Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances by Aliette de Bodard
A Dragons and Blades Story
Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances is another brilliant novella by award-winning author Aliette de Bodard. Anyone who has read her Dominion of the Fallen series loves the dark Gothic world of a war-torn Paris ruled by Fallen angels, and the shape-shifting dragons living under the Seine. The most memorable Fallen is the head of House Hawthorn, Asmodeus.
Ruthless, bloodthirsty, and feared by all, Asmodeus is the last character anyone expected to have a happy marriage. Yet his sweet, bookish husband, dragon prince Thuan, is clearly the love of Asmodeus’ life. The pair have undeniable chemistry, and their adventures are legendary.
In this novella, a holiday under the Seine turns disastrous when the ghost of a child stumbles upon the pair and begs for help. Asmodeus sees a child in need and is adamant about doing everything in his power to help it, while Thuan only sees a dangerous parasite that feeds on the living and wants nothing to do with the ghost. This difference of opinion threatens to tear their happy marriage apart. Meanwhile, someone powerful is hunting the ghost-child down, killing anyone in their way.
Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances reimagines ghosts and their ties to the land of the living, making this ghost story far more gruesome and deadly. It’s everything we expect from a story involving Asmodeus. The addition of children adds a new dimension to the imposing Fallen, though, as we see Thuan and his husband take on the roles of uncles and babysitters, and see those ruthless qualities become the fierce protective ones needed in a caregiver when the children are under threat.
But don’t worry – no children are harmed in this story.
Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances art and cover design credit: Ravven.