The opening of this book is with the death of Julia Greys husband. He literally drops to the ground dying. It's up to Nicolas Brisbane who is a member of the house party to bring Julia's husband to his bedroom directed by Julia of course. The doctor is summoned along with Julia's father and it is much later that night when Julia is informed that her husband is dead.
So talk about a dramatic opening, it can only go up from here. This book is dark and mysterious. There are a lot of sub plots going on and you feel like you can never really trust the other characters. Julia who is the main character in this book gets into turmoil in one scene between her maid and Mr Brisbane, where he finds himself cursed by the maid and Julia ends up with a migraine.
One evening while Brisbane is visiting Julia, he seems a bit stranger that usual, he doesn't seem like his normal self. He makes a point of informing Julia that he won't be available for a few days and that when he is available, he will let her know. So what does Julia do a few days later when she finds a key piece of information she thinks is important, she forgets the warning she got and heads off to Brisbane apartments to tell him about it. When she arrives Brisbane seems quite different to her, he seems to be high on something as he doesn't seem to recognise her. When Julia turns to leaves, Brisbane grabs her, locks the door and ends up sniffing her neck, this goes on for a few minutes and then Julia hit's him to get away and from that scene on you know, Brisbane is suffering from something that is so strong he loses his reserve around Julia.
Another time she ends up adopting a royal raven thanks to her younger brother, who stole it. She must keep it hidden because if she is found with it she could be jailed. The raven however becomes Julia's pet and likes her more than most. It's quite entertaining when he arrives in the scenes.
The currents going through this book are quite strong and when Nicolas Brisbane hypothesis Julia in one scene with a strange herb and you feel like the book is going into a whole new dimension. Still it does stick to reality in most places.
If you feel like you want to escape to a time when things seem different and life was a bit easier and you like to read books with dark, brooding and mysterious men, then this might be the book for you.