Intrigue! Subterfuge! Circus Folk!
By Phil & Kaja Foglio
Night Shade Books, $15.99, 461 pages
Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess, part of the Girl Genius series, follows our heroine, Agatha, as she travels across the wastelands of Europa after escaping from Baron Wulfenbach’s flying fortress in the previous book. Evading the Baron’s men and battling against errant abominations of mad science, she soon joins up with Master Payne’s Circus of Adventure. It doesn’t take Agatha long to realize there’s something odd about this traveling circus, even more odd than your normal band of circus performers. What are they hiding? How will Agatha survive the perils of the wastelands?
The story, originally a comic, both gains and loses something in its transition to prose. Some jokes fall flat without a visual reference, while new ones emerge with the help of well timed footnotes. Fans of the comic will find that the book brings depth and detail to the world of Girl Genius, coloring in the gaps of history with ridiculous characters in all levels of society. New readers will delight in this adventurous romp through a mad scientist riddled landscape. Chicken footed mechanical monstrosities, spider riding women and wise cracking cats are just some of the gems in store for the reader.
Reviewed by Meg Gibbs