Belimai Sykes — Prodigal; tortured by the Inquisition (made to "confess") and then addicted to the drug ophorium; a private
investigator of sorts; a hustler of sorts.
Captain William Harper — priest/Inquisitor/police captain; torn
between his loyalty to the system and the corruption and injustices he
sees in it.
"Mr. Sykes and the Firefly" — Captain Harper asks Belimai Sykes to
help him find his kidnapped sister (a woman known for her Prodigal
sympathies). She disappeared after a series of Prodigals have been
murdered and mutilated.
"Captain Harper and the Sixty-second Circle" — Captain Harper is
heading for a vacation at the family estate. His trip is interrupted
by the mysterious death of the daughter of a wealthy and prominent
citizen. The powers-that-be are seeking Sykes as the suspect; and
Harper senses a cover-up.
- The stories are a mix of fantasy and mystery/thriller and steampunk. How well does the author combine these genres?
- This is clearly a work of Fantasy rather than historical fantasy or
alternate history. (Where is Crowncross, the Holy Capital?) Despite
that, how well does the author evoke (re-create?) the feel of
- The book consists of two linked novelettes or novellas. "Mr. Sykes
and the Firefly" is told in first person from the viewpoint of Belimai
Sykes. "Captain Harper and the Sixty-second Circle" is told in third
person from the viewpoint of Capt. Harper. And the Epilogue returns
to first person narrative by Sykes. Did this affect your enjoyment of
the story? If so, how?
- What do you think of Hale's mythology (the origin of the Prodigals,
their powers, their social position, etc.)?
- What do you think about the way the author portrayed the characters
of Sykes and Harper — their quirks, their personalities, etc.?
- What do you think about the way the author depicted the developing relationship between Sykes and Harper?