Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement.

Elusive is the second book in the Scarlet Revolution trilogy, and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous book, Scarlet.

elusiveEleanor is now a fully fledged member of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a secret organisation who rescue vampires and aristocrats from the guillotine. When former French diplomat Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand goes missing, Eleanor once again volunteers her services to go undercover amongst society’s vampires. Across the channel, chaos ensues as everyone and everyone is accused of collaborating with the nobility, or being a vampire sympathiser. The revolution isn’t over yet.

Disarray and rebellions don’t suddenly cease after a revolution, and Elusive covers the period after the defeat of Marie Antoinette who, as you might remember, was turned into a vampire. There are rumours the former queen stalks the streets at night. Not everyone in France agrees with the new order, and it turns out vampires are hard to kill. Except for chopping their heads off with Madam Guillotine.

I hesitate to say Elusive was slow to get going, just because I’ve been reading so slowly of late, but it does focus more on Eleanor’s inner thoughts. She’s left in limbo between the aristocratic circles of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, and the household staff she now works beside. She’ll never be one of the nobility, yet the other servants know she’s spending more time with their masters than is normal.

My favourite part was her interactions with Anima, the spirit mage who possessed her in the first book. She’s desperate for Eleanor to learn what happened to the other mages and to continue her work against the vampires. Anima is frustrated that her host spends most of her time on household duties. Before, it was Eleanor’s similarity to Marie Antoinette that was useful, but now it’s her ability to blend in with the servants that allows her to get involved with the League’s work.

Fans of romance may be disappointed that Eleanor is still keeping Charles at arms length. She is not a woman taken to flights of fancy, and she knows there is no future for them. Charles must marry a lady from a good family, and she is just a maid. So she doesn’t let herself get too involved. Yet, they clearly both care for each other. Kind of makes you want Britain to hurry up and revolt!

I’m intrigued to where the story is going and how much it’ll deviate from history. Will Eleanor master the powers Anima awoke in her?

Elusive is published by Tor and is out now in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

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