Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL
It's been a few days since I finished this book. Also, I finished the next (and last) book "The Naming of the Beasts Felix had burned through his cachet with all of his friends and allies. As this book starts, though, he's back on good - or at least normal for him - terms with the cast we've come to know and love. I was looking for some explanation of how he'd atoned for what he'd done, but I never found it. Secondly, and related, we don't see a lot of development from the supporting cast thanks to the focus on Felix's internal life. The supporting cast is so ancillary in fact that despite Juliet and Susan's marriage the book fails the Bechdel test, whereas previous installments had passed.
This was a powerful book in it's own right, but it wouldn't make sense without reading the rest of the series. It's obviously setting up for the grand finale in book 5, and it does it with grace and aplomb and Mike Carey wasn't afraid to get dirty and wade into the filthy mess that is Felix's internal life and draw Felix a map to his own grail.
Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.