SERIES THURSDAY: Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling by Tony Cliff


Delilah Dirk and the Blades of England lands Delilah and Selim right in the middle of yet more crazy adventures. When Delilah is framed as a spy by an English army officer, her passion for revenge threatens to sever her friendship with Selim. Is she willing to lose the companionship of her only good friend in order to reclaim her reputation? Selim finally gets to see the England he has only imagined, but how will he feel when the combined strains of social conventions and Delilah’s thirst for revenge overwhelm his experience?


Delilah Dirk causes mayhem wherever she goes.  In this second book in the series, Delilah returns a young boy to his mother, getting shot in the process, which causes no end of trouble for her as she faces accusations of treason.  But Delilah Dirk is no blushing violet, content to stay in the shadows and she certainly isn't one to to wait for trouble to come to her.  After escaping her framer, an English army officer, Delilah heads to England with her friend, Selim.  But her efforts to track the army officer lead to her not telling Selim a lot of things, which, unsurprisingly, he doesn't take very well.  No one likes to be shuttled aside in favor of someone else's reputation.  Selim learns some surprising new information about Delilah Dirk and even takes on the role of a manservant for a time (he looks quite different).

Once again, Cliff has written and illustrated an action-packed story with surprising depth to it.  While the focus of the story is on Delilah Dirk's attempts to salvage her reputation, there are also glimpses of other themes as well.  Delilah almost loses her most valuable friendship just to maintain her secret identity and yet maintain the reputation of her secret identity.  What is most important?  And the army officer that Delilah takes on allows his greed for power to overcome any other loyalties, even to his own father.  The illustrations are attractive and appealing (although I still wonder why Delilah's adventuring outfit needs to have a whole right over the chest, if it wasn't for that I would put the books in my library).  The historical touches help the book seem more grounded, although the flying boat throws in some fantasy.  And like many graphic novels, the fighting and such really isn't so realistic (which is of course true for most action movies as well, so no real surprise there).  Highly appealing, and action-packed, Delilah Dirk is hard to put down.


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