The Adventure of the Dux Bellorum

Cynthia Ward. Aqueduct, $12 trade paper (140p) ISBN 978-1-61976-153-7
This tale of two monsters, at once romantic and action-packed, is fun and thought-provoking, giving readers everything they want. The novella follows British spy and vampire hunter Lucy Harker—child of Dracula and Mina Harker, stepdaughter to the infamous Mycroft Holmes—as she serves on a mission to keep Winston Churchill safe from wolfmen. To complicate matters, her lover, Clarimal, is with her, and Lucy is soon torn among her duty, her heart, and her soul. The story pulls together favorite characters in what could be simply a fun romp, but Ward (The Adventure of the Incognita Countess) digs deeper, examining war trauma, womanhood, and queerness through an anticolonialist lens. Ward’s work is excellent, at once a simple adventure story and a feminist text, and it invites readers to reexamine what they think they know about history. Fans of the paranormal, queer romance, and political intrigue will celebrate this short novel. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2018
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