Friday, November 25, 2016

Me on Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling

Title: Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling
Author/artist: Tony Cliff
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: First Second (Macmillan imprint)

After being falsely accused of spying by the nefarious Major Merrick, Delilah Dirk and Mister Selim sail to England to clear her name (and beat the tar out of the Major while they're at it). But once on her home turf, Delilah encounters an adversary mightier than the entire British Army: her mother.

Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling is a brand new adventure with a familiar adventurer and her practical companion. But the situation is far stickier this time around, and it won't be as easy to escape from.

Delilah Dirk is back at it, righting wrongs and investigating treasure and inconveniencing Mister Selim. This time, the story starts in Portugal with the saving of a young boy from his controlling and battle-hungry father. But then, like always, Delilah and Mister Selim fall into a dangerous situation and have to fight their way out of it. Things are different this time around, there's a lot more to do with revenge and Delilah's personal feelings about the scum they come across. And then there's the added struggle of her having to navigate her investigating and adventuring around her unsuspecting mother.

There are hints of why Delilah has made a name for herself in Europe and around the world, why she's spent her days adventuring. She's not the kind of young woman who would sit around at luncheons, flit about at balls and dinners. She needs excitement in her life, she needs to do something. She won't be tied down.

There's some more plot going on in this book, compared to the first one. The first was certainly about Mister Selim and how his life changed after meeting Delilah. Now, things are complicated. The two have fallen, rather handily, into the gaze of an English Major looking to place some blame and espionage onto someone that isn't him.

The artwork is just as it was in the first book, the colours slightly muted once Delilah and Mister Selim arrive in England, the characters' faces expressive and constantly changing. It was obvious whenever Delilah was frustrated or Mister Selim feeling put out or inconvenienced by Delilah's decisions. A good follow-up to the first, a great showing at expanding this world, the time period and its problems, and an intriguing ending that hints at some possible revenge in the future. If you enjoyed the first book, you'll enjoy this.

(I received a finished copy of this book to review from Raincoast Books.)

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