Devil in the Making (Illustrated Edition)


Our story begins with naughty poem, "Ode to a Milkmaid of St. James Park", and it ends with a toast to a bete de proie.  What falls between is an amusing, sometimes ribald tale of a prank pulled by Devil DeVere that results in his being expelled from school.  With his compatriots, Ned Chambers and Simon Singleton, along for the ride, this quick and entertaining read fleshes out the history of Ms. Vane's most popular fictional character, Ludovic DeVere.  First featured in her novella "A Wild Night's Bride", this Georgian bad boy is a perennial fan favourite, which prompted Ms. Vane to tell his story in a series of vignettes.
Established fans will be thrilled with this effort, with its glimpses into DeVere's past.  Fans of historical settings will be impressed with the detail given to places, dress and speech.  Readers new to Ms. Vane's work will get a taste of the characterization and prose that is truly a pleasure to read.  However, the specific audience for this short story could limit DeVere's appeal for the masses.  Ms. Vane is very talented -- after all the novellas and vignettes one looks forward to reading a full-length novel.  
She has also attempted something new with this work - illustrations.  Beautifully detailed, they bring her words to life!  This could pose a problem for readers who like to imagine their characters themselves.  Another niggle is that the detail and beauty of the illustrations can be lost depending on the type of e-reader used.  
All in all a quick, entertaining bit to while away a winter afternoon, and a worthy addition to Devil DeVere's story!

 Tammy Grant