Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha PulleyThe Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
Pages: 318
Published by Bloomsbury USA on July 14th 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Magical Realism, Steampunk
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.


The Watchmaker of Filigree Street had actually been on my TBR for ages. It was one of those books that I kept debating picking up whenever I saw it in a bookstore but never actually did. When I got sent a copy for review, I was so excited that I actually ended up finishing it the day after it arrived.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was a wonderful blend of magical realism and historical fiction. There was even a mystery that kept me fully engaged and intrigued. The writing was absolutely beautiful and quirky. While the pace was somewhat slow, I loved how fully fleshed out and developed both the world and the characters were. I wasn’t quite sure how the various storylines would come together but Natasha Pulley managed to bring them all together for a finale that was at once infinitely complex and simple. I could see how each action taken or choice made throughout the novel contributed to where the characters found themselves.

Thaniel was an interesting protagonist and I enjoyed seeing how his story unfolded. His character development was a joy to watch. Mori was a wonderful character, a whimsical and brilliant inventor. I must admit that Katsu stole the show though (if anyone knows where I can obtain a clockwork octopus, please message me). I wasn’t as big of a fan of Grace but understood the role she played. And yes, there was romance and I loved it.

I would recommend this unique story to anyone looking for a whimsical and entertaining tale. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in a while.


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