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The Black Orchid

(The Viper and the Urchin #2)

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4.27  ·  Rating details ·  223 ratings  ·  34 reviews
A man drained of blood.
A sartorial crisis.
The greatest challenge Rory and Longinus have ever faced.


Longinus is besides himself. Someone has bought all the black silk in Damsport, so he has to make do with grey. Unacceptable, given that an assassin in grey is as ridiculous as a bulldog in culottes.

Conspiracies don’t get more dire than this.

Of course, there’s also the fa
...more
Kindle Edition, 344 pages
Published April 9th 2016 by Enoki Press
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  223 ratings  ·  34 reviews


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Jessie Stevens
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reviewing a sequel is always a little bit challenging. I’ve begun to think of it as advice on if it’s worth it to start reading the first book of the series.

In this case the answer is yes.

You’ve got to start with The Bloodless Assassin (previously title The Viper and the Urchin) where you will meet the assassin that reminds me of Eyore and the street urchin who teams up with him.

And then, for sure, you’ve got to continue on to The Black Orchid.

Hands down my favorite part of these books is the ch
...more
Sara Snider
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For some reason I’ve been finding it difficult to put my thoughts into words about this book beyond, “It’s awesome, go read it.” Maybe because it feels like I’ve already written pretty much everything I want to in my review for the first book in the series, The Bloodless Assassin (previously titled The Viper and the Urchin). All the wonderful things in that book definitely apply here. Honestly, I really didn’t have that many expectations for The Black Orchid other than more Rory and Longinus goo ...more
Brit Andrews
In the wake of the events of the first book Longinus and Rory are no longer assassins but now they are in the employ of the Marchioness. Mostly to keep an eye on them and so that they can be of use to her. Things are changing for the duo and they have been left under the care of Cruikshank. Loving in her workshop isn’t much fun for any of them but they have no choice. Until a problem a rises that requires their special set of skills...

People are disappearing and something odd is happening in Dam
...more
Sarah Zama
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The second book in The Viper and the Urchin trilogy picks up where the first left off. At the beginning of the story, Rosy and Longinus are in the service of the Marchioness, in theory ready to help her against her enemies, but practically sitting around waiting for something to happen.
When something does happen, it doesn’t come from the Marchioness. Rory accidentally learns of people turning up exanguineted in the streets, and a few of them are her former friends. She needs to know what happen
...more
Emily Wrayburn
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind April 8, 2016:

(Thank you to Celine Jeanjean for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

After having such a bad experience with the last book I read, I was so glad that I had a copy of the Black Orchid on my Kindle that I could move straight onto. I knew that being back with Rory and Longinus would bring a smile to my face, and I was not disappointed.

This book picks up a couple of months after the first book. R
...more
Barb Taub
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As I read The Black Orchid, Book 2 of Celine Jeanjean’s The Viper and the Urchin Series, I was thinking again about those three sliding variants of character development—competence, proactivity, and sympathy. In my review of her first book, The Bloodless Assassin (formerly titled The Viper and the Urchin), I talked about how those markers moved over the course of the book.

It was fascinating to see how they move again in the sequel. The motivating premise of the first book was, as its new title c
...more
Riley
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, steampunk
I fell in love with Rory and Longinus and the city of Damsport when I read The Bloodless Assassin last fall. So, when I learned the book I read was only the first book of a steampunk series, book 2 (which did not yet have a name) became one of the most anticipated new books of 2016 for me. From the first word on page one to the last word on the final page, The Black Orchid met all of my expectations!

The continuing adventures of the assassin that cannot stand the sight of blood and the grammatica
...more
Jane Firebaugh
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series just keeps getting better and better! The Black Orchid is a wonderful second book in The Viper and the Urchin series.

When one of Rory's old friends turns up dead mysteriously, she vows to figure out who killed him. There are so many suspects and loads of suspicious activity to keep Rory and Longinus on their toes, not to mention Longinus' having to settle for off the rack clothes or Gods forbid, grey silk, since not being able to find his treasured black silk anywhere. What is a res
...more
Mandy Haggard
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Steampunk at its finest!

