There is always a point in a book after the first 100 pages or so where you start to work out where your sympathies lie and try to establish you emotions around the main characters. So far because most of the main figures in the book are so weird it is hard to feel anything for them other than acute interest to see what they will do next. Peake has by now established several stories running parallel and apart from Steerpike there are several characters you are encouraged to spend some time with including Keda and her love life beyond the castle walls, Titus and the twin sisters deprived of their power. Steerpike is the link between most of them because he either interacts directly or spies on their activities. You sense he is going to be at the apex when all of the strands of the story come together.
Bullet points between pages 162 – 212
* Nannie Slagg the woman responsible for bringing up Titus until he is six is summoned by Flay to the library to speak to the Earl of Groan and as they set off they are followed by Steerpike who quietly follows them into the library
* Once inside the Earl announces plans for a family gathering to discuss the future for Titus and then Steerpike starts to scheme with quite ruthless cunning to egg the twins on to burning the library down on the night of the gathering
* Intercepting their invitation he tells them they have not been invited and then eggs them on to striking back at their brother by destroying his precious books and he gets things ready with oiled rags hidden to spread the flames
* His plan is to save the family at the right moment and therefore be eternally in their debt but in between getting ready he meets Fuchsia again and you sense that if there is anything that might prick his conscience it might be the first stirring of love
But he does seem determined to wreak havoc and make some sort of move that might bring some of the equality he talks about but in reality means power for himself. More tomorrow…