Conclusion of the Steampunk Vampire Saga

Cynthia Ward’s steampunk vampire adventures have been fun to read, and the saga comes to an end with The Adventure of the Golden Woman.

This one goes full-on steampunk with spaceships and aircraft carriers made from airships, and is actually the fastest-paced of the lot. It brings the saga to a satisfying close and makes the political statements the saga has been leading up to without being overly didactic about it–which has always been one of this series’ strengths.

It’s an interesting call to reflection in which the historically “good” guys are shown to be morally ambiguous at best and actually bad at worst. But in the final acton sequence, Ward resists the temptation to kill off a few bad actors–even though there is plenty of opportunity to do so. The result is a mature ending which seems to have been written for thinking adults. It surprised me (not because I didn’t expect it from this series, but because most similar books would have ended differently).

Aside from the way the material is treated, this volume has other strengths: Germany in the thirties is fertile ground not explored often enough, and the secondary characters are interesting and have–quite literally–a mind of their own. This one does have a bit of a downside in that it has to bring the saga to a satisfying conclusion, which makes it necessary to tie up all the loose threads from a four-book series in a novella-length story.

I would recommend reading all four, one after another as a novel. That seems to me to be how they’d be most easily enjoyed. But however you read them, these are enjoyable.

Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer from Argentina whose latest book is a sword and sorcery adventure in the mold of Robert E Howard. You can check The Song of Sangr out here.

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