Wicked As She Wants by Delilah S. Dawson
Series: Blud series #2
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
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When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.
Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all….
The blurb does an excellent job of giving you the gist of this story. The small details that build up this great adventure is what makes this an very good book.
Ahna is snobby and arrogant when she first gets out of her prison and that’s understandable as that’s how she was raised to be. Casper, who against his better judgment, has agreed to usher Ahna home to Freesia just kind of laughs her off. She constantly is telling him that she’s going to see his head on platter. I love Keen’s (his teenage friend) response when Ahna haughtily states this yet once again:
I’m going to see your head–”
“On a platter. Yeah, the Maestro told me about that. Why would you even want someone’s head on a platter? It would just wobble around and leak and make a mess, and they’d be all staring at you with their dead eyes. A pike would be so much more dramatic. Or a fishbowl full of whiskey.”
Keen was a great character. She’s a rebellious teen trying to keep her place in the world with Casper and she’s not all that fond of Ahna coming in and changing things up. I felt for her for the hard times she’d had to live but admired her for her pluck and fortitude.
During the trip to Freesia they all get to know each other better, especially Casper and Ahna. Keen is sometimes a friend but more often, not. Ahna eventually finds out from Casper that he and Keen are both from America – and not in this dimension or however the hell it works. I didn’t read book 1 in this series and unfortunately they don’t state in book 2 exactly how Casper got to Sangland and how long he’d been there.
The story is mostly the h/h getting to know each other over the course of the week of their travel and trying to deal with the hitches they come across on the way which included travel on an airship that was a flying brothel, invasion by air pirates, assassins from Sveden and a couple of other things. I liked that while it was all based around Ahna getting her rightful place as Tsarina back it mostly focused on the romance between Ahna and Casper. It was my kind of book.
I loved in this world how the author made Sangland another dimension from the reality we live in but yet made it all so similar. In this dimension there’s Almanica instead of America, Sveden & Constantinoble (so similar but not quite right) they even had similar author as in Bolstoy and Doestoevskin – it was quite clever. I thought the subtle changes to the environment as well as the steampunk elements were well done and I loved reading about it all. I enjoyed this authors imagination and I will definitely be reading more books in this series.
Rating: 4 out of 5