This is the second book of the second Elizabeth Barnabus Trilogy (the first trilogy being the Gas-Lit Empire), but you could be forgiven for thinking it isn't about her to begin with because Elizabeth doesn't appear until well into the story. It's partly narrated by the outlaw, Elias No-Thumbs, a man in search of a certain kind of revenge, or maybe justice, and it's set in a dangerously feudal version of Newfoundland where people are bound by tattooed oaths. Warlords, known as Patron Protectors, rule, supported by thugs. The upstart Jago is one such, a man to be feared.
It turns out that Elizabeth and her friends, Julia and Tinker, have been shipwrecked on the shores of Newfoundland and the problem is how to get off the island, since the only routes in and out are dictated by the patrons – but we don't discover that until Chapter 9, the second part of the book. Thereafter the viewpoint is shared between Elizabeth and Elias. This is really Elias' book. He's the one with the greatest journey to make in order to understand the lengths he'll go to for revenge on the ones that outlawed him and cut off his thumbs. Elizabeth gets embroiled in Elias's troubles in her search for a way off the island.There's obviously another book to come, and I'm looking forward to it. I've thoroughly enjoyed Rod Duncan's Barnabus books. Maybe this one slightly less than Queen of All Crows, but it's still well worth reading.