This was possibly the shortest, fastest and most engaging sequel I've read in ages. Infuriatingly so. At first I was a little lost, because clearly a year between translations was not good for my memory. But after a couple of chapters I recalled, somewhat, the happenings of the last book.
The last book was good, but a set up for some goddamn twisty time-travelling conspiracy shit. And I must say...geronimo.
I love this because the characters are all very independent of each other despite being so intertwined. And I don't simply mean their personalities, which is definitely part of it. I mostly mean that they do things you hate, love or are indifferent about and it doesn't matter because they are who they are. These characters do not play for the audience, but for themselves. It's kinda magical, except I've been gritting my teeth for two hours straight. :|
Despite the few obvious copyediting misses/typos, this story is superbly translated. I think even the humour translated over properly. :) I do warn readers that Sapphire Blue
is an extremely quick read and hard to put down once you get into it. Something strange happens EVERY chapters, which causes you to cast doubts on your preconceived notions about various characters. This Gideon is a jerk. No, he isn't. He's allowed to have bad days. The Count is evil...or IS HE?
And what's up with Paul and Lucy? Whose side are they on anyway?
And yes, many of these dated characters they visit are absurdly sexist (and Gwen is rightly furious, but not entirely reckless to risk exposing herself), but Gier presents this sexism in a way that makes me question today's version of "equality" and if it really lives up to its label (my answer will always resolutely be no).
“Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors.” — Evelyn Cunningham