Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances – a review by Jeanette Greaves

There’s something about Thuan and Asmodeus …

So, a quick catch up, This gorgeous little fantasy novella is set in a Paris that has been torn apart by a war between Angels. The Fallen (angels) now rule the city, organised as great Houses, and de Bodard has written many excellent novels and short stories about their quarrels and intrigues. The series is called ‘Dominion of the Fallen’ and I love it. In one of the later books, Asmodeus, the violent and somewhat sadistic head of House Hawthorn, establishes an alliance with a kingdom of river dragons that live beneath the Seine. He marries Thuan, a dragon prince, in a marriage of convenience. But he underestimates Thuan, a courageous and determined character, and the two become co-rulers of the house. The marriage of convenience becomes one of love and quite a bit of lust.

This novella, Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances, is the second standalone story about Asmodeus and Thuan, and like the first one, is set in Thuan’s old home beneath the Seine. The pair are on holiday, and have taken a couple of the House’s kids along with them. Asmodeus has a very, very strong sense of duty when it comes to looking after those in his care, and when the kids find a hungry ghost child at the site of a murder, the fallen angel takes the ghost under his wing, and sets about solving the murder with the help of Thuan. The pair have become a real power couple, with Thuan using his wits, charm and diplomatic skills as a complement to Asmodeus’s tactics of brooding menance and precise violence. In the background of the story is the newness of their relationship, characterised  by mutual physical infatuation and a nebulous fear that their love can’t quite be real.

If you like a romantic love story, or a political murder mystery, or a good old fashioned fantasy story, then there’s a good chance that you’ll love Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances. I did. It’s out on 28th June, featuring a cover by Ravven that perfectly captures Thuan.

You can find out more here.

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