Julia and her brother are orphans and members of the Spira City thieves’ guild. Her brother’s a mechanical genius, but Julia’s gift is better. She can vanish at will. It’s not invisibility. She steps into another space where she can watch the area she left. To help the guild, Julia accepts a job as a housemaid in Mrs. Och’s strange household. She believes she’s to discover what’s happening behind its doors, and there’s a lot going on. For one thing, a convicted magic practitioner-turned-professor keeps magical tomes, when magic is outlawed, a crime the government drowns witches for. Julia puts this down to Mrs. Och and her associates running an underground railroad, but that doesn’t explain the cursed werewolf lurking in the basement or the witch, who may or may not be the target of a serial killer moving in with a toddler in tow. And, guess what—the toddler can see Julia when no one else can. Soon, Julia discovers a link between the mistress of the house and an ancient demi-god.
I like Julia’s take-no-prisoners spunk, and the relationships she has with her brother, ex-boyfriend and mentors. They’re all thieves, but they care for each other. In fact, it’s because she wants to protect her family that she does something dastardly she quickly regrets.
The world, which has Victorian and steampunk vibes, is interesting, but the magic system is even more intriguing. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say witches cast spells with the stroke of a pen.
If you’re like me and you search for new authors, feisty heroines and fascinating world building, this might be the read for you.
Just so you know, I borrowed this book from the library.
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