Babylon Steel (books, Gaie Sebold, 2011)


From SFX #220.

THREE AND A HALF STARS

Author: Gaie Sebold

Publisher: Solaris

This is the kind of book one could easily hate – sassy broads, were-creatures, lovable prostitutes, first person perspective… Babylon Steel is vampire chick-lit transported from an urban to a high fantasy setting, minus the bloodsuckers. Good for us then that Sebold has a flair for storytelling. Her world is a cross-planar affair whose main setting is an inter-dimensional crossroads a bit like a grubby version of Moorcock’s Tanelorn with better shops. It might be all sparkly, female wish-fulfilment on the surface − including Laurell K Hamilton-esque sex − but it has a believable seaminess to it, while its tough lady lead has plenty of good reasons to be the way she is.

When Babylon − an ex-warrior and brothel madame − is asked to look for a missing girl she is drawn into a world of bother. Fun and fast.

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