Parasol Protectorate, Book 2
Synopsis: Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears; leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.
But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. So even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.
Review: I was a little anxious to get into this second volume. I do not know how it was possible to make a second novel as good as the first one. In fact I was wondering what the author might present when we know how the first volume ended so I was anxious to continue the story of our heroine. But I was wrong, and even if it is true that I preferred the previous novel, I also really enjoyed reading this one.
Funnily enough, every time I think of Alexia, another fictional character in a novel comes to my mind: Amelia Peabody (written by Elizabeth Peters). They both have such a temperament! These are two heroines who are out of step with their period but it is always a pleasure to be able to learn more about them, precisely because they’re so different from the others. But let’s not forget their attraction for similar umbrella as a weapon of choice.
So here we find our unusual married couple living together. And what a pleasure to see them growing as they complement each other perfectly. And I quite agree when everyone said that no one could withstand another. And whatever happens, our young lady never loses her edge against anyone, not even her husband. Everything goes well until one day a company of werewolf returns home, bringing with them a very strange effect. Indeed, all the supernatural beings become mortal for a few moments. It does not need more for Alexia to begin to investigate and to try to understand what is happening. But when Lord Maccon, goes without a warning to Scotland, it does not take long for her to follow as well as Felicity, one of the horrible sisters of our heroine, Ivy, Tunstell, Angélique, but also a new character we meet, Ms. Lefoux. I also thoroughly enjoyed this avant-gardist protagonist. The French woman has everything to be appreciated although there are many questions about her. We do not know very well what she wants and we will have to wait for the end of the book to really understand that. Of course she is also an inventor and her unusual discoveries are always interesting. Including the beautiful umbrella made especially for Alexia.
The plot was a real surprise and I did not expect all these revelations. It was very fun to learn as much about the past of Lord Maccon and to discover his ancient family. Because it is true that this was something we had been denied in the first volume, which focused more on Alexia. And I must say that I am also increasingly curious about the father of the latter. He is mentioned many times and we finally have lots of questions about him.