Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Lancaster’s Luck: Book II
Something is stalking the Aegyptian night and endangering the archaeologists excavating the mysterious temple ruins in Abydos. But is it a vengeful ancient spirit or a very modern conspiracy….
Rafe Lancaster’s relationship with Gallowglass First Heir, Ned Winter, flourishes over the summer of 1900, and when Rafe’s House encourages him to join Ned’s next archaeological expedition, he sees a chance for it to deepen further. Since all the Houses of the Britannic Imperium, Rafe’s included, view assassination as a convenient solution to most problems, he packs his aether pistol—just in case.
Trouble finds them in Abydos. Rafe and Ned begin to wonder if they’re facing opposition to the Temple of Seti being disturbed. What begins as tricks and pranks escalates to attacks and death, while the figure of the Dog—the jackal-headed god, Anubis, ruler of death—casts a long shadow over the desert sands. Destruction follows in his wake as he returns to reclaim his place in Abydos. Can Rafe and Ned stand against both the god and House plots when the life of Ned’s son is on the line?
Let me say right from the start The Jackal’s House by Anna Butler is just outstanding entertainment and a grand read! If you love suspense, mystery, romance, and a story full of intrigue and great world building, well, this is the one for you.
There are several things I’d like to dispense with immediately. Yes, The Jackal’s House is a sequel to The Gilded Scarab, the first Lancaster’s Luck story, however, I don’t feel it’s necessary to read that one in order to get the full enjoyment out of this tale. Anna Butler gives you the details you need (enough to make you want to read that one) and then moves you into the events unfolding here. Rafe and Ned are a newly established couple (as much as they can be in this universe) and are still working out exactly what that means to their lives in all their complicated aspects.
The next is that this is a steampunk world which envisions a universe using a different type of energy and having more elements in their scientific table. There is a comprehensive glossary in the back of the story just in case you need it. You might want to look it over first, but I didn’t really find it necessary. Why? Because the vivid descriptions which create such marvelously complete pictures in your mind give this author’s world vision flight! Just like the magnificent machine that will carry Rafe, Ned, Harry, Molly and the lot all the way to Aegypt. Butler makes this world hum and glow with aether! Even if you never thought you’d like a steampunk story before, trust me, you’ll love this one.
Why? Because of all the incredible layers. It’s not just the romance, which is touching, real, and believable. I loved Rafe and Ned, pulling towards one another against everything, including the politics of the day. No it’s their families, the whole complicated political structure Butler has created with tightly involved families (reflecting the English houses where politics and family could not be separated), and the hierarchy in which Ned and Rafe are both caught up in.
In The Jackal’s House, the characterization is superb, the plots tights and deeply layered and the suspense off the charts. And the love and romance matches it all. I want so much more!
So grab up The Jackal’s House (Lancaster’s Luck #2) by Anna Butler and prepare to fall deeply in love. I suspect you’ll find yourself heading back to pick up The Gilded Scarab like I will. If our luck holds, there will be more of the Lancasters and Ned and Rafe. And scarabs of course. They seem to go hand in hand.
Cover Design: Reese Dante is just terrific. Works with all the elements of the storyline and character.
ebook, Dreamspinner Press, 310 pages
Published October 30th 2017
Original TitleThe Jackal’s House
SeriesLancaster’s Luck #2