Book Review: Iron Chamber of Memory

As you may have determined from my review of Somewhither, I have been impressed by the work of John C. Wright.  Somewhither was an awesome roller coaster ride with as much depth as it had spectacle. Iron Chamber of Memory is different.  It is a much slower burn.  Don’t get me wrong, there is action, adventure, and derring-do.  There is also romance, though in more than one sense.  I’ll get to that in a bit. Slower burn or no, unlike Somewhither, I read Iron Chamber of Memory in a day.  Thanksgiving Day, to be precise.  It’s taken me this long to write the review because how to review such a book was a bit of a conundrum. The story starts out with Hal Landfall, a poor graduate student working on a paper on Arthurian legend, looking for his missing friend Manfred on the island of Sark.  (Sark is a real place, a small island in the English Channel, just east of Guernsey.)  Manfred has recently become the hereditary lord of Sark, and Hal is seeking him in the middle of the night, at a bizarrely labyrinthine mansion where the Lords of Sark reside, presently unoccupied.  (Unlike the island, the mansion,