No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Sunday, May 06, 2018

2018/18: Tremontaine: The Complete Season 2 -- Ellen Kushner, Tessa Gratton, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Joel Derfner, Racheline Maltese, and Paul Witcover

If hubris had effected the downfall of some of history's most famous charlatans, Diane comforted herself with the fact that history would never, of course, record the lies and outrageous dares of its more successful players. [loc. 2644]
The cast of Tremontaine reassembles, configurations and allegiances still shifting. In the City -- whether Hill, University or Riverside -- nothing is safe: nothing stays the same.

Rafe Fenton is desperate to find his lover William, who is imprisoned at Highcombe by his loving wife Diane. The family ledgers, which Rafe is examining in an excess of filial duty, are distractingly perplexing: the figures never seem to add up quite right. Perhaps he could engage Micah's help? But Micah (who is delightfully unaware that several of her closest acquaintances think she's a boy) has thrown herself with gusto into the life of a mathematics student.

Ixkaab, meanwhile, is still deeply in love with Tess (whose fair skin is likened by Kaab to ant eggs). But Tess is increasingly alienated by Kaab's devotion to her family, and Kaab's habit of secrecy -- also a family trait.

New characters are introduced, too: an exotic courtesan who is in no way demeaned by her liaisons; a charming ambassador who secretly mourns his lost lover; and the differently-charming Florian, whose lover Shade is very much present, homicidal and prone to theft, scheming and backstabbing.

And as ever at the heart of everything is Diane, who has ambitions to become Duchess Tremontaine in her own right rather than simply because her ailing husband is Duke. No woman has ever held such a high position. Place your bets.

There are a number of startling developments at the end of Season 2: luckily, I was able to embarque instantly upon Season 3 ...

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