Wicked as She Wants is the latest installment of Delilah S. Dawson’s Blud series, but don’t expect that this story is about Tish and Criminy. The two protagonists of the first Blud book, Wicked as They Come, play only a minor role in this story.
This book features Ahnastasia, a literal princess, albeit a Blud princess. She is part of the royal family of Freesia, which is the equivalent of Russia in our world. If you know the tragic story of the Romanov family, then you have a good grounding in this story, though, in Sang, nothing is exactly duplicated, so don’t expect a retelling of the downfall of the last Tsar of Russia.
After being drained and left for dead in a piece of luggage, Ahnastasia, or Ahna, is awakened by enchanting music. The music invigorates her enough to leap out of her makeshift coffin and, of course, attack the human playing the music. Because of her severely weakened state, the human overpowers her. This human winds up being Casper, the mysterious and enchanting human Stranger from the first Blud novel. After some head-butting and threatening to kill each other, Casper and Ahna, along with a ruffian teenage girl named Keen, set off on an adventure to restore Ahna to her rightful place as ruler of Freesia. Along the way, there are airships, pirates, bludlemmings, and even a chance encounter with Van Helsing.
Wicked as She Wants is bluddier, sexier, and more dangerous than the first story in the series. The stakes (no pun intended) are higher. Overall, it is a wickedly enchanting and exciting tale. The mix of vampires, Victorianism, and steampunk come together into a perfect mesh of fun and sexy, and the story will keep you turning pages until the deepest dark of night.
Special Blog Addendum: I picked up an ARC of Wicked as She Wants via Edelweiss. Excitedly, I started reading it almost immediately after it downloaded to my Kindle. Being the book nerd that I am, I read the Acknowledgements and was super excited to see a reference to the Dahlonega Literary Festival—a festival that I’ve helped organize for the past three years. In fact, it was at this festival where I met Delilah for the first time and was introduced to the world of Sang.