Pastime Pleasures #24 – The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

Posted January 9, 2015 by Charlotte in Pastime Pleasures / 4 Comments

Welcome to my  feature, Pastime Pleasures, posted every other Friday. Today is the turn of The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman.

Here I will look at books that have given me great pleasure in the past. These are books I can read over and over again. The only rule is that the book must have been published five or more years ago.

Pastime Pleasures #24 - The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman


Sally is sixteen, an orphan and for the time has had a most unusual education and upbringing. After her father drowns in suspicious circumstances in the south China sea, Sally finds herself in grave danger. And to make matters worse Sally only has one living relation, an extremely scornful aunt, and due to her father’s complicated will, her inheritance is a little less than what she was expecting. And then what is Sally meant to do with the anonymous misspelled note sent to her in the post. What on earth could “Sali beware of the seven blessings. Marchbanks will help chattum. Bware darling.” possibly mean?

Sally is a resourceful, intelligent and independent person, who manges to get out of tight corners by the skin of her teeth! There is so much foreshadowing in this book, but is so slyly done that is extremly difficult to pick up on. The style of this book is really good as well, as through its shadowy drama, it maintains the style of a Victorian novel.

There is so much tension in this book, that you want the book to speed up. But the pace is fast. And mixed with the dramatic and violent deaths of those chasing down Sally and the mysterious Ruby.

The Ruby in the Smoke is a great adventure with a terrific ending that will leave you begging for more!

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