Book Review – Manners and Monsters (Manners and Monsters Book 1) by Tilly Wallace

First published, 2019

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The story follows Hannah Miles, daughter of a knighted doctor and a powerful undead mage.

Growing to adulthood in Regency-era England, Hannah has been long-time assistant to her father in his study of the curious Affliction – a virus carried to the wealthy upperclass by means of manipulated face powder. This face powder, once applied, transfers the deadly blood-lust and slow-moving rot to the user who is, to all intents and purposes, a zombie – cursed to live without living, to watch their former families move on or to labour under the desperate effort to keep them from actual death, and to live off what is generously termed ‘pickled cauliflower’ because no one can deal with the idea of eating thin slivers of brain in Regency England.

“Society couldn’t afford to ostracise women in such high places, so the rules adapted.
“These days, there were three expectations of a young lady of breeding.
“She should be accomplished in at least one of the arts.
“She should be decorous at all times.
“She should never reveal the true state of her decay.”
15% in, Chapter 4, Manners and Monsters (Manners and Monsters Book 1) by Tilly Wallace

A stunningly written book. I loved it. The writing is erudite and fluid, the descriptions full of finesse, and the humour is wonderful. I found myself smiling at various points all the way through. The pacing in the story is very good, too, and I really liked the characters from the plainly attired intellectual heroine, Hannah, to the sneeringly upperclass Lady Gabriella, to the dark and Mr. Rochester-like Viscount Wycliff.

A triumph and a must read. And it’s the start of a series – joy.