It's so wonderful having a series of books to read of this calibre. The quality of each story does not fail to uplift and carry forward each character as they develop along with the mystery they are faced with in each book. C.J. Archer is a master of presenting the unusual in the form of necromancy, shape-shifting, seer or whatever type of strange anomaly that has been believed in for countless hundreds of years but which has always been decried as fearsome or non-existent. Enough happens in all our lives that none of what she writes about is beyond our reach. Each in our own way has experienced, in one form or another, the strangeness of life that we try to discount with refusal to see or accept that which we cannot explain. Ms Archer makes it all feel so possible and normal. The only thing I dread is coming to the end of what she has written so far and how long I might have to wait for the next book
Charlie and Lincoln are back! This time the Ministry of Curiosities becomes entangled in a Romani foretelling that proclaims the lives of the Royal family to be in danger. As Charlie and Lincoln investigate the supernatural threat, the work of the ministry comes under the scrutiny of the Royal family and most problematically gains the attention of Lincoln's estranged father. Of Fate and Phantoms tests their limits as the investigation becomes forces the characters' to confront their pasts.
I really loved that Lincoln finally met his parents, especially when he was recognised by his father. His interactions causing Charlie to adamantly help Lincoln to come to peace with his past so that he can move on in the future. Similarly, Charlie goes undercover to her old hideouts and gangs, and we get to see a glimpse into her life before Lichfield Park. So great to see these two character moving in the right direction with their relationship!
And as always the couple were joined by the machinations of Seth, Lady Vickers, Alice, Gus and Doyle. Just when you think you can't love Lady Vickers more she manages to do something amazingly scandalous. Also its so sweet to see Charlie finding a maternal figure in her. No only that, we get to see more of the characters linked to the ministry with Lady Gillingham and Robert Buchanan, the late Lord Harcourt's son making an appearance. I don't what it is about Robert, but terrible person that he is, I really like how he has this weird trust/friendship with Charlie.
Love how Archer's addictive characters make it impossible not to devour this book in one go, making it impossible to wait til the next one to comes out.
I was introduced to C J Archer's books in May 2019 and since then (it's now early July) have read 12 of them - seven in this series and five in her Glass and Steele series. If you like a bit of magic realism (I think that's how her work would be described) with a great deal of well-researched detail about life in England in the late nineteenth century, then CJ's work is just the ticket. Her characters are interesting and likeable when they're meant to be, believably unpleasant and detestable when that suits her purpose, and her plots carry you along at a fast pace. Enjoy!!
Another brilliant chapter in the Ministry of Curiosities series, which must be read in order to get all the bits of the story. Lincoln and Charlie are STILL not engaged... and someone is impersonating the recently dead King, causing troubles for the royal family. But the Ministry is there, to chase up paranormals in the slummiest of streets all the way up to the palace itself.
Wonderfully written. Full of intrigue, new characters & the growth of old ones. Couldn't put it down till the end. CJ puts a unique spin on the era, the people & the relationships. Hurry up and finish the next one CJ :)