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On My Radar: PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger/OF NOBLE FAMILY by Mary Robinette Kowal/DARKENED BLADE by Kelly McCullough

The books on my radar are full of beginnings and endings. I’m thrilled about the start of a new series but sad about the final volumes in two of my favorites. C’est le vie, such is the life cycle of a book series.


Prudence by Gail Carriger
(Orbit | March 17, 2015)


Introducing the Custard Protocol series, in which Alexia Maccon’s daughter Prudence travels to India on behalf of Queen, country…and the perfect pot of tea.

When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (“Rue” to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do — she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India.

Soon, she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier’s wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis (and an embarrassing lack of bloomers), Rue must rely on her good breeding — and her metanatural abilities — to get to the bottom of it all…


I have nothing in my heart but love for Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate books. They were exciting steampunk romps with some of the best characters I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. Carriger’s books all link together and this series is all about the daughter of the heroine of her previous series. All of Carriger’s books are full of amazing characters, hilarious misadventures and some of the best names since JK Rowling. She completely gets the idea of steampunk and uses it to it’s fullest, absurd effect. I am so excited to finally pick up where the Parasol Protectorate left off. I can’t wait to bury my nose in another of Carriger’s perfect steampunk comedies of errors and manners.


Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal
(Tor | April 28, 2015)


Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some much-needed rest after their adventures in Italy when Vincent receives word that his estranged father has passed away on one of his properties in the West Indies. His brother, who manages the estate, is overwhelmed, and no one else in his family can go. Grudgingly, out of filial duty the couple decide to go.

The sea voyage is long and Jane spends enough time unable to perform glamour that towards the end of the trip she discovers that she is with child. They are overjoyed, but when they finally arrive at the estate to complete what they expect to be routine legal tasks, they realize that nearly everything they came expecting to find had been a lie. Also, the entire estate is in disarray, with horrifying conditions and tensions with the local slave population so high that they are close to revolt.

Jane and Vincent’s sense of peril is screaming out for them to flee, but Vincent cannot stand to leave an estate connected with his family in such a condition. They have survived many grand and terrifying adventures in their time, but this one will test their skills and wits more than any they have ever encountered before, this time with a new life hanging in the balance. Mary Robinette Kowal’s Of Noble Family is the final book of the acclaimed Glamourist Histories.


I want this book so much I am nearly gnawing off my own arm in anticipation. I’m gutted that Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories series is coming to an end but it sounds like she’s going to end it with a bang! Jane and Vincent has become one of my favorite couples and seeing their relationship grow has been a real pleasure. This Jane Austen meets magic series has been nothing but a sheer delight and Kowal has done her research with the Regency setting. Every single word in this series is chosen with care so it’s period appropriate. She even made the gown on the cover! I know reading this final volume is going to be sad but I can’t wait for Kowal to break my heart.


Darkened Blade by Kelly McCullough
(Ace | April 28, 2015 )


Aral Kingslayer has nothing to lose—and only justice to gain. Torn apart by the death of his goddess, he must avenge her in order to save himself from being lost forever….

It’s been nine long years since the death of his patron, Namara, and exalted assassin Aral Kingslayer desperately misses the thrill and glory of being a higher power of justice. Now he is haunted by the ghosts of the past—and by the ghost of the lost goddess herself.

When Namara calls upon Aral in a dream to seek justice for her death and the ruination of her temple, Aral must obtain the help of his fellow former Blades and his Shade familiar, Triss, to pursue the vengeance he knows Namara deserves. Even if it means attacking Heaven’s Son—and going against one of their own—in a bloody battle of epic proportions…


I have loved following the adventures of Aral Kingslayer and this final volume in the series is poised to answer a lot of questions and maybe bring the poor assassin some peace. Years after his entire way of life and everyone he held dear was wiped out, Aral finally has a chance to right the wrongs against him and his goddess. But at what cost? Kelly McCullough has filled this series with great characters, a fascinating magic system and some very cool ideas about the very nature of justice. I feel like this series doesn’t have nearly half the love it deserves so I beseech you to pick up the first volume, Broken Blade, and give it a try. Highly recommended for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Robin Hobb. I’m heartsick that the series is ending since it’s been such a fantastic ride, but I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see how it all shakes out.

About Meghan B. (16 Articles)
Meghan B is a founding member of Stellar Four. Books are her true love but she is also an unrepentant geek with an almost eidetic memory for internet memes and pop culture minutia. Her passion for science fiction and fantasy in all its forms runs bone deep. She can be found as @EldritchGirl and will be one of the first in line to have her Twitter feed surgically grafted onto her irises when the technology becomes available. She is made of 100% pure, high quality awesome.

1 Comment on On My Radar: PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger/OF NOBLE FAMILY by Mary Robinette Kowal/DARKENED BLADE by Kelly McCullough

  1. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) // February 28, 2015 at 4:31 am //

    Would you hate me, Meghan, if I told you I read the last Glamourist History already? 🙂

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