The Cage of Dark Hours by Marina J. Lostetter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I think this is a superior book to first. It's much darker, really evoking the feel of a full-fantasy steampunk London while making us revel in the torture and abuse of small children for the sake of enhancing their magical ability.
The worldbuilding is very good. The magic system is truly fascinating. Breaking off parts of people's souls, trapping them in masks, is both cool and cruel. The very idea of gifting time, itself, to the already powerful and long-lived is also horrific but perfectly understandable in this dark fantasy world.
The implications and ramifications continue to unfold in this novel.
I quite enjoyed the tale for what it is and thought the characters are decent. I won't say I fell in love with all of them, but I did feel some quite strong feelings for one rather strong-minded victim. No spoilers, but I really loved the later quasi-psychological developments and magical resolutions.
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