The Queen’s Necklace by Teresa Edgerton

by stephenpalmersf

In former times, many many years ago, the Goblins were the masters. After being overthrown, all except a few of these rulers are gone, with those few surviving driven into hiding. But now the time has come for the Maglore Goblins to repress and rule humanity once more. As they pull strings of power and advance their plans, it is a number of “jewels,” that are in fact weird devices, that are the key. But only a covert order called the Specularii believe that the Goblins still exist – and one other character, Wilrowan Blackheart…

Romance of a sort is also on the menu, in the form of Wilrowan and “Lilli” (Lilliana), with the latter being a member of the Specularii. As the Goblin conspiracy is revealed to be far wider and deeper than supposed, this romance twists in many directions.

Teresa Edgerton has pulled together a complex tale, sometimes a little twisty-turny perhaps, elsewhere with lots of pace and fun. The characters are broad-brush (“Will’s principle {sic} failings have always been his love of danger and an almost insatiable sexual appetite.”), although I have to say the women characters are better, or so it seemed to me. The cast though is large, and it’s a big task to keep track of them all.

The writing quality is really good, action and dialogue are well merged, and there are very nice descriptive passages. Though the royalty and toff quotient is high, I strongly suspect the author prefers the rough and tumble of her taverns and muddy streets, which have an even more vivid quality to them.

As with her super recent book Goblin Moon, this fantasy is a mixture of Regency era society – dancing and deportment, betrothal dinners, kidskin gloves, golden guineas – and also strange magics and one overarching quest. It is a standalone, however, which (to me) felt slightly odd, having read first and much enjoyed Goblin Moon. One is tempted to place the two novels together. But this one is its own book.

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The Queen’s Necklace

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