Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* The fifth book in the Parasol Protectorate series proclaims itself to be "a novel of vampires, werewolves, and mummies," and it more than delivers on that promise while wrapping up one of the more popular steampunk historical-fantasy series of the last few years. In the two years after the birth of their shape-shifting daughter, Alexia and Connal have been living a quiet life in Lord Akeldama's third closet, while the London pack is headquartered next door. No one has tried to kill Alexia, the pack is well settled in London, and even Madame Lefoux has been taking her servitude to the Woolsey Hive in stride. That is, until word reaches London that the God-Breaker Plague is spreading, werewolves are missing, and the queen of the Alexandria Hive summons Alexia to her court. Determined to hide the real reason for her trip, Alexia travels to Egypt with her husband and twins and her friend Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe, which is scheduled to put on a play for the Egyptian vampires. With her typical take-no-prisoners attitude, Alexia hits Alexandria in full stride, leaving a stream of havoc in her wake. Just as humorous and inventive as the previous four books, this series finale will please fans, as it answers some very important questions about a long-term relationship between an immortal and a preternatural. Essential for all fantasy collections, this series should also be suggested to readers of the Amelia Peabody mysteries. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series concludes with this uneven fifth installment (after Heartless). Two years after moving into vampire Lord Akeldama's third closet, the soulless Lady Alexia Maccon receives a summons from the world's oldest vampire, who requests an audience with Alexia's soul-stealing, scene-stealing two-year-old daughter, Prudence. Accompanying them to Egypt are Alexia's werewolf husband, Conall; the mysterious inventor Madame Lefoux; and Alexia's best friend, fluttery actress Ivy Tunstell, and her family and colorful theatrical troupe. Back in London, beta werewolf Professor Lyall and new pack member Biffy find love in unexpected places while investigating nefarious goings-on. Steampunk inventions take a backseat to the witty and affectionate depictions of the characters and their relationships. The language is somewhat forced and overstuffed, as if the complex plot overwhelmed Carriger's ability to string words together, but series readers will fall for Prudence and be happy with how it all wraps up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Mar.)

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