A new season of Tremontaine is just around the corner – just in time, so I won’t get withdrawal symptoms. Even better, as member of TremonTEAM, the delightful folk at Serial Box Publishing have given me a sneak peek to whet my appetite. Will Diane’s alliance with the Kinwiinik hold? Will Rafe get revenge on the Duchess? Will Micah revolutionise mathematics? Let’s find out…
Convocation is the first episode of season two, and we are swept into the highest echelons of society as they gather for the autumn opening of the Council. The Lords are back from summering in their estates, and Diane is back in the City “to seek a new lover, hire a new swordsman and show the secretary from Chartil her shawl”. Oh yes, that’s my Duchess.
Needless to say, her poor, mad husband – and his special medicine – have been left quietly at Highcombe. Out of sight, out of mind – both the Duchess and some of the noblemen are having trouble remembering she’s not technically a widow…
There is so much to love about this first episode it makes my heart ache. First of all, we have the Duchess herself, high on life as she relishes the new opportunities her sort-of-single state affords her. She also has a bit of a girl-crush on both Ixsaabim and Ixkaab Balam, which is utterly adorable (and only a teensy bit distracting. WOAH YES LET’S – ahem, yes, anyway, do carry on).
If Season One showed us how Diane forged herself from the ashes of Tremontaine’s fortunes, Convocation is the Duchess of the future ripping her way out of her chrysalis to flutter out in pink satin and conquer the City. I don’t feel sorry for the men of the City for even a moment.
…partly because I’m far too busy being intrigued by two new arrivals: Reza, the rather dashing Chartili ambassador, and Ahtul Chel, a young Kinwiinik Trader new to the Balam household. Rafe doesn’t know who to make bigger eyes at, which is unfortunate given he has sworn an oath of chastity on account of his beloved Will’s condition. Heart vs trousers: an eternal struggle.
I have so many thoughts about Ahtul Chel in particular – he’s just a little too keen to be of service to the Duchess, for my money. She may think she’s seducing a boy who will spy on the Balam for her, but I rather think he’s seducing a Duchess to spy on her for the Balam… I also can’t help but think that Diane is just a little too sure of herself in this episode, and pride goes before a fall. And that’s before the Duchess of Hartsholt goes putting ambitious ideas in our Diane’s head over tea.
This is just all sorts of promising for Season Two, right?
As if that weren’t enough, we get Kaab dressed as a pirate and two intriguing references to old friends: a passing mention of the St Viers – a prominent banking family! – which has me all excited (watch them never get mentioned again; Tremontaine adores reminding us of what lies far in the future, without having any intention of over-complicated its past) – and the emergence of a certain Basil Halliday, assistant to the Dragon Chancellor and recently married to a vapid wife who isn’t called Mary…
I may be a tad over-excited about what the writers of Tremontaine have in store. When can we get started?