A bungled murder.
A ridiculous quest.
And a hero with extremely dodgy credentials.
Christmas 1889. Count Balthazar Jozsef Habsburg-Koháry tries to lead a simple life.
Oh, he enjoys a few hobbies.
Collecting ancient Egyptian artifacts. Hunting necromancers with a wire garrote. Impersonating dead Hungarian nobility. Seducing an endless string of women who never suspect the price of the count’s attentions.
But considering what Balthazar used to be like, these pursuits are harmless. And surely he deserves a reward for assassinating the elusive necromancer John Mortlake in the middle of Cairo’s teeming bazaar. What could be better than a holiday cruise up the Nile with his secretary Lucas Devereaux?
There’s just one thing that might ruin his mood.
If, for example, someone stole the talisman that’s kept him alive for two thousand years.
That would really suck.
Unfortunately for Balthazar, he just killed the wrong necromancer – one with a vengeful daughter and huge debts to some very shady djinn. To get his mojo back, he and Lucas must find a legendary sword and liberate a desert kingdom of magical misfits. For centuries, the people of Al Miraj have sought a valiant champion willing to face the wrath of the arch demon Fulad-zereh!
What they get is Balthazar.
But the gods always did like a good joke.
Title: Balthazar’s Bane (Gaslamp Gothic, #6)
By: Kat Ross
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: July 31st 2020
Page Count: 300
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling
Whoa! Okay first off, I did NOT expect this book to be set where it was, I mean, yes because of the blurb but there were daevas, marids, ifrits, djinn, all the things! So, it was really nice to return to this sort of ‘vibe’ after the hangover that was The Daevabad Trilogy. [I’m still not over it, but this like made me miss it all the more while also soothing the wounds a bit lol]
This Gaslamp Gothic novel focuses on Balthazar, this new to us setting, Lucas, and a new character or two! Including a sassy thief, so I felt this was a nice hark back to Chakraborty’s Daevabad again while also really just immersing me back in Kat Ross’s world.
I was happy to have the completely new setting, much like the last Gaslamp Gothic, but giving us some old characters.
Balthazar gets to show off his ‘softer’ side, and his vulnerabilities, he is still just a man after all, albeit a very powerful one, and we get to see more of Lucas and his own desires and adventures separate from Balthazar.
The pacing on this is very much kick up the dust and go, which is a huge plus for me, every book she writes, I just fly through.
Though I found this a lot of fun, and loved the lore and mythology used, I think this wasn’t the Balthazar story I hoped for as far as character growth goes, but, you know what? Still FUN and satisfying, it’s not like Ross doesn’t give us a good Balthazar story because she definitely does!
If you’re looking for some quickly paced, intense, 1890s magical desert kingdom fun, I DEFINITELY recommend this book.
Quick, I need the next book already!
3 HUGE cups of coffee from me!!
Thanks SO much to XpressoTours and Acorn Publishing for an eARC in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour.
About the Author
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
5 ebook copies of the Gaslamp Gothic Box Set (which contains the first 5 books)
Rest of the Tour
[Click on the picture to be taken to the full schedule]