Ghosts of Albion
Written by: Christopher Golden and Amber Benson
Published by: Del Rey
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Ghosts of Albion: Accursed was a purchase I made mostly because my wife is a huge Christopher Golden fan and has done some reviews for him in the past. I could only take her proud raving of his work but so long before I sought to read one for myself. I chose this one because it was co-written by Buffy alumni, Amber Benson—whom I love—and was curious to see what they could create together.
Based on the popular BBC animated series Legacy, created by Benson and Golden, the story takes place in 1838 London and follows one harrowing adventure involving Tamara and William Swift, siblings who only recently inherited the mantle of Protectors of Albion—the magical soul of London—from their dead grandfather. Their new title provides them with nearly limitless access to the power of Albion and a grave duty to uphold: guard London from the forces of darkness.
Social appearances and propriety clash with their duty, keeping them enough out of the loop to allow a sinister plague to infest the poorer section of London. Throughout the underbelly of London, men are infected by a curse that turns them into reptilian creatures, mindless, ruthless, and in the service of an unseen master. The main outlet for their dark lusts is the women that happen across their path. These unfortunate victims become host to an army of toad-like creatures that rip out of their wombs and plague the streets of London.
It’s not until the plague invades the high society in which they live that Swifts finally learn of the evil that has seeped into their homeland, but by then it has spread too far and too fast for them to contain. However, they are not alone. They have the infamous ghosts of Albion at their disposal, some as close friends, to aid in their quest. With their help, the Swifts uncover the mystery of the curse, trace it to its source and begin the search for the Protector of Bharath (the soul of India) who has been missing since the plague began.
Even with the help of the ghosts, and the wisdom of the Protector of Bharath, will the Swifts be able to combat the horde of demon creatures that now infest their London, while trying to stop the spread of the curse that is turning men into monsters and defeat the magician that has wrought it all upon their heads?
Overall, I loved the book and look forward to reading the sequels. Detailed and engaging, the story is rich with humor, sex appeal and creativity. Not being a big fan of period pieces that don’t take place in mythical places, it took me a few pages to get into the dialogue and aptly dated prose, but once I did, I could barely take my eyes off of the pages. Pick it up today; you’re sure to enjoy it as much as I did.