Sunday, August 11, 2013

Disenchanted & Company, Part 1: Her Ladyship’s Curse by Lynn Viehl

Alternate History/Paranormal/Steampunk

From Goodreads: 

"In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive."

If I had to sum up Disenchanted & Company, Part 1: Her Ladyship’s Curse it would be interesting.  Here is why:

Worldbuilding:  The story has some very intense worldbuilding.  It is set in an alternate history where America lost the Revolutionary War and where magic works.   Her Ladyship’s Curse has to blend the alternate history, the location and the magic into the story.  I had to pay very close attention to all the details in order to absorb all of the information about those three elements.  That was a big part of the story.  The worldbuilding is so intense that there is a much-needed multi-page Torian Glossary at the end of the story. 

Characters:  This is the first book in a series and like the worldbuilding character introduction was a big part of the story.  There is Kit, the main character, who does not believe in magic and makes her living exposing people who use magic as a fraud.  There are the two male characters, Thomas Doyle a policeman, and Lucien Dredmore a deathmage, who look to be a set up for a romantic triangle while playing a major part in the story. There are also two female side characters, Rina and Bridget, who help and look out for Kit.  The mystery is provided by Lady Walsh and her husband, both of who should appear in books two.

Plot:  The plot starts out simple and grows more complex as the story progresses.  There are twist and turns as everything progresses.  While one mystery is solved the bigger problem is still there at the end of Her Ladyship’s Curse.  The book ended with a cliff-hanger.

I saw elements that would make it paranormal as well as steampunk so that is how I listed it.

This is a novella rather than full-length books.  It is also an e-book.  I received a free ARC of Her Ladyship’s Curse from Edelweiss. 

Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc. published Her Ladyship’s Curse by Lynn Viehl in 2013.

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