Posts Tagged With: darren craske

The Eleventh Plague by Darren Craske

This is the second book in the Cornelius Quaint series, and the events follow straight on from where the first book ends (there is a brief recap of the events in The Equivoque Principle – the first book – for anybody who has not read it).

Cornelius has left most of his beloved circus family behind, to travel to Egypt accompanied only by Madame Destine, the circus fortune teller and faithful friend of Quaint.  In Egypt, Quaint has to stop a plan masterminded by the Hades Consortium to poison the River Nile and cause death to countless Egyptians.  Along the way, he encounters desert thieves, has to deal people who are determined to kill him by any means necessary, and deal with long buried secrets which resurface.

Just as in The Equivoque Principle, this is an enjoyable romp, full of surprising twists and turns – a situation could turn on it’s head very rapidly! –  and like Quaint himself, the reader is never entirely sure who can be trusted.  Our hero is again full of witty quips and smart asides, and I found myself rooting for him all the way through.  He and Madame Destine actually find themselves separated for a large portion of the story, and the opportunity is taken for both characters to be explored further.  (This was particularly welcome to me in the case of Destine, as she was the one character I found hard to warm to in The Equivoque Principle; I liked her a lot more when reading this book).

Initially I did think that I would miss some of the characters from Quaint’s circus troupe, who he takes his leave of in the first few chapters.  I especially hoped that his valet Butter might go to Egypt with him, but he was tasked with running the circus in Quaint’s absence.  However, I actually realised about halfway through the book that I was not missing these characters at all, due to the new characters that were introduced in this book.

The plot is outlandish at times, but I think this must have been entirely intentional – as with the previous book, the book does not take itself too seriously and I don’t think the reader should either.  It is simply a rip-roaring and highly enjoyable adventure story, which will made me smile.  A wonderful bit of escapism – go enjoy:)

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Equivoque Principle by Darren Craske

Its 1853 and something nasty is in the air in Crawditch, London.  A series of grisly murders coincides with the arrival of Dr Marvello’s Traveling Circus, which is the business run own by Cornelius Quaint, ringmaster and conjuror extraordinaire.  Suspicious immediately falls upon the circus performers, and their strongman Prometheus finds himself wrongly incarcerated for the crimes.  Quaint, with the help of a number of his performers and the guidance of his good friend Madame Destine sets out to clear Prometheus’s name – but before long he realises that the murders are just the tip of the iceberg concerning some very dodgy dealings occurring in the criminal fraternity.  And as the mystery unfolds, it becomes clear that the events are related to Cornelius’s own history.  Will he be able to prove his friend’s innocence…and will he manage to escape with his own life?

This is a rip-roaring adventure story, populated with an eccentric cast of characters.  Cornelius is a great main character, who has plenty of cunning, an acute sense of humour and a quick intelligence – all of which he needs to employ to navigate his way through several deadly situations.

More of an adventure story than a mystery, the tale twists and turns, so that the reader is often caught unaware by the events that take place.  The main characters are well drawn, so that I did feel that I got to know them.  Some of the villains are a little cartoony, but that’s fine and all adds to the atmosphere of fun and excitement.  My favourite character was probably Cornelius’s loyal valet, Butter, and I would have liked to have learned more about him.  I also particularly liked one of the police officers investigating the murders – Horace Berry, who was perhaps the most conventional character in the whole story.

This is the first story in a series (of three books, apparently), and I hope that the further installments of Quaint’s life and adventures are as much fun to read as this one.  It’s not completely accurate on some historical details (occasionally using descriptive words and terms that were not around at the time that the book is set), but that hardly matters – after all, this is a romp, not a study of the period.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I don’t think the reader is expected to do so either.

Overall, I would certainly recommend this book – it left me with a smile on my face!

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 113 other followers