I have to preface my review with an extended thank you
and Simon & Schuster
(the publisher), the powers of which have granted me the pre-publication copy of Wicked as She Wants
. 4.5/5 stars
What a delicious follow-up!
It is often the case that the second book fails to live up to the expectations of the first novel, but worry not dear reader, because Wicked as She Wants
does not suffer from any sophomore slump. In fact, I think I enjoyed the second installment of the Blud series better than the first. From London’s Darkside, to the Ice Palace of Muscovy, this novel, set in the same world as Wicked as They Come
follows a different couple on their adventures and misadventures, where amidst all, new lives and love begin…
“Hey Jude” by Beatles
Hey Jude, don't make it bad.
Take a sad song and make it better.
Remember to let her into your heart,
Then you can start to make it better.
Casper Sterling, the most celebrated musician in Sangland, has fallen on hard times since his days with Criminy Stain’s caravan. He now spends his days drinking away his unrequited love for another stranger
, until one day a feisty blud
princess - Ahnastasia, whom everyone believes dead enters his life. Sparks start to fly between the two almost immediately, but nothing is simple in the world of Sang because Pinkies and Bludmen don’t mix, especially those of the royal blud
. Reluctantly, the two, form an agreement, that will see Ahna safely home to Freesia, where she must reclaim her rightful place as Tsarina
, and perhaps play a role in Casper’s foretold fortune. Ahna
is feisty, vengeful, arrogant and spoiled by her upbringing; and she is about to embark on a journey facing a new reality with unlike companions aiding her in her mission. At first, I loved to hate the brat, but as her character grew and developed so did my feelings towards our heroine – she grew on me, and at the end I was rooting for her success.
might seem an unlike hero, he was a pleasant surprise. He is flawed, but relatable. He doesn’t squirm at the royal presence and he has long since given up playing by someone else’s rules – as he believes he has nothing more to lose, other than the remains of his humanity, and even that is slipping fast away. He might be capable of carrying himself with Ahna well enough, but he has his own learning to do along the way. I enjoyed his character from the first novel and grew to love him even more in this follow-up.
This novel is as much a love story as it is an adventure; told from Ahna’s perspective, giving the reader a new spin on life in Sang, and a very different one at that. From clockworks and airships, to once again, an imaginative world building, and colorful character this novel has many elements to please a wide range of readers. And it also offers an interesting re-imagining of the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia, if one can imagine her with very sharp teeth…Happy reading!