Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Me on Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant

Title: Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant
Author/artist: Tony Cliff
Release Date: August 23, 2013
Publisher: FirstSecond (Macmillan imprint)

Lovable ne'er-do-well Delilah Dirk has travelled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she's picked up on the way, Delilah's adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her newfound friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan's guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny installment in her exciting life.

Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant is a thrilling adventure across foreign lands, led by an exciting and troublesome heroine.

At first glance, and perhaps the second and the third, it seems that Delilah Dirk is a magnet for trouble. No matter where she goes, who she talks to, she seems to end up running for her life with a bag of treasure in her hand. But why? Why does she do this? Why the travelling, the adventuring? Because of her upbringing? Because she has a deep desire to see everything the world can offer? Who knows.

But it seems like the book is more about Erdemoglu Selim, the Turkish Lieutenant, than it is about Delilah. Instead of an account of her adventure in Constantinople, it's more of an account of Mr. Selim and what becomes of her life after meeting her, after travelling with her, after getting into scrapes and battles with her. He's a simple man, looking for something more but stuck in his present role in the Turkish Janissary Corps. A personable man who can brew a fine cup of tea. A man not looking for too much trouble, which is what seems to follow Delilah Dirk around the world. But, what can you do?

Even as I say that this isn't about Delilah, it is. This book is all about what she does to the places she visits, the people she meets. The things that change after she sweeps through like a sudden storm. As she travels, searching and meeting and running and stealing, she has a substantial impact on every she comes across.

The artwork is bright and expressive, detailed when it needs to be. The changes in the characters' expressions were great, it was rather obvious to see when Delilah was annoyed or when Mr. Selim was confused or perturbed. When both would savour a good cup of tea. This definitely reads like the start of an epic adventure and I'm eager to know where they end up next, what trouble they'll get into.

(I borrowed a copy of this book from the library.)

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