This is a deliciously crafted antidote for your woes. Part 2 of Kingfisher’s (aka Ursula Vernon) Clocktaur Wars finds takes the party to their ultimate destination of Anuket City – home of the centaur-like Clockwork Boys.
The story is structured around solving the mystery of clocktaurs with side trips into the underworld of Anuket City, the culture of the badger-like gnoles and hints at the ancient civilisation that left behind the giant artefacts known as Wonder Engines. However, while that skeleton frames the book, it is the interaction between the characters that really lifts this from being an entertaining fantasy quest and into a story full of human warmth.
Romance, humour, love, a tiny bit of sex, as well as danger and mystery. Thoroughly entertaining. I don’t know if there will be more books featuring Slate and Caliban but I’d love to see more of this world, whether it was the further adventures of Learned Edmund and Grimehug the Gnole of wholly knew characters.
A satisfying conclusion to this two-parter, probably best read in one go with part 1.