Love and Romanpunk

This weekend I read Love and Romanpunk, by Tansy Rayner Roberts. I’d heard the title here and there, but never picked it up until I heard it recommended on the SF Squeecast.

In case you, Gentle Reader, might have some of the same wrong-headed notions about Love and Romanpunk as I did, let me disabuse you of same.

This is not “steampunk set in Roman times.”
This is not “modern romance novel tropes set in Roman times.”
This is not “vaguely researched Roman AU with lots of Iron Age fake-tech and anachronistic language, like the word punk.”

Love and Romanpunk is meticulously, lovingly, scrupulously researched historical fiction. It is AU, in the sense that it is urban fantasy. Not paranormal romance, mind you, but urban fantasy, in which the monsters are alluring but monstrous. There isn’t much romance. There is love, of a sort. Love of parent for child, of siblings, of ruler for country, of friends and colleagues in an eternal war.

Without giving too much away, Love and Romanpunk is a set of connected short stories about lamias and the damage they do over centuries. It’s about the Julias, in a world in which Julia is the ancient Augustinian title for the women who defend Rome from monsters. It’s family — wanting it, loathing it, making it.

I highly, highly recommend Love and Romanpunk. It’s available in ebook for not very much money. It is a quick and delightful read, compelling from start to finish.

Go. Read. Love. And then talk to me about Julias through the ages. Because, yes.

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