My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I spotted Delilah Dirk at a bookstore roaming around at the author's fair (see, brick and mortars do more to get books under my gaze than anything else). If you're looking for a strong female lead, you've found her. It's regency period and opens in Constantinople and actually tells the story from the view point of Erdemoglu Selim, the titular Turkish lieutenant.
Selim wants nothing more than to have a few good friends, a comfy bed and to make tea. He is a fine tea brewer. The mogul who employs him is erratic to say the least, nearly ready to kill because he thinks Selim is stealing tea leaves and has the army fight for coins for the amusement of the aristocrats. Still, Selim is relatively content. But unlucky for him Delilah Dirk ends up in his mogul's prison. Delilah, as Selim learns, is a child of English privilege but has askewed that life for one of adventure. She quickly breaks out of prison and the mogul blames Selim. Delilah saves his life and Selim is swept up in her crazy life.
And crazy it is. Delilah globetrots always after the next big adventure. The staid aristocratic life she ran from bores her (and one assumes the traditional female role would have killed her). Selim feels he owes her a debt for saving her life though Delilah wants none of that. She wants a true companion not one who feels he's only there because he owes her. Still, Selim hangs on even when her flying ship (yes, it really flies) seems to actively hate him and he it.
They steal from pirates. They run from pirates. Selim has to choose between Delilah's hard life and one of comfort. He might even surprise himself.
Delilah and Selim are both very likeable characters. The art is a little odd and I loathe Delilah's outfit. It takes an otherwise empowering female lead, in the early 1800s, and puts her in what seems to be a billowing skirt, pirate boots, a keyhole boob-showing halter and a shit-ton of swaddling bandages (is this where Rey got her fashion advice? what is up with bandages as clothing?). Sigh.
Fashion aside, this is a fun graphic novel with a couple of fun characters. It's worth checking out.
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