My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Read this one relatively slowly because I wanted to savor it. This is going to be discussed as “gaslight fantasy” because it’s secondary-world with a vague post WWI-ish(?) setting, including bicycles as a main means of transportation and a bicycle chase sequence that is far more gripping than one would expect it to be.
It’s got a murder-mysteryesque plot tied to some deeply reflexive contemplation on power (both magical and political), privilege, who wields it, how they do so, whom is victimized in that process, and how these things intersect in unexpected ways, particularly in relation to war and its aftermath. There’s a deeply satisfying sweet gay romance that bubbles alongside the murder mystery plot.
This was a warm hug of a book for me. Strongly recommended.