A review by Nalini Haynes
A few years back I succumbed and started Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate novels on book 4. I had no idea who the characters were or what drones and clavigers were, but I was hooked from chapter one when I laughed out loud. Repeatedly. Since then, I’ve read the entire series in order and I’ve embarked on dirigible shenanigans with the Finishing School series.
Prudence is The Custard Protocol book one; Prudence is also Alexandria and Conall Maccon’s metanatural daughter, born in Parasol Protectorate book 4.
Prudence, Rue to her friends, is all grown up but remains an absolute terror, stealing vampire or werewolf form in lieu of subtlety in her espionage. One of the problems with shape shifting into animal form is the nudity when you shape shift back. And the lack of stays in polite society as a precaution. No stays means wobbly bits during social functions on the off-chance of some wolfish exploits later in the evening.
Lord Akeldama, Rue’s rove vampire adopted father, sends Rue to India to investigate a matter of utmost importance: tea. Under Akeldama’s guidance, Rue assembles a mixed crew for the Spotted Custard, the latest thing in dirigibles.
Twins Percy and Primrose Tunstall join Rue on the Spotted Custard, much to Quesnel Lefoux’s disgust. Quesnel bears a grudge against Percy; something to do with a woman. Tensions on the Spotted Custard simmer while Quesnel alternates his attention between Rue and Primrose. Rue knows he’s a rake but that doesn’t stop her propositioning him. Purely to further her education, you understand.
Gail Carriger continues her steampunk comedic adventure series spiced with romance and it is delicious. Imagine Jane Austen writing a 19th century romp for a 21st century audience, complete with vampires, werewolves and sexytimes in the near future. Prudence is not to be missed.
Post updated to pander to SEO whims and to include this link to Gail Carriger’s geust appearance on DMZ’s podcast.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Format: paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Orbit (Hachette)