I loved this final installment in the Parasol Protectorate series, although I am saddened that the series is over. The story was slightly slow to get started for me, but once the action moved to Egypt, it really picked up. There was joy, tears, transformation and a startling new relationship (at least for me). I especially enjoyed Alexia's growing relationship with her daughter, Prudence. In the previous book she seemed to be rather taken aback by the concept of motherhood, and while she still describes Prudence as an infant-incovenience, she seems rather infatuated with her.
On a side note, I was shocked to read a review that gave this story 1 star for an unexpected gay romantic encounter. One of the things that I have always liked about this series is how seemlessly the gay/lesbian/heterosexual characters/storylines have been woven together and how sexual orientation does not seem to be a big deal. Alexia's father appears to have been bisexual, Lord Akeldama appears to solely gay, and Madame LeFoux lesbian. Not sure how the aforementioned encounter would be a big surprise to anyone who has read the previous four books!