Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Obsidian Dagger by Catherine Webb

Back when I was still in MG, I came across the Horatio Lyle series. I've forgotten what they were about now, but I remember really enjoying them. So, when I went to the library, I hunted down the series - they only had one available, and sadly, it's not the first book. But, I still enjoyed reading it.

The Obsidian Dagger is a murder mystery. Two men are discovered dead in a boat. A series of murders follows. Horatio Lyle would like to stay out of this, but Lord Lincoln is basically twisting his arm until he starts to investigate. And the more he investigates, the clearer it is that meddling is only going to bring trouble. Too bad it's the right thing to do.

Accompany Horatio are Teresa, a former pickpocket and Thomas Edward Elwick, the son of Lord Elwick. The two kids are as different as chalk and cheese, and that's what makes the trio so fun. Thomas is smart, very smart, and a bit naive. Teresa may be uneducated (compared to Thomas), but she's street-smart, and learns at a quick rate. Horatio is like the guardian of the two of them, and the affection they share is very touching.

While I don't think you need to have read the first book to understand this book, knowing what happened before will definitely help. Several people referenced to are key players of earlier books, and may confuse the first-time reader.

I really enjoy the vivid descriptions and the rather unexpected humor of this book. It's funny, but it comes at times where you don't expect jokes to be made. Apart from humour, this book also touches on the themes of love (twisted love, patriotic love, philia love) and self-sacrifice (which if you think about it, is tied to love).

Now I remember why I loved this series so much.

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