Adventure and Derring-do in Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling

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Delilah Dirk and the King's ShillingThe warm-hearted, hot-headed adventurer Delilah Dirk finds herself framed for treason in Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling. Not being the sort to take half-measures, Delilah Dirk heads straight to England to set matters straight in the most forthright fashion possible. Accompanied by tea-maker extraordinaire and voice of reason, Mister Selim, takes up the challenge of her reputation and of life as a proper English lady.

Delilah Dirk is an energetic heroine, full of courage and vigor, but not always given to forethought—or even hindsight. She is ready to rush in and rescue anyone in need of rescuing, and equally ready to give them help afterward. She’s also quick to take offense, ready to attack, and not completely adept with the sword. Sometimes she wins the sword fight, sometimes she loses, and sometimes she hits someone over the head with the nearest cooking implement instead. She seems never to have given any thought to whether or how to combine her life as an adventurer with her life as an upper-class woman in England, and her efforts to keep her identities separate are half-hearted, at best. She is somewhat balanced by the level-headed Selim, expert tea-maker, occasionally heard voice of reason, and loyal friend, and the two adventurers cut a swathe through English society as they restore Delilah’s good name, learn a few things about family, and continue to forge a close, valued friendship.

Tony Cliff’s art is as energetic as his writing, with many a “SKRASH” and “SMASH” accompanying the actions. Everyone’s faces are expressive, conveying everything from delight to skepticism with a wrinkle of the nose or the bite of a lip, or with mouths open wide. Delilah herself is best described in the words of one of the characters “Billowy hair, immodest chest plate, wide belt, belligerent stride,” all recognizable visual as well as character indications.

If you like adventure and derring-do, Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling is for you.

Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling is available from First Second on March 8. To order from Amazon, click this link.

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