Of Charms,Ghosts and Grievances by Aliette De Bodard- Book review

Here is my review of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances , an epic fantasy Aliette De Boddard set in the world of the 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…A heartwarming standalone book set in a world of dark intrigue.


I received a copy of this book for a free and unbiased opinion.

This novella was an enjoyable read with an intriguing ghost story, charming leads and quirky side characters. The plot races along with a satisfying end.

I liked the easy relationship between Thuan and his perhaps unsuitable husband Asmodeus which is made a little more complicated and funnier when Thaun’s ex turns up.

I try not to read books out of sequence in a fantasy series but sometimes I have picked a book up by accident. Usually, this makes little difference but I think in this case this novella would be better enjoyed by people who have read other books in the Dominion of the Fallen.

I would disagree with the blurb in that it is not a standalone book but it is heart-warming and does feature lots of intrigues but I stress it isn’t a standalone book. I did enjoy the author’s writing and when trying to find other books she had written, I found out that this book is set in a gothic devasted Paris with a Vietnamese inspired world which I didn’t pick up when reading this book (but now I have to read more books set in this amazing world).

Perfect for fans of 

I imagine anyone who loved reading the books set in the Dominion of the Fallen will love this book and I might just read this again when I have had a chance to get to read this fantasy series.

Content warning

Dead children.

Genre: Fantasy

Series Dragon and Blades stories, Dominion of the Fallen

Source Net Galley and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America

Publication date: 28th June 2022

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