In the third volume of Berkeley’s trilogy following on from The Palace of Laughter and The Tiger’s Egg, readers again meet Miles Wednesday and his side-kicks, Song Angel Little and blind explorer Baltinglass of Araby. Still in search of the Tiger’s Egg stone containing the trapped soul of a tiger, given to Miles when he was only days old but subsequently stolen from him, the trio are once more locked in conflict with villains from The Palace of Laughter circus. Ringmaster, the Great Cortado, assisted by Dr Tau-Tau are determined to prevent them from reaching the home of Miles’s Aunt Nura and the possibility of resolving the problem of the restless tiger and finding Miles’s missing father.
As with the previous books, strange characters are encountered and even stranger events take place before Miles wins through with further assistance from the angelic world. The Lightning Key will undoubtedly appeal to the many fans of the previous books. Berkeley writes with a light and humorous touch while never letting the pace flag. It will be interesting to see if this talented author next turns his attention to something more reflective. He is more than capable of this.