‘It’s easy to think that nobody could really arrange the world like clockwork.’
The events of this novel take place a few years after ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’. And if you haven’t yet read ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’, my advice is to read that novel first. It’s really important to know who the characters are.
Thaniel Steepleton receives an unexpected posting to Tokyo. This is fortuitous: the London smog is making him ill. But what on earth is happening in Tokyo? The staff at the British Legation have been seeing ghosts. And then Thaniel starts to experience strange things, and clearly Keita Mori (with whom he is staying in Yokohama) is unsettled. Then Keita Mori vanishes.
‘He can’t predict random things.’
I don’t want to write more about the story: it might spoil what is an absolutely fantastic read. Besides, what more do you need to know about a tale of magical realism, set mainly in late nineteenth century Japan, with a clairvoyant samurai, a clockwork octopus and a child named Six? You’ll need to pay attention because details are important.