I was provided with an ARC by the publisher, and have been captivated ever since.
Will Starling is set in London in 1816, a city supercharged on the one hand by scientific advances yet hammered by the recently ended Napoleonic War. Will, an ex-soldier, moves in the seedy neighborhoods trying to make a living working for a surgeon and educating himself through his experiences and any book he can lay his hands on.
The story is one of a love that was lost because it was never truly given, the Doomsday Men who rob graves to feed the rapacious needs of the surgical colleges for cadavers, and a woman sacrificed to one surgeon’s desire for fame.
You won’t find much of the pretty parlors and ladies that populate so many other books. This takes readers into the filthy streets and derelict houses for an unflinching study of the realities most people lived at that time. The language is accurate to the times without becoming overwhelming for modern readers, and everything about the settings enhances the dark intentions of so many people…not the least of which reside in the heart of a surgeon who reaps other people’s pain for his own gain.
Once you read Will Starling, you’ll look for other books by Ian Weir. I certainly will.