Deadly Ever After is the first Rivers of London story to be published after Amongst Our Weapons, and the first to move the timeline forward after that point, and a little past that point as well. It’s also one that moves the focus of the story clearly beyond The Folly, with the focus being more on the River Goddesses themselves.
Our main characters for this novel are Chelsea and Olympia, two of the daughters of Mama Thames, and the goddesses of the rivers Westbourne & Counter’s Creek on the Thames watershed. They end up inadvertently releasing a painter who had been taken by the Fae in the 1800s, and who is proceeding to bewitch various people in manners reminiscent of a storybook he’d done illustrations for. Like Melvin from the “King of the Rats” short story, but for a handful more people.
Normally, this would fall right into the wheelhouse of the Folly in general, and Peter & Nightingale in particular – except they’re tied up in a case involving ghost trains, so they’re out. Now, there’s Abigail, the semi-apprentice of Peter & Nightingale… except she’d been roped into helping with solving that case, so she’s out too. So Chelsea & Olympia are mostly on their own.
It’s a nice spin on the structure of the series, as in so many of the previous installments of the franchise, the Rivers whose name the franchise follows are generally supporting characters in the larger story. Putting the focus on Chelsea & Olympia helps to show how the franchise is bigger than Peter, has room for voices other than Peter’s (or Abigail’s), and can provide a wider view of this world.
In all, Deadly Ever After shows how much more room there is in the Rivers series for stories, beyond what Peter Grant & the Folly are up to, even within the bounds of Great Britain.
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