Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances | Book 2 of Dragons and Blades | ARC Review

Thank you to JABberwocky Literary Agency and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.

 Book: Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances (Dragons and Blades 2 | Dominion of the Fallen 3.6) by Aliette de Bodard
Release Date: June 28th 2022
Tags: Adult | Fantasy | Family | Dragons | Angels
Trigger/Content Warnings: Murder | Death | Torture
Other books in this series I reviewed

Dominion of the Fallen


It was supposed to be a holiday, with nothing more challenging than babysitting, navigating familial politics and arguing about the proper way to brew tea.

But when dragon prince Thuan and his ruthless husband Asmodeus find a corpse in a ruined shrine and a hungry ghost who is the only witness to the crime, their holiday goes from restful to high-pressure. Someone is trying to silence the ghost and everyone involved. Asmodeus wants revenge for the murder; Thuan would like everyone, including Asmodeus, to stay alive.

Chased by bloodthirsty paper charms and struggling to protect their family, Thuan and Asmodeus are going to need all the allies they can—and, as the cracks in their relationship widen, they’ll have to face the scariest challenge of all: how to bring together their two vastly different ideas of their future…

Before reading this short novella, I first read of Dragons, Feast and Murder and The Dominion of the Fallen trilogy in a week and a half or so. I was very much prepared for this world. While I know this novella is being advertized as a standalone novella, I can’t help but feel that it is the best to have read those before diving into this.

And I say this because this novella delves a little deeper into the relationship between Thuan and Asmodeus. A lot of their relationship is settled in the trilogy where this novella is a companion too. But there is still a lot of things they don’t talk about a lot. They’ve been tossed into this and that situation. And talking things out was never part of the repertoire for them. But in this book they have to. I think to really appreciate that and to appreciate how much that means for a character like Asmodeus you need to have read the previous installments. And how our duo each deals with things so very differently. Perhaps so very different from what is expected from them. A lot would pick Thuan as the caring one but in this instance it goes a little differently. I like how the author set that up.

Outside of that it is interesting to once again return to the dragon world and to see the two that the two young ones have grown up so much. The plot in itself wasn’t quite as interesting as the dressing up was. I loved reading it for the characters that I have grown to love.

10 thoughts on “Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances | Book 2 of Dragons and Blades | ARC Review

  1. Darn, now I have to decide if I want the extra depth that reading the main series first will bring. I’ve read the novella that came before this one already, but that’s the only experience I have with the world this is set in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a really good point – this novella carries far more weight when you have the context of how these two came to be together and what they’ve been through together. The various allusions to ‘it’s an arranged marriage but they fell in love’ are great and ‘the pain was like that time in the grove at Hawthorn’ really don’t scratch the surface of that backstory 😀

    …although I’m mostly still giggling that for all Thuan struggling with Asmodeus’s way of dealing with the world, every trip home introduces a new character from Thuan’s past who is JUST AS STABBY.

    Liked by 1 person

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