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Swashbuckling And A Spot of Tea

Feeling overdue for a dose of Girl Power? Delilah Dirk has it for MILES...early 19th century style!

Swashbuckling And A Spot of Tea

BOOK REPORT for Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff

Cover Story: Girl Power!
BFF Charm: Platinum Edition
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: Formally Badass
Arty Art: Adventurous
Bonus Factors: Diversity, SWAG
Relationship Status: Love at First Sight

Cover Story: Girl Power!

There are so many things that I love about this cover! Just one glance conveys the relationship dynamic between Delilah and Selim perfectly; she’s fearless and hilarious and he’s constantly wondering how he ended up as the travelling companion to an internationally known adventurer/rabblerouser. I also appreciate that Delilah is drawn as a woman without breasts that would impair her fighting ability and give her lifelong back problems. Also, I may need to cosplay her at some point so I can wear THOSE BOOTS.

The Deal:

It is 1809 and Erdemoglu Selim is a reluctant member of the Turkish Janissary Corps. He would much rather be living the quiet life of mixing tea blends and spending time with friends. Instead he has to submit to superiors that aren’t nearly as intelligent as he is and covering up that he’s not that great of a soldier.  This is until the day that Delilah Dirk enters his life when she arrives in Constantinople to rob a rich, greedy Sultan.

Selim is sent to question her and her tales of globetrotting, swashbuckling and general badassery have the Sultan and his guards in stitches. They underestimate her (because she’s a WOMAN afterall) making it easy for her to escape. Selim is blamed and sentenced to death so he has no choice but to take off with Delilah as she makes her way out of the city on her FLYING BOAT.

BFF Charm: Platinum Edition

Delilah and Selim are the sort of people you'd want at your dinner table. They both have a wonderful sense of humor. A barbed wit, if you will. As much as I loved them individually I also really admired the way that their friendship grew and changed, especially with Mr. Selim being out of his comfort zone. They are the best kind of Odd Couple, complimenting and challenging each other at every turn. 

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

Selim and Delilah’s friendship is delightful, and I hope that there won’t be any romance for them in any future installments of the comic. Their friendship is so highly unlikely; conservative Turkish Muslim gentleman and the daughter of an English diplomat who shuns high society to travel the world, train in several forms of defense, and give Indiana Jones a run for his money. They are travelling companions - friends, even. And I hope that their relationship stays this way.

Talky Talk: Formally Badass

Selim is quite formal, a man of many words rather than few, while Delilah is a straight-shooter who prefers to get right to the point. When they're not running for their lives and get some downtime for quiet conversations, these are the highlight of the comic.

Arty Art: Adventurous

Sadly my knowledge of comics as a kid started and ended with Betty & Veronica. I’m lucky to be married to a huge comic book nerd and he every so often pushes something my way. THIS TIME I was the one to put a comic on HIS nightstand. *fistpump*

Tony Cliff is an amazing illustrator. He’s found just the right balance of humor and action, bouncing from frame to frame effortlessly. I found myself hoping that Delilah Dirk gets picked up as a series, an ANIMATED series, because we need all the fearless heroines we can get!

Bonus Factor: Diversity

It’s taken us to get to 2014 to have a Muslim mainstream comic book character but that day is here (February 5, 2014 to be exact)! Miss Marvel, aka Kamala Khan, is representing her Islamic sisters in mainstream comics and dear Mr. Selim is doing likewise, albeit for the early 19th century.

Bonus Factor: SWAG

I can’t even imagine a world without fan art these days, my walls are covered with it! But now our author is also our illustrator and SERIOUSLY JUST GO AND BUY ALL OF THESE TRAVEL POSTERS.  

Casting Call:

Morena Baccarin as Delilah Dirk

Morena was brilliant as Inara in Firefly, and I can't imagine anyone else would be as well suited to playing the delightfully fearless Delilah Dirk.

Amr Waked as Erdemoglu Selim

Amr was a true gent in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. He was intelligent and possessed a quiet dignity, which of course puts him in my mind for our dear Mr. Selim. 

Relationship Status: Love at First Sight

Delilah Dirk, when I first saw your cover I knew that our relationship had potential SwimFan written all over it and you did not disappoint.  I'm not sure I can wait for the next anthology and may cave and buy the newest installment ASAP! While I could never be as badass as you are I'm more than content to live vicariously through you and the pages of your gorgeous stories. 

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a free review copy from First Second. I received neither cocktails nor money for this review (dammit!). Delilah Dirk and The Turkish Lieutenant is available now.

Amanda Reid's photo About the Author: Amanda R. is an East Coast girl living in California who will never stop missing a true autumn. She's a bookseller who specializes in kid and teen lit, the leader of FYA Oakland, and bakes a damn fine pie.