The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
|The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: Saintcrow continues to deliver in this alternate-history steampunk series. Great characters, great world building, an horrific bad guy - I only hope there are more books to follow. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: August 2014|
|External links: [356500942 Author's website]|
Emma Bannon, Sorcerer Prime and servant to the crown, has been locked away in her house for some time now, trying to avoid being drawn into affairs of treason and murder, thank you very much. But when Archibald Clare discovers the secret Emma has been keeping from him - in a violent incident at a court that takes the life of Clare's manservant, Valentinelli - Emma finds herself unable to avoid being thrown back into the fray. For someone sorcerous is murdering frails in the darker corners of Londinium, and though Emma would rather Clare spend time resting and recovering his faculties, she soon starts to realise that they may be the only ones capable of stopping whatever danger is blooming in the night.
Saintcrow continues to deliver in this alternate-history steampunk series. It's hard to set something in the Victorian era without touching on the Jack the Ripper mythology, and Saintcrow takes the bones of the events and turns them into a thrill ride of a murder-mystery with seriously sinister tones.
The characters remain sparely drawn and richly interesting. The strained relationship between Clare and Bannon forces them - both antisocial loners - to question what they mean to each other, adding new depths and dimensions to the central characters. Hints about Mikal's shady past and heritage continue to be drip fed into the narrative, building the intrigue surrounding his coming into Emma's employ. With Valentinelli bumped off, room is made for a new manservant - Philip Pico - who's very entertaining.
And the bad guy is horrific. The final reveal comes with a piece of description that's so vividly drawn that you can't help but feel a crawl in your skin at the thought. I can't say much more than that without spoiling, but it's a really satisfying end with a bit of a 'gross-out' moment that I would love to see on the big screen.
I don't know if there's meant to be a next instalment. I would say yes - there are plenty of threads left unpicked, and this doesn't have the finality of the closing act of a trilogy. I will be really happy if there is - it's definitely a world, and the characters are definitely people that I want to spend more time with. Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
For more great fantasy reads, check out Bookbag's Fantasy Picks
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ripper Affair by Lilith Saintcrow at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.