Tangled Webs joins its sister series of Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel and Gail Carriger’s Finishing School as a vibrant and intriguing tale of a street urchin who, in order to survive, must be a liason for buying and selling secrets. Arista’s parents both died when she was quite young, and she is sent to an orphanage. There is a sinister man known only a “Bones” who comes once a year to take his pick of the orphans with him. They are never seen again. When she is five years old, Arista learns where they are taken. Her new trade is to be a beggar and pickpocket, and if she doesn’t steal, she doesn’t eat. Such is the beginning of her schooling in the art of not getting caught.
She knows that once she is no longer of use to Bones, she will be cast out or worse – sold to a brothel. Determined to stay alive, yet longing to be free, she and her friends Nic and Becky, concoct a plan that will keep all three of them viable. Lady A, as she is known, will be the intermediary between Bones and whichever London aristocrat needs his services. Whether it is trading one of their own secrets to initiate the downfall of another, or selling the secret of another, Bones delights in not only the money for keeping such secrets quiet but also the power of having the wealthy at his feet.
Bones’ only problem is the Thief Taker General: Jonathan Wild. Known as the one to turn to whenever their valuables are stolen or they need to squelch a rumor or scandal, Mr. Wild is really a thief himself, benefiting from not only stealing the items but receiving payment for their “return.” He wants the secrets that Bones holds, as well as his most valuable asset: Lady A. And when he gives Arista an offer that she just about can’t refuse, she learns that it is sometimes difficult to know who to trust.
Will she ever be able to escape her past and be free?
If you enjoy historical fiction and the spy genre, Tangled Webs will tick both boxes. The squalor and dirt of Arista’s existence, the stealing and lying, the intrigue – they are all thrilling and riveting. There is romance and peril and the thrill of adventure, too. All done with a knife strapped to her thigh.
Tangled Webs by Lee Bross was published today, June 23, 2015, by Disney Hyperion. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the Publisher, the Author and NetGalley.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction Historical Thriller Romance Series
Ages: 12 and up
COYER Scavenger Hunt #5: Read a book with a weapon on the cover. (1 point)