7 months ago
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish
This is the second novel in D.M. Cornish's Monster Blood Tattoo series (the first is called Foundling). We find our hero, Rossamund (a young man constantly made fun of for possessing a girl's name), beginning his training to become a Lamplighter in the Emperor's service. On one of the training patrols, the division of Lamplighters in training is attacked by a group of monsters in pursuit of a carriage of calendars (women dedicated to fighting monsters). It is during this attack that Rossamund first encounters Threnody, a young wit who has yet to master her newly acquired abilities. The combined efforts of the Lamplighters and calendars prove sufficient to turn back the beasts and the Lamplighters are able to return home. They take Threnody with them, who wishes to become Lamplighter, more an as act of rebellion against her mother than out of a desire to serve the Emperor.
Threnody becomes a companion of Rossamund's, mostly because he is the only one who puts up with her arrogant and condescending nature. Rossamund also encounters friends, old and new, on his adventures. Among them are Sebastipole the leer, Doctor Crispus, Numps, and of course Europe (also known as the Branden Rose). They are some of the only ones who can help him when he starts to experience odd happenings around the barracks. Rossamund takes part in nighttime pig deliveries from the intimidating kitchen mistress to the creepy, attic-dwelling surgeon as well as helping Numps the slightly crazy seltzerman repair lanterns.
Rossamund comes to find that not all men in the Emperor's service are as noble or trustworthy as they ought to be and tries to puzzle out his own opinions on teratology. Dangerous opinions that may lead to his being branded a sedorner (monster-lover *gasp*).
This second installment in the Monster Blood Tattoo series did not disappoint. Though it is a long one (over 600 pages), the book never lagged or wanted for action. Just at the times when I thought it was going tame on me there was a monster ready for battle right around the corner. I loved that some of the characters from the first novel returned and became real before my eyes. This fabulous tale earns the full 7 out of 7 lightnings *zing-kapow-zap, etc.*
From the Shadows,
P. S. Did you know that D.M. Cornish not only wrote this novel, but illustrated it as well? Click here to find out more.