5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Worthy Sequel,
This review is from: The Glass of Time (Paperback)
Despite being a little bored with Victorian fiction lately, I've been totally engrossed in this wonderfully gothic story for the past couple of days.
With the help of forged references, Esperanza Gorst becomes lady's-maid and later paid companion to the cold, haughty Lady Tansor, Emily Duport (nee Cartaret), the lover of Phoebus Daunt who was brutally murdered by Edward Gliver twenty years earlier. At first Esperanza has no idea why her guardian has sent her on this mission, but as she delves deeper into the secrets of the Duport dynasty she uncovers shocking information about her own background and that of the Duport heirs, brooding poet Perseus and nice-but-dim Randolph. Along the way she meets some wonderful almost Dickensian characters, including the comedy double-act of Montagu Wraxall and Inspector Gully, and her quest takes her from the stately Evenwood to the dark, dirty streets of London and beyond.
As for the question 'Do I need to have read The Meaning of Night before reading The Glass of Time?', well strictly speaking no, but I really would recommend it in order to get the full benefit of Glass of Time, as the plot is so closely based on that of its predecessor and the ending is such a satisfying conclusion to the two books. However, if your memories of The Meaning of Night are a bit hazy (as mine were), then don't worry, there are lots of journals and letters flying backwards and forwards between the characters in Glass of Time which serve as helpful synopses of previous events, as well as providing Esperanza with the keys to unlock her past.
All the double-crossing and machinations we came love in The Meaning of Night are here, but this book is nowhere near as dark as its predecessor and some of the twists and co-incidences are a little predictable (thus enabling the story to be tied up quite neatly at the end).
I was really sad to read that Michael Cox died earlier this year after a long illness. His extensive knowledge and love of Victorian fiction shone through these two books and his writing will be greatly missed.