Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why would Lady Maccon let an impending infant slow her down?

Alexia is back in full force, with her retinue of vampires, werewolves and treacle tarts in Parasol Protectorate 4, Heartless.
Note:  Heartless, is the fourth book in the Parasol Protectorate series.  The review of the first book, Soulless, is here; and the review for the third book, Blameless, is here.  Otherwise, read on!

Lady Maccon has finally been exonerated and proven faithful to Lord Maccon (as we all knew she would be), and we're nearing the time of her confinement.  The local hive is hardly thrilled with the idea of another Cursebreaker in town, and have taken it upon themselves to prevent that from happening.

The werewolves have a rather...interesting solution to the dilemma.  Lord Maccon proposes having a vampire raise the 'infant inconvenience', presumably so that it would be less likely to be used as a weapon.  But they would need a neutral party to raise the child, one that does his best to stay out of politics in general, but always has his ear to the ground.

Lord Akeldama, for example.

Well, at least Alexia can take comfort in the fact that they will certainly have the best-dressed child in all of London.  And Lord Akeldama's taking the role of surrogate parent so seriously that he's willing to sacrifice not one, but two of his closets to make room for the additional members of his household.

Because, of course, even a mother as pragmatic as Alexia wouldn't be very enthused about another person raising her child.  Luckily, the building next door to Lord Akeldama's home is for sale, and with the addition of a removable drawbridge between two balconies, The Maccons will be able to pass between homes as they wish.

But our Lady Maccon couldn't be content with just dealing with the infant inconvenience.  No, there's plenty of other crises to deal with.

The most pressing of which is an ominous message Alexia receives from a ghost.  The ghost is fairly lucid, though a bit distracted, and warns that someone is going to kill the Queen.  The queen uses her own resources to ferret out the would-be assassin, but again, Alexia has a few places to look on their own.

If that wasn't enough, there are Lady Maccon's personal problems.  Between Biffy not accepting the change well and her sister apparently turning into a Suffragette, the chaos levels are running even higher than normal.

Gail Carriger has found a good formula with these Parasol Protectorate books, and this one is sure to please fans of steampunk, romance and the supernatural alike.

Highs:  Alexia's friend Ivy is certainly coming into her own, since her marriage to Tunstell.

Lows:  Quite so many crises at once can be a bit hard to keep track of

Verdict:  It's nice to see Alexia and Connall together again, and Heartless is the same treat as the rest

Further Reading:  Boneshaker, Emma: A Victorian Romance

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