So… I made the mistake of reading The Language of Knives (short story) at the same time as this. And the two paired just give a whole new meaning to bringing relatives to dinner. Okay, having said that, and having read the Bel Dame Apocrypha, I knew what I was getting into here: Hurley is a master (mistress?) of the creation of TRULY unique worlds with intricate worldbuilding, but also being able to delicately throw that information at the reader. I have absolutely zero doubt that she’s figured out plumbing for each of her cultures, but she has the grace not to explain it to the reader. I have to admit that most of her writing leaves me in the mind of China Mieville, who I consider the king of the New Weird genre, but honestly? I think she’s better at it. Unfortunately for me, I’m not a huge fan of New Weird, so while I enjoyed the uniqueness of the setting, it also had a tendency to get under my skin. THIS IS NOT TO SAY this is not an awesome book, because it is -- it is to say that I’m not one for this much complexity in my reading.