Review: Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Love and Romanpunk – Tansy Rayner Roberts
Twelfth Planet Press, 2011
109 pages
RRP: AU$18
ISBN: 978-0-9808274-4-6

Reviewed by Liz Grzyb

Love and Romanpunk is a mini-collection of four fantastic stories by Tansy Rayner Roberts, taking a new look at Roman history, mythology and urban fantasy, with some amazing Julias. This boutique collection, part of the Twelfth Planet Press’s Twelve Planets series, is an intriguing read which will entertain a wide audience.

The first story, ‘Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary’, is a fitting beginning, introducing the family of fabulous Julias and the mythological world Julia Agrippina faces. It explores the wisdom and strength of the women in the family. The second, ‘Lamia Victoriana’, jumps forward in time a few millennia to tell the story of lamia, the Roman version of vampires, their decadent life and the Julius tracking them.

‘The Patrician’, third in the collection and my personal favourite, is an urban fantasy tale about a girl and a guy and a neo-Roman town in Australia which has been infested with lamia and other pesky mythological beings.

‘The Last of the Romanpunks’, another story in the urban fantasy vein and crossed with more than a hint of steampunk, is a second favourite. How can a story set in an Ancient Roman-themed airship bar fail to delight? Especially when the adventure is about a plot for lamia to take over the planet!

Love and Romanpunk is an engaging read and a great bite-sized introduction to Rayner Roberts’ work.

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