September 25th, 2022
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A by-the-book lawman tangles with a stubborn young woman

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Worlds Away
Exploring the Spec-Fic Universe

Parasols, Paranormal Mischief, and PRUDENCE: Ms. Gail Carriger Charms Us Again

Fan favorite and New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger has done it again. Her novels set in an alternate Victorian London, which happens to abound with parasols, vampires, dirigibles, werewolves, and—most importantly—tea time, have delighted readers since her debut in 2009. Now, a new series has entered the scene.

As of this week, a new plucky heroine joins Carriger’s character ranks, earning her a pedestal beside Alexia Tarabotti Maccon and Sophronia Temminnick. Prepare to meet Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (called “Rue”, thank heavens) and travel with her by dirigible to India in PRUDENCE, which released on March 17.

PRUDENCE is the first in the new Custard Protocol series, which promises as much mayhem and manners as Carriger’s first two series. To mark the occasion, I wanted to take a look back at the perilous but polite adventures Carriger has taken us on so far. Take a gander at the first book in each of her series below, and celebrate the latest with a spot of tea. Or a dirigible ride, if you are fortunate enough to possess one. (And if you do, might I come along?)

PS: For my fellow Dallas folks, Ms. Carriger will be at the Lincoln Park Barnes & Noble tomorrow (3/20) from 7pm to 9pm. I'm terribly jealous of anyone who is available to go, but don't let my envy stop you. Go and meet her, because she seems perfectly lovely. For those of you not in Dallas, you can still meet Ms. Carriger during one of her other tour stops, found here.

SOULLESS (The Parasol Protectorate) by Gail Carriger


It all began with The Parasol Protectorate series, which first introduced us to Carriger’s Victorian London and all its comedic, supernatural charm. Heroine spinster Alexia is a joy to read as she bumbles and pardons her way through slaying vampires and courting werewolves in New York Times bestseller SOULLESS.

About: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE (Finishing School) by Gail Carriger


Carriger returned to her Parasol Protectorate universe in 2013 with a younger audience in mind. The YA Finishing School series is every bit as saucy, witty, and droll as its grown-up counterpart, and every bit as beloved by its fans.

About: It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but the also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger


In the newly released first Custard Protocol novel, the daughter of Parasol Protectorate series heroine Alexia travels to India “on behalf of Queen, country…and the perfect pot of tea.” Pardon me as I disappear for a spell to bury my nose in this book.

About: When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama ("Rue" to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible female under similar circumstances would do -- she christens it the Spotted Custard and floats off to India.

Soon, she stumbles upon a plot involving local dissidents, a kidnapped brigadier's wife, and some awfully familiar Scottish werewolves. Faced with a dire crisis (and an embarrassing lack of bloomers), Rue must rely on her good breeding -- and her metanatural abilities -- to get to the bottom of it all...


Pasha Carlisle is a Fresh Take columnist and the Features Editor for Though most of her hours are spent drafting her Middle Grade fantasy series, she also bakes confections, pins on Pinterest, volunteers at church, and reads novels she's supposedly "too old" to love. She believes in breakfast for dinner, and she hangs her tiara in the Dallas area.




1 comment posted.

Re: Parasols, Paranormal Mischief, and PRUDENCE: Ms. Gail Carriger Charms Us Again

I really need to make time and read one of her novels. I've
enjoyed the steampunk I've read so far.
(Debbie Wiley 8:06pm March 21, 2015)

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