Agatha H. and the Siege of Mechanicsburg

Phil and Kaja Foglio. Night Shade, $24.99 (442p) ISBN 978-1-949102-27-7
Husband-and-wife team Phil and Kaja Foglio continue the adventures of Agatha Heterodyne (following Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle) with this gleefully manic steampunk tale of mad science, warfare, and love. In the bowels of the Castle Heterodyne, a confrontation rages between Agatha’s villainous mother, Lucrezia Mongfish—who is inhabiting Agatha’s body—and Lucrezia’s niece, Zola Malfeazium. Lucrezia jumps into Zola’s body and uses it to escape the castle. Once Agatha regains control of her own body, she sets to work repairing the castle’s artificial intelligence with the help of, among others, her two suitors, Gilgamesh “Gil” Wulfenbach, heir to the Wulfenbach Empire, and Prince Tarvek Sturmvoraus, claimant to the mantle of Storm King. The castle’s defenses are the best hope for Agatha to protect the folks of Mechanicsburg—consisting of “humans and clanks, constructs and monsters”—from the besieging forces of Gil’s father, Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, who is also being influenced by Lucrezia. The authors do an admirable job of balancing the action sequences with Terry Pratchett–like humor and romance. New readers will struggle with the sprawling cast and lengthy backstory (only partly explained by comical footnotes), but series fans will rejoice in this return to Mechanicsburg. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 02/25/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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