Willful Impropriety: 13 Tales of Society, Scandal, and Romance
Edited By: Ekaterina Sedia
Publisher: Running Press
Publishing Date: September 2012
Reviewed By: Mary Lignor
Review Date: September 18, 2012
A book offering thirteen stories taking place in the Victorian period written by YA authors is what this anthology is all about. There seems to be no historical time period in English history that can ‘live up to’ the Victorian age when it comes to tales of social pressure, romance, scandal, glamour – and all points in between.
The reader will automatically be pulled into the ‘Season,’ which we all know is that sinful time where the girls are looking to seduce a man of station in order to be his wife, and the men are staking claims, while still others are simply starting the gossip mill that will have many members of society blushing down to their kneecaps. However, what these authors have done is gone ‘out of the box’ with their tales, showing the reader that these young people wanted far more than romance – they wanted independence!
From the very beginning, starting with Leanna Renee Hieber’s very cool Portia Nightingale, the ‘Victorian Age’ romantic ride begins. This was the girl, who was born for the stage, yet by the time her story was over she would have to find far more strength and courage in her soul than any Shakespearean character ever did.
After that startlingly fun tale, Stephanie Burgis walks in with her slightly snooty, Agatha Tremain, who is intent on many things for her life. But the one thing she wants the most is the power of magic. What she uses it for…well, that’s for you to discover.
Barbara Roden appears (one of my favs) with The Colonel’s Daughter and readers will be swept away by a young lady named Constance. But when a Mr. Pemberton enters the picture, the sparks really fly!
With this intriguing and entertaining anthology chock full of other authors, such as: Marie Brennan, Seth Cadin, Karen Healey, M.K. Hobson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sandra McDonald, Caroline Stevermer, Tiffany Trent and Genevieve Valentine – by the time readers run through them all and conclude with an unforgettable Steve Berman tale of a sprite titled, Steeped in Debt to the Chimney Pots, everyone who has enjoyed every page will immediately go back to the beginning and live the adventures and romance all over again.
Quill Says: Good writing that offers YA readers a variety of charming tales filled with dark and light – romance and sin! Enjoy!