Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CARDS AND CARAVANS by Cindy Spencer Pape

Publisher: Carina Press
Date published: 18 March 2013
ISBN: 978-14268-9522-7
Reviewed by Helen
Weblink: http://ebooks.carinapress.com/DA7705C0-CB58-4715-979C-A283386913B8/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID={08A461B6-C699-4EAB-9A65-61DEE96E1C08}
Obtained via publisher


Inside two days, Belinda Danvers was arrested as a witch, sentenced and her execution arranged. All this despite the fact her magickal powers are minimal and she wasn’t guilty of the offences she was accused of. The villagers seemed to think her being a widow with a small knowledge of herbs and a cat was enough to prove her guilt.

Sent by the Order of the Round Table to help, Connor McKay knows she’s innocent and is worried by the rapidity of the sentence. He breaks her out of jail and they escape in her grandfather’s steam-powered circus caravan.
But the trouble is much bigger than just Belinda’s case.

I’ve really enjoyed all these Gaslight Chronicles books. Ms. Pape has mixed magick, werewolves, and steampunk together to produce a unique and entertaining world where almost anything is possible. Most of these books have a fight scene in them, all them spectacular, and this one tops the lot with magick, a wooden bucket, and a wrench involved as well as more traditional weapons. It’s a brilliant piece of action writing.

As always the characters are fully developed, revealing layer after layer of personality as the story progresses. Ms. Pape also invariably finds a way to bring previous heroes and heroines back for a visit, which is great as well.

As I’ve come to expect, there are some truly brilliant laugh out loud lines. Once again this story does not disappoint in that area. A character’s marriage proposal at the dinner table surrounded by an entire extended family was an absolute riot.
In sum, the story is excellently plotted, crisply written, with superb world building and engaging characters. Ms. Pape has earned five stars.

Unfortunately I can’t give them to her. Carina Press has let her down with at least a dozen stupid typos (She’s suspected, He’d spoke,  I have mirror…) the heroine called by the wrong name on one page, and a scene where the two main characters are in a cab/no, on a train/yes, on a train/no, in a cab.

Fortunately, the story is so good even a fussy reader like me was able to groan and keep reading.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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