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Revenant Eve    by Sherwood Smith order for
Revenant Eve
by Sherwood Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Daw, 2013 (2012)
Hardcover, Paperback, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Revenant Eve is the third of Sherwood Smith's Dobrenica series, following Coronets and Steel (an urban fantasy Prisoner of Zenda rewrite with an athletic Californian heroine, Aurelia Kim Murray) and Blood Spirits.

In the first book, Kim saw ghosts and discovered her family roots in Dobrenica, where she was embroiled in a plot against the throne and was attracted to both prince Marius Alexander Ysvorod ('Alec') and her bad boy cousin Tony. Alec was engaged to Kim's aristocratic lookalike cousin Aurelia 'Ruli' Dsaret.

Kim learned of the existence of Nasdrafus (a fairyland) coexisting with Dobrenica and of inimasang (vampires). A royal marriage can invoke the Blessing that protects Dobrenica from outside threats by shifting it into another dimension - such a wedding was in the works for Alec and Ruli. Kim returned to California.

In Blood Spirits, Kim was called back to Dobrenica where the Blessing had failed, Ruli was dead, and Alec accused of her murder. Also a gateway had been opened to allow inimasang to cross over and prey on humans. Kim and Alec together foiled this new danger to Dobrenica.

Revenant Eve is altogether different. Kim (on the eve of her wedding to Alec) is pulled into Nasdrafus and becomes a duppy (ghost), watching (and occasionally intervening in) the life of her ancestress, Aurélie, mulatto daughter of pirate Anne Kittredge and a runaway slave. Aurélie's Nanny gives her 'the Navarfatna necklace with its stones of great power' to keep safe.

Duppy Kim first finds the child Aurélie in Jamaica. She accompanies her to live with her Kittredge relatives in England, where the family initially believe her to be the daughter of a Spanish Marquis. When her true origins are discovered, her aunt throws Aurélie out on the streets of Dieppe.

With the help of travelling musicians Mord and Jaska, Aurélie makes her way to Paris, disguised as a boy. Back in female clothing, she joins the entourage of her relative Josephine Bonaparte. When Napoleon suspects Aurélie of being an English spy, she flees with Mord and Jaska to the latter's homeland of Dobrenica.

Will Kim ever return to her own time? You'll have to read Revenant Eve to find out. And, though I enjoyed the first two books in the series even more, this one is filled with history, mysticism and adventure, well worth a read!

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