This is a strange book. It has an interesting premise (plague and masques and pseudo-Victorian social mores!) but the characters aren't very interesting or finely crafted, and it's hard to care about any of them. The plot is meandering, the world not very fleshed out (I can only hope the swamp and its inhabitants are revisited in the next book, though I can't say I'll read it), and the story is just generally lacking in oomph. I do appreciate the author's attempts at being atmospheric, though.