I think I’m in love with Sir Jasper Lynch! He’s so honorable and controlled and not someone who would usually be easily played by a woman but that is exactly what Rosalind does to him. I was so mad at her for most of the book because I liked Jasper so much and I knew how hurt he would be when he found out. He’d been hurt before and a second hurt could destroy him.
We’ve seen glances of Sir Jasper Lynch, Master of the Guild of Nighthawks (the police force of London) in previous books in the series and he has always been reasonable and fair. He doesn’t seem arrogant like the rest of the blue bloods in London. Now, we get an in-depth look at him.
The prince consort, an evil and cruel man who uses his power to gain more power by nefarious means, has ordered Lynch to find the leader of the humanists, Mercury, who is believed to have bombed the Ivory Tower while the Echelon (the blue bloods in power over London) and the Norwegian Verwulfen were signing a treaty. If he fails to capture Mercury within three weeks, he will be executed.
Lynch has put all of his resources into finding Mercury but now has to deal with a rash of murders happening around London. Something is turning blue bloods into monsters who turn on their households and kill everyone including servants. They rip them apart as if they have turned into vampires. All blue bloods live with the possibility of turning into vampires if their CV blood levels rise to above a certain percent since blue bloods were once regular humans who had been infected with the craving virus which requires them to drink blood in order to survive. Only men from the finest of blood lines are allowed to be infected because the virus makes them stronger and faster with enhanced hearing, smell and eyesight than regular humans. At the age of fifteen, they go through their blood rites which turns them into a blue blood. Accidents happen and others become infected too. Those infected by accident are considered rogues. If they are strong enough, they get a choice to either serve in the Nighthawks which Sir Jasper Lynch started over 40 years ago or be a Coldrush Guard, who protect the Echelon and the Ivory Tower or be put to death. Almost all women who are infected are executed. Eventually, all blue bloods could turn into a mindless vampire if the CV blood levels get to high. All blue bloods levels are monitored. When a blue blood starts turning into a vampire, an ax is sent for and they are beheaded. None of the men murdering their households have high CV levels though. The only common denominator in all of the households is a sickly sweet odor and small metal balls. Lynch has to find out what is causing these men to mad and find Mercury.
Rosalind is Mercury. She is the leader of the humanists but she had nothing to with the bombing of the Ivory Tower. In fact, she tried to stop it when she found out. That is why she was at the Ivory Tower that day but she got there too late. She was trying to save her brother who was tricked into carrying the device which was disguised as a mechanical verwulfen into the tower. Now, her brother is missing and she needs to find him. She decides to infiltrate the Nighthawks to see if her brother was arrested or killed in the bombing by becoming Sir Jasper Lynch’s personal secretary. She has had a run-in with Lynch before but it was while disguised as Mercury in a mask. He saw her mechanical hand so she has to cover it with gloves…good thing gloves are the height of fashion and showing one’s hands is akin to showing a breast in blue blood society. She becomes Mrs. Rosa Marberry, a widow, so that she can be Lynch’s secretary.
It’s a dangerous game she is playing. She seduces Lynch both as Mercury and Mrs. Marberry. He is conflicted and attracted to both which is strange for him because he never falls for women…not since he was a teenager and was hurt by one. He knows he can’t have either woman though because he knows, in the end, he will not turn over Mercury to the Echelon council and therefore will forfeit his own life. It was very heartbreaking knowing this while reading the book. Rosalind has no idea though.
She does know that Mordecai, a mech, is behind the bombing. Mechs are humans who have lost a limb and have had them replaced with mechanical parts. In exchange for the parts, they are enslaved for a certain amount of time, usually 15 years, working for the Echelon in the metal yards or enclaves. People consider Mechs the lowest form of beings. Rosalind was working with some of the mechs when some of them started defying her orders and making their own plans. Mordacai was one of them. Now, she has seen Mordacai outside one of the houses where a blue blood slaughtered his family. She believes he has something to do with why blue bloods are turning into monsters and she discovers he is planning a mass murder but has no idea when or where but she has to stop it.
Once again, I couldn’t put this book down. I love this series. I wish some of the leading characters from the previous books would have made an appearance. Lena had a brief appearance but none of the others like Blade or Will were in the book. Leo Barrons was in it though and I’m sure he will have a book of his own in this series…at least, I hope.
I’ve already started reading the next book.