The narrator and heroine on this occasion is Mina Saxena, the River Song-style adventurer who appeared as a secondary character in the previous adventure, The Pearl of Tharsis. This is not confirmed until the end but I do not see this as a spoiler because it will be obvious to anyone who read Pearl and will mean nothing to those who haven't.
Happily, Mina Saxena is every bit as engaging as Cadwallander, adept at providing observational dry humour and possessing a vast Victorian vocabulary. She may lack Cadwallander's prudish British gentleman moments (always a treat) but she instead offers a female perspective of the time, as well as the perspective of someone in opposition to the British Empire.
Grant continues to vary his series to ensure it does not go stale. This time, the action is set on Earth in snowy Tibet rather than in outer space as with Pearl and Angels of the Abyss. Readers can also enjoy a much higher body count than the previous two, with extras being dispatched in numerous new ways. Death by yeti! Death by space goo!
Nevertheless, the series retains its steampunks motifs. Further historical figures find their way into the story, notably Herbert Walton, a surgeon who truly did provide aid to Tibetans during the British Occupation of Tibet. Equally, there are more appearances of steampunk technology, including a sled pulled by engines instead of huskies, a giant satellite gun in orbit called the Gloriana and the iron lungs of Duke Alexei Mikhailovich. The latter is a great addition to the cast who, like Mina Saxena, proves that not all heroes are on the side of the Brits.
Fans of the previous Sedgewick Papers will not be disappointed by this third installment and, if you are new to the series, there is no better time to start.