticeship is over; Mary comes of age
on 18 August 2006
Mary Russell is more or less on her own in this second adventure. At the ripe age of 21, Mary comes into her inheritance and through a friend, is introduced to the New Temple of God and its mystical leader, Margery Childe. Her feminism and theology fascinate Mary, but when a series of murders claim the lives of some of the Temple's wealthy young women, Mary begins to suspect something more is afoot. With Holmes' aid, Mary confronts a cunning and vicious killer. Nevertheless, the mystery plot is really secondary to story of Mary's coming of age after the events in King's superb Beekeepers' Apprentice. Mary must come to grips not only with her academic aspirations, but her relationship with Holmes. I can't help but be enthralled with King's smart writing and the unique voice of Mary Russell. But what I like most is that King knows when to make her heroine take charge, without making her an unrealistic action hero.