Review - Glorious Poison by Kat Dunn

 Review - Glorious Poison by Kat Dunn

Robespierre is dead. The Reign of Terror is over. As Royalist strength grows, the Duc de L'Aubespine plots a coup that will consign the revolution to history. With Olympe in his clutches, he believes nothing can stop him. But he's reckoned without the intrepid Battalion of the Dead!

Reunited in Paris, Ada is poised for action – but if she plays her hand too soon, everything she's sacrificed to gain his trust will be lost. Meanwhile, an unlikely alliance with an old enemy might be Camille's only option to save Olympe and stop the duc in his tracks.

The glittering and macabre bals des victimes and the eerie catacombs make the perfect backdrop for the final episode of the Battalion's tale.




What a bleak book! Glorious Poison feels suffused with all of the pain, loss and despair of the last few years. The third book in Kat Dunn's post-revolutionary France trilogy, and the Battalion des Mortes really seems to be struggling. Ada is deep undercover, trying to convince the Duc that she's on his side by carrying out ever darker experiments with him. Camille is dying. Al is living the good life of a nobleman once more, hiding his despair behind drink and more drink. Guill is a prisoner with Olympe and James is trying to figure out just who he is after the events of book two. Meanwhile, the Duc is getting ready to put his most lethal experiment into practice.

It's thrilling, from start to finish. An adventure that leaves you wondering if our heroes will actually make it to the finishing line, with all of the loss and hardship they'd had to face. The world around them has changed immeasurably too, with the fall of the revolutionaries and yet more political instability in Paris. That shifting, uncertain political landscape, with death in the form of justice, or justice in the form of death, promised by whichever side is in charge has been one of the most fascinating elements of this trilogy and the further twists and turns really add to this portrayal. 

The friendships and romances between the main characters is another big draw, and there are many different forms of love on display here, from the complex relationship Clementine has with her daughter, Olympe, to the queer romances of Al and Leon, and Camille and Ada, both being tested to breaking point in different ways. 

It's a time of fascinating political history, but also of great scientific breakthroughs, and that's also portrayed really well, with an effective mix of science reality and science fiction. The horror of how the Duc intends to manipulate and use Olympe's powers is all the more horrifiying for the real life grounding of it. 

Queer romance and adventure in post-revolutionary Paris, with a breathtaking, thrilling plot, and a very bleak, despair filled tone. A superb finish to the trilogy.

🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

Glorious Poison by Kat Dunn is published on 9th June 2022 by Head of Zeus.
I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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