Bewitching blend of the literary and fantastical
One of the more impressive debut novels I've read, easily earning its place on the shelf next to Gaiman, Rowling, Peake and Pullman. The writing is rich and visceral, with plenty of Clare's trademark "crunchy specificity." It's also a ripping good yarn, chock full of fun, quirky characters that wouldn't feel out of place in an Agatha Christie novel, and complete with a young female protagonist who takes precociousness to the extreme. A few of the set pieces in and around the mysterious old estate will stick with you for a long time, as will the surprising (but ultimately satisfying) genre-twist about midway through. Well worth seeking out, and I urge you to treat yourself to the print version vs. the eBook so you can admire the incredible cover art in all its glory. I eagerly await the recently announced sequel, The Ice House, coming in 2019!