Gail Carriger, The Parasol Protectorate,
The Parasol Protectorate is a series of five light hearted steampunk fantasy novels, written by Gail Carriger and narrating the adventures of Alexia Tarabotti.
Poor Alexia lives in London during the victorian era and is afflicted by a terrible curse: she's still unmarried at the respectable age of 25. So her having no soul is quite a detail in comparison.
In her universe, vampires and werewolves exist and are a part of society. And Alexia finds herself forced to join forces with Lord Maccon, a werewolf in charge of the security of the supernatural beings. Because she is soulless, she can help him solve a plot that threaten the supernatural beings.
The Parasol Protectorate is a series which is deliciously light hearted and funny. The characters are very well rounded and very relatable, from Alexia and her fondness for gâteaux, the eminently elegant vampire Lord Akeldama, or Ivy and her quite surprising taste in hats.
Carriger uses with great effect the extreme codification of victorian society to create situations or dialogues that will feel deliciously tongue-in-cheek and anachronistic to the contemporary reader.
The steampunk aspects are well done and are more than just a veneer: they are felt throughout the clothes, the technology but are also an important part of the plot.
The author succeeds in writing a series that flows seamlessly from a discussion about hats to a gory scene, while avoiding all the trappings of the bland so called supernatural romances that seem to inundate the fantasy market at the moment.
The series comprises five volumes and has two spin-off series, also written by Carriger: Finishing School and The Custard Protocol, which are YA novels. The series has also been adapted as a manga.
The writer's website.
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