Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Review: Wicked As She Wants by Delilah Dawson
True love’s kiss isn’t enough for this Blud princess. But blood and music may win her heart forever. . . .
Delilah S. Dawson’s delightfully dark series takes readers into a clever new world of endless discoveries and sensuous encounters that will leave them breathless.
After four years crammed in a suitcase, drained and unconscious, Ahnastasia Feodor, Crown Princess of Freesia, is not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both is the handsome and mysterious Casper Sterling, once the most celebrated and self-centered musician in Sangland. Fortunately, bleeding one’s subjects dry is expected of Blud royalty. Much to Ahna’s frustration, however, the debauched and reckless enigma—he is definitely not a Bludman, though not exactly human either—is her only ticket back to her snow-rimmed and magical homeland. Ahna needs Casper’s help to defeat an evil sorceress and claim her throne—if she doesn’t drain him first. But as they team up for a harrowing journey filled with pirates and painted ladies, daimons and dashing Bludmen, her craving for blood becomes an unrelenting hunger of the heart. . . .
It's no secret that I am a total Delilah S. Dawson fangirl, or that I love everything Sang related, so it should surprise no one to learn that I absolutely 100% loved Wicked As She Wants. I've raved about it to all that will listen, including a stranger in the book section that seemed torn about buying the book. I have given copies to friends and I've shared this fangirl obsession here at the blog with every new release.
So why has it taken so long to get this review posted? Because I wanted it to be more than just a gushing blog post about a fantastic series, and the words just didn't seem right when I sat down to type. For weeks. It was frustrating and unusual that I couldn't seem to find a good way to explain why Wicked As She Wants is so good, why I like it above Wicked As They Come and the two novellas that have been set in Sang, although Madame Morpho and Peculiar Pets were excellent additions to the series.
Then, very late last night as I was falling asleep that I realized what I loved so much, in part, was Casper himself. This time we finally get to see, to experience, what has made Casper the way he is, what his secrets are, and those are the very spoilerish aspects of the book that I cannot share here. He wasn't a favorite for me until now because he was viewed as being in the way of Criminy and Tish. His life in Sang is complicated and it isn't until this book that we see him beyond his Maestro persona. Casper Sterling isn't all that he appears to be, which is spoiled and selfish, full of bitterness at his unusual existence in Sang, and he is very much a product of that environment so he doesn't scream "likeable hero". My opinion changed when we see how he tries to care for wayward child, and how he fights to protect Ahna and restore her to the throne. He risks everything for her, and it made for brilliant storytelling. Ahna is a formidable princess that evolves from a starving and spoiled royal pain into a sharp minded and generous companion. She begins this book much like Casper in that they both change as the story goes on, becoming more likeable, especially once they've stopped hiding the truth of what they are and act accordingly.
Wicked As She Wants has everything you could possibly want: airships and bordellos, pirates and demons, bludrats and brass turtles, and palaces of ice, all told with an original voice brimming with creativity and fresh ideas on what a paranormal world should look like. Sang is unlike anything you've experienced before and each new book further explores the wonders, and perils, of this bold, adventurous place. Don't just listen to my rambling attempts at explaining why this has been my favorite series for the last year. Read and find out for yourself! I promise that you won't be sorry in the slightest.
Books in the series:
Wicked as They Come
Wicked As She Wants
Other Sang novellas:
The Mysterious Madame Morpho
The Peculiar Pets of Miss Pleasance
*reviewed by Anna