"Without knowing it, she had shaken the edge of a web, and the spider at the heart of it had awoken."
Plucky heroine, Sally Lockhart, seems to take everything in her stride. Her father has died, her guardian is dodgy and her father's business has gone to hell in a hand basket. Did I mention that people may be out to kill her? What the heck is the mystery of the Seven Blessings?
Get ready for a rollicking adventure set in Victorian times and with the ever present shadow of nefarious opium traders. The pages flew by in a flurry, as Sally sets about unmasking bad guys and uncovering the truth about her father and the titular ruby.
My only quibble, and it is a little one, was Sally herself. Perhaps the brevity of the book does not lend itself to a lengthy amount of character development, yet there seems something a little wooden and formulaic about her. I loved the His Dark Materials series, so perhaps my expectations were just set too high. I also loved the television adaptation of this novel, with the always delightful Billy Piper as Sally. I just wanted a little more from this novel. I'm still keen to explore the rest of the series, perhaps it improves.
4 out of 5, every body is out to get poor Sally.