A city of snow and wind.
A logistical nightmare when running a mission…
…or an opportunity to explore new sartorial delights?
Rory has faced many challenges in her time, but none quite so frustrating as mastering the art of walking in a corset and bustle.
She has to pass herself off as a wealthy heiress to infiltrate the House of Bel, a mysterious and highly exclusive club for Airnian high society, and of course her true identity must remain hidden at all costs.
Luckily, Longinus is on hand to advise—that is, when he’s not busy discovering the giddy delights of winter outerwear and investigating the mystery of what happened to his family.
But they soon become aware of a mysterious presence—someone paying disturbingly close attention to their every move.
Who or what is the White Hornet? What is the link to Longinus’s family?
And will Rory and the gang be able to infiltrate the House of Bel before the White Hornet uncovers their true identities?
Once again, Longinus and Rory are part of a team engaged in espionage on behalf of the Marchioness of Damsport. Leaving the warmth of their home, Cruikshank, the clever engineer, Adelma, the strong, hard-drinking smuggler and Rafe, a handsome Varanguard, have travelled north with them to Arnia, fearing the Emperor intends to reconquer Damsport.
The fledgling romance between Rafe and Rory is beginning to blossom as they act out their parts of a noble but poor aristocrat and his rich but unsophisticated fiancé. Soon the need for Rory to act independently and Rafe’s shame in admitting a weakness from his past, cause misunderstanding and distance between them. Meanwhile Longinus creeps through the frozen city at night in search of information about his lost father and missing mother.
Increasingly Rory’s efforts lead her into greater danger as she puts her trust in the dissipated Airnian, Simeon. While she and Rafe escape the authorities over the rooftops, Adelma, Cruikshank and Longinus attempt a daring diversion which nearly kills them all. But the greatest peril is the cold and ice of the unwelcoming city.
There are two parts to this story. First, during Rory’s visits to the House of Bel, we read fascinating descriptions of room after room of indulgence and desire where she finds no-one will help her, until she learns the importance of gossip. The second and most exciting part describes the dangers and heroism of the five vivid characters, as they fight, flee and help each other against weapons, soldiers and hostile weather. Another rollicking adventure of this likeable, if eccentric group.
The White Hornet on Amazon Uk
My review of The Slave City by Celine Jeanjean