For my maiden voyage in Cannonball Reads, it is a happy coincidence that my first review is for A Restless Truth by Freya Marske which is a book about a maiden on a voyage both literal and metaphoric.
This is the second book in a series about an alternate Edwardian England that involves magicians, a murder mystery, and queer romance. Which is to say, entirely my cup of tea. The first book, A Marvellous Light which I also thoroughly enjoyed, centers on the adventures of Robin and Edwin. This book continues the story but focuses on Robin’s sister Maud and her adventures on board a ship sailing from America back to England. There are indeed magicians, murder, and romance as Maud the maiden solves crimes and has a sexual awakening with the scandalous Violet.
Just like the first book, the third person viewpoint alternates between the two main protagonists Maud and Violet. The writing style is both breezy and introspective as everyone learns more about themselves while facing danger. For instance: “Maud had wanted allies. She hadn’t wanted covert troops who would do all the interesting things while she stood around and tried to keep her best yes-I-am-enjoying-the-party smile from slipping off her face. How did real military generals stand it without churning their nerves into restless butter? And most generals probably weren’t stuck with a bodyguard-companion in the form of someone they’d fucked, argued ferociously with, fucked again, and now existed with in a tense, insulted silence.”