Book Review: ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’ by Natasha Pulley

“He held the watch a moment longer before setting it on the wooden chair by the bed, the one that served as a table for collars and cufflinks. The gold caught the ember-light and shone the colour of a human voice.”

‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’ is one of the best books I have ever read. I am currently reading it for the fourth time!

Set in 1884, the story follows Nathaniel Steepleton, a telegraphist for the Home Office. One night, he returns to his flat and finds a golden watch on his pillow. Six months later, the watch saves him from a bomb. Nathaniel seeks answers from the watch’s creator – Keita Mori, a mysterious, lonely Japanese nobleman.

Meanwhile, Oxford student Grace Carrow is trying to finish her research before her mother can force her to marry. As Grace and Mori’s storylines interlink, Nathaniel must choose between warring loyalties and futures.

‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’ is a charming novel which blends history and politics with fantasy and science-fiction. All of the characters are breathtakingly real. Keita Mori is my favourite character of all time, and his relationship with Nathaniel is wonderful.

I liked this book even more when I read it a second time, because it has so many tiny moments of foreshadowing. The story’s complexity made it slightly confusing the first time around, but I still adored it. It also taught me lots about the Meiji era in Japan.

I recommend this book to anybody who likes subtle fantasy and character-driven stories. The sequel is just as good – I will review it soon!

Rating: 10/10

Genres: historical fiction, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, romance, lgbt

One Reply to “Book Review: ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’ by Natasha Pulley”

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