Her Ladyship's Curse, along with His Lordship Possessed are two separate parts of the same novel, Disenchanted & Co., which will be released together January 28th, 2014 by Pocket Books. Since both parts intersect with the other, I am going to review them as one book instead of two. It’s called taking creative liberties.
The world of Disenchanted & Co is set in an alternative reality United States called Toriana (The Provincial Union of Victoriana). It is a world where the 13 original colonies lost the fight for independence and remained a part of the British Empire who treated them as traitors for nearly three decades. The residents are still required to take an oath to the Crown every five years without failure or fanfare.
*FYI* I highly recommend that if you read this book, that you don’t forget about the glossary of terms in the back of the book. This will ensure that you will not become frustrated or confused with certain terms.
I've always found the concept of alternative reality worlds to be quiet interesting. If you know anything about the History of the United States, then you must throw out any preconceived notions of things that actually happened from 1776 to the time that this story takes place which is the last half of the nineteenth century or you won't enjoy it as much. You will also have to restrain your feminist side which will no doubt go crazy over certain aspects like freeclaiming where women can be taken off the streets at any time and kept by a man without any rights or means to complain about her situation. Yes, it's basically slavery.
Her Ladyship's Curse takes place entirely in Rumsen in what would be today's San Francisco if you were keeping track. There is also Settle (Seattle) and Middleway (Chicago). The series itself is supposedly a cross between alternative history, urban fantasy, and of course, steampunk. Steampunk does play an interesting part with Carri’s (steam propelled carriages), and pneumatic tubes which distributes food around the city. I am in the process of asking for one to be built into my home pronto. That way I won’t ever need to leave the house again!
Our series heroine is Charmain (Kit) Kittredge who has never actually believed in Magic. In fact, she became a private investigator and debunker of all things magic in order to disprove the very existence of anything considered the occult. I paused for a moment while reading this book, and thought about Chess Putnam from the Downside Ghost series and the fact that she debunks ghosts. Would it not be cool to have Chess and Kit working together as a team debunking things that go bump in the night? I think it would.
Kit has a reputation as someone who is trustworthy, but, she also has more than a few enemies in the magical community that wouldn’t mind seeing her gone from Rumsen post haste. This brings Kit a very unusual case that ends up with Kit coming face to face with the one person she wants to avoid: Lord Lucien Dredmore, considered to be the most powerful and dangerous death mage in all of Rumsen, and a dangerous plot involving long thought dead Reapers. Dredmore has been trying his best to peel back Kit’s layers and find out why she doesn’t succumb to his charms and magic like others have. I think you will either be surprised by the revelation, or you won’t since it all makes sense when you put things together.
I actually really liked Kit. She’s a woman in a male dominated society which looks down its nose at independent, strong minded women. She’s fearless, without being overly reckless. She works hard and tries to keep from being destroyed by the rich on the Hill. She has the most interesting friends in Bridget Duluc and Carina Eagle. She even has her own personal guardian who may or may not be a famous named magician. She tries to stick to her guns even with Lucian and Inspector Tommy Doyle (a childhood friend) hounding over her. One (Doyle) trying to protect her, while the other (Lucian) will do anything to get break her will and savage her into making Kit his.
I would highly recommend that if you are going to read Her Ladyship Curse or His Lordship Possessed, that you request them at the same time so that you don’t have to wait until October for the second novel to come out. I truly believe that if you liked The Parasol Protectorate, or The St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper, you will definitely enjoy this series as well.
Author - Lynn Viehl
Title - Disenchanted & Co.Parts I & II
Published by Pocket Star
Releases August 12 & October 14, 2013
Genre - Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Alt-History
Received via Edelweiss from Pocket Star