Mark Llobrera
The Book of Lamps and Banners cover image

The Book of Lamps and Banners

Elizabeth Hand

Started Reading
Mar 19, 2021
Finished Reading
Mar 21, 2021

The latest in Elizabeth Hand’s long-running Cass Neary series.1 Cass is still on the run in London, and stumbles into a caper involving a long-lost book of magic, a reclusive tech whiz, and white nationalists in England and Sweden.

As with the other books in the series it reads fast, and I spent equal amounts of time admiring Cass’ reluctant-yet-dogged sense of justice as I did lamenting her various addictions and questionable decision-making. I do like that Hand finds time to reckon with the damage those addictions have tallied up over the years. The ending in particular feels like she’s closing this particular chapter of Cass’s life.

  1. It does seems like Hand plays fast and loose with continuity with respect to time. The first book (Generation Loss) is from nearly fifteen years ago, and the events in the series are only separated by weeks/months, but this latest book is marked by very contemporary issues: rising white nationalism, refugee crises, and a novel virus originating in China. ↩︎