Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Pocket Books
When Blud princess Ahnastasia wakes up, drained and starving in a suitcase, she’s not sure which calls to her more: the sound of music or the scent of blood. The source of both sensations is a handsome and mysterious man named Casper Sterling. Once the most celebrated musician in London, Sangland, he’s fallen on hard times. Now, much to Ahna’s frustration, the debauched and reckless human is her only ticket back home to the snow-rimmed and magical land of Freesia.
Together with Casper’s prickly charge, a scrappy orphan named Keen, they seek passage to Ahna’s homeland, where a power-hungry sorceress named Ravenna holds the royal family in thrall. Traveling from the back alleys of London to the sparkling minarets of Muscovy, Ahna discovers that Freesia holds new perils and dangerous foes. Back in her country, she is forced to choose between the heart she never knew she had and the land that she was born to rule. But with Casper’s help, Ahna may find a way to have it all….
Having LOVED Wicked as They Come, as well as the novellas (reviews here and here) I was more than excited to read Wicked as She Wants. While the story was great and the world building, like always, blew me away, I found myself missing Criminy Stain. It’s nothing against Casper, he is great, and such a complex character with layer upon layer of hurt that you just want to hold him and tell him everything is going to be ok. There was just something … missing for me. Criminy is just fantastic. But this book isn’t about him, so moving on …
Dawson has some of the most amazing and breathtaking world building I’ve ever seen. Sang has got to be one of the most “real” places to read about. With her descriptions I feel like I’ve been there and seen these places. Smelled the smells. I just bow to her awesome.
I’ve already mentioned Casper, who, when not compared to Criminy, is a fabulous hero. But the heroine, Ahnastasia – Ahna for short – starts of as a hard to like character. Ok, she is a raving bitch and I kind of hated her and wanted her dead. But I am pretty sure that was the point. Because as the story moves along, she grew on me. I was even rooting for her at the end. I am one of those readers that first impressions stick, and it is hard for me to change my mind, but Dawson did it.
In the end, I would certainly suggest any of her books to anyone who likes a good sexy steam-punk story. Or vampires. Or just good quality story telling.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was in no way compensated for my opinions*