Volume 3 of the Conjuror Girl trilogy was published on December 9th.
In an alternate 1900…
Central London, and Monica finds herself embroiled in the affairs of the Hatherley family, with whom, against her will, she is tied; and at least one scion of that family is a traitor to her.
Soon the future of the country itself is at stake, as Monica uncovers the darkest of plots undertaken by the most heinous of men. But if she is to triumph against the odds she must come to terms with her own talent, and in doing so discover who she really is…
‘The plot is highly engaging and keeps moving at a good pace throughout, providing surprises aplenty. The fantastical elements are original, and it’s easy to suspend your disbelief and go along with them. The alternate Victorian England Stephen offers is rich with strange and curious things, and is a pleasing place to spend time. The books run on from each other, so spare yourself some frustration and buy all three at once.’ – Nimue Brown, Druidlife Blog.he sequels carry the story forward picking up where the previous one ended. The central character’s ambiguous morality, in a world of moral ambiguates lending it self to a dark brooding series unlike the normal fair of the talented child genre.
In the second book Monique has changed her name and identity having fled the orphanage and taken up life on the streets falling in with a street children gang. This is very Oliver Twist like but compared to the leader of this little gang Fagin was a saint. The world is as d growing list of foes, as do her friends.
‘In the third and final book further dark plots take Monica to London and the heart of the dark sorcery enveloping this version of a Victorian England that never was. Now Monica Hatherley after a sham marriage she finds herself even more out of her depth and fighting back against a world twisted by heinous men.’
There is a lot to unpack in these books, a lot to think about, but the strength and joy of Stephens writing is his characters, both the central Monica and all those around her. There are strange dark twists and unexpected turns and the reader never really knows where he is going to take the tale. Its not simple fare, there are questions you need to ask yourself along the way, and its challenging at times. but challenging in a good way, challenging of preconceptions, of the line between self-interest and selfishness. And in the end its a joy…