Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the two most recent additions to the Lacey Flint mystery series by Sharon Bolton. Heather shared her DNA results with a lot more Irish and a lot less British than she expected. Tina gave us the Perfect English Cottage. Sim’s fantasy walk in London finally got to the V&A (I’d been waiting for that one!) — she got there for a very cool exhibit on the Botticelli’s Birth of Venus. Jackie shared some of the photos from her 1991 trip to Dublin (with some 2015 travel photos for comparison). Becky reviewed Seasons Two and Three of Lark Rise to Candleford. She also re-read Persuasion and Much Ado About Nothing.
Book: Prudence by Gail Carriger
Genre: Steampunk fantasy
Publication date: 2015
Source: from the library as an e-book
Summary: Prudence, first in the Custard Protocol series, is set in the same world as two of Gail Carriger’s earlier series, but a generation later than the Parasol Protectorate and two generations after the Finishing School series. It’s impossible to summarize this novel or even describe the main character without spoiling the Parasol Protectorate series, so skip to the Thoughts section if you haven’t read it.
If you’re still with me, you’ll remember that the heroine of the Parasol Protectorate series was Alexia Tarabotti, a preternatural with special powers that includes an ability to temporarily take away the supernatural power of other magical creatures. She marries a werewolf. What do you get when you cross a preternatural with a werewolf? A metanatural named Prudence. When she touches a werewolf, not only does he temporarily lose his ability to change, she transforms into a werewolf herself.
When her London-based vampire foster-father sends Prudence to India to establish a new type of tea plant in a dirigible she calls The Spotted Custard, Prudence discovers that there are many more shapes to borrow in the world besides werewolves. Of course, this changing of shapes plays havoc with Victorian sensibilities of dress. Bloomers are dangerous when, at any moment, you might have four legs instead of two.
Thoughts: I got a kick out of the slightly anti-colonial bent in Prudence. It turns out that the fictional British blow it when they interfere with native practices in this supernatural world in much the same way that they did in history. And, they blow it out of an arrogance that their way is better so obviously it’s better for everyone. Approaching the world with more humility is a lesson that modern-day superpowers need, too.
Appeal: Gail Carriger has such a fun and ridiculous sense of humor that I always know that her books are good for a laugh.
Have you read these books? What did you think?