Received to review via Netgalley
Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances picks up on Thuan and Asmodeus from Aliette de Bodard’s Dominion of the Fallen world once more, and once more they’re in the world of Thuan’s birth rather than safe (well, relatively safe) in Asmodeus’ particular domain. As ever, they love each other very much, but Asmodeus is a stabby creature of revenge, while Thuan believes himself saner and more just… though it does become clear that Asmodeus is capable of love, self-sacrifice and reaching for justice, while Thuan is more hide-bound than he’d like to admit.
It’s not quite “together, they fight crime”, but it’s not far off either. While babysitting, they quickly stumble upon a mystery and a ghost, and following that to where it leads promptly exposes all the stress-fractures in their relationship, and all the flaws of both of them.
For fans of the characters, it’s lovely; it’s being billed as a one-shot, which I wouldn’t say is entirely true. I think it works on its own, probably, but there’s more to it when you can see it against the backdrop of the Dominion of the Fallen books, and the last of Asmodeus and Thuan’s relationship. That said, you don’t need to have read them recently (I haven’t), because it gives a lot of cues about their background to help make things clear.
It was a fun read, for sure, and I’ll pick up anything else that happens to come out about Asmodeus and Thuan.