My rating: Vacation at a beach I’d go to again (equal to 3.5 stars)
This part of the Disenchanted & Co. series begins right where the first installment leaves off. The author wastes no time getting right to the action, thankfully. Charm (the heroine) is held captive by Dredmore (the villanous-seeming hero). She calls her ghost grandfather Houdini to help her escape by possessing one of her guards. She escapes, and begins again her quest to sort out the mystery of the magical conspiracy introduced in Her Ladyship’s Curse.
Charm has a very wry, witty way of looking at the world that I love. She’s still plucky, capable of protecting herself, and determined to be independent. Her wit and wry humor come through especially well in a scene where she gets dressed in a whore’s costume at her friend’s brothel.
The plot has a lot going on. And I do mean a lot. Dredmore and Charm’s grandfather Harry are keeping something big from Charm, something crucial to the plot resolution. Dredmore gets into trouble; it’s revealed that the conspiracy involves an ancient magical race and an ancient war; the mystery of Her Ladyship’s Curse is discovered to be especially complicated; Charm treks through the sewers underneath the city Rumsen; there’s betrayal; the relationship between Charm and Dredmore develops in a very decided (and exciting) way; she discovers a secret about her pendant; and there’s even more I don’t want to give away.
All this action makes for a roller-coaster ride of a short novel. At times I felt there was almost too much going on, and that it all happened in a fortnight was kind of unconvincing. At times I found it difficult to figure out what was going on, since it had been so long since I read the first installment. In fact, I would have enjoyed these two books much more had they been kept in a single volume. On the other hand, all that action, the romance, and the myriad sub-plots made this a very absorbing page-turner.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I would recommend the series for fans of steampunk and urban fantasy. Fans of Lynn Viehl will enjoy it, and fans of S.L. Viehl may also enjoy it, although it is quite different from her space opera/science fiction series Stardoc.
If you liked the determined, independent Charm with her unusual and mysterious nature, who solves mysteries and stops conspiracies, you might also like this novel about a young soulless (and therefore unique) woman in London who solves a supernatural conspriacy:
For another book that combines a magical alternate world with a story about an antagonistic but attracted hero and heroine, try this series about a magical young woman who is forced to work with an aristocratic Fae to save the Edge:
I find myself short of recommendations of similar stories that take place in an alternate, historical North America. Do you have any? I’d love to hear about them!