Rory and Longinus are two of my newest all-time favorite characters! I was ecstatic that a second book was available so their story could continue. The Black Orchid was an amazing story! The mystery, the story-line just all of it! I recommend this amazing adventure to anyone with a love of fine imaginative writing. I can't wait to read what adventure awaits Rory, Longinus, Cruikshank, Adelma, and Rafe(😍) in the next book! There is a next book, right, Celine?!😊
Frank Bertino
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secret Labs, Brothels, And Conspiracies, Oh My

Rory is getting better at sword fighting under Longinus's tutelage. She discovers that some of her friends have been killed in mysterious ways. Many other puzzling things are happening. Is what is going on a threat to the Marchioness and the city? I like the action, humor, and touch of romance. The characters are very well done. I feel like they are friends. I look forward to the next book.
Francesca
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Occasionally Annoying

Yep. Five stars and I’m annoyed. Rory annoys me regularly. Adelma once in a while. Everyone but Rafe.

Why? He’s the only one not bandying about his position and history to prove that he belongs to some caste.

Either way, I think the author is doing a great job with the characters and despite annoyance, I love the book.
Emma
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just reread this book having read the 3rd book of Slave City. I enjoyed it even more than when I first read it. Longinus and Rory work well as characters and I am completely emotionally invested in them as a result of the fantastic writing and world building. I highly recommend it.
Doug
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun

A romp. A gas. A guttersnipe beleaguered by do-gooders. A pompous assassin with severe social problems. A couple of ginormous women who are friends and polar opposites.
The story is one of twists and turns, hilarity and loss, and a story of hope. Well done.
Juneta Key
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Wonderfully fun read

Rory is older now and lands smack in the middle political plots and intrigues. The city description of Damsport is beautifully written. I could picture it. These characters make me smile. Can' wait to read the next one.
Manola Dobbs
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Black Orchid

Good book! It is amazing how many misunderstandings Rory and Longenius can get into in a 400 page book. And it grows worse because they never talk things through. Their miss steps are so funny.
Marie Reed
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fun, quirky ride with a twist I wasn't expecting! I enjoy watching Rory and Longinus' grow both as individuals and as partners. The addition of a few new characters was great, too. I'm looking forward to their next adventure!
Jordan
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Took me a while to finish this book, not because of any drop in quality I just got distracted. Overall I'd say if you enjoyed the first volume in this series, you cant go far wrong with 'Black Orchid'.
C.J. Grant
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great follow up to the first book. I am enjoying the action and the growing friendship between Rory and Longinus. The author does a great job with world building and the development of the characters. I'll be reading the next in the series soon.
Becca
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid follow up in an engaging series

In their first case as spies to the Old Girl, Rory and crew must solve a tangled mystery that threatens the city and the Marchioness's life.
Nicole Shelby
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Celine Jeanjean is an authorial treasure. Her Viper+Urchin books are literary romps - amusing and entertaining.
Crystin McDaniel
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Men are vanishing and dying in the Rookery, and the Marchioness of Damsport finds herself suddenly (and astonishingly) in need of urchin Rory's connections to discover why and how her subjects are disappearing.

Meanwhile, an even more sinister plot awakens as far as Longinus is concerned. For someone is trying to eliminate black silk from Damsian markets ... and how can Longinus maintain his reputation as the most elegant assassin in Damsport if he can't dress the part?


A few of you may remember
...more
Zaire
Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
Our favorites are back again and things are not what they seem in Damsport. After suffering for months at the hands of boredom, Longinus and Rory find themselves thrust into a mystery that has something to do with missing men and lost black silk. With the life of a very important figure from the Marchioness' past are at stake, the Old Girl will do anything to make sure things are safe. Even if it puts Rory and Longinus in the crossfire.

Now I must say this, usually I find sequels to be lack luste
...more
C.D. Gallant-King
"The Black Orchid" is fabulous for all the same reasons I raved about "The Bloodless Assassin" (previously "The Viper and the Urchin"). It's marketed as "Young Adult Steampunk" but that classification really doesn't do the book justice. It's a character-drive mystery/thriller that just happens to be set in a fantasy world and is rated PG-13. The background and world-building that bogs down so many other genre books are just set dressing here, plot devices that flesh out the story instead of prop ...more
E.D. Martin
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-review
Last summer, I read the first book in this series, The Viper and the Urchin (now titled The Bloodless Assassin), about an assassin who teams up with a street urchin to solve a string of copycat murders. This book pairs the two of them again, although this time they’re now working for the city-state ruler, the Marchioness – and completely bored out of their minds. The action picks up when the team is pulled in to investigate a murder in a rough part of town. They stumble on a big conspiracy where ...more
Jetgirlcos
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This is a sequel that I had been eagerly anticipating and I was definitely not disappointed! This is a suspenseful romp through the city of Damsport, which the author introduced in her first novel, "The Bloodless Assassin" (formerly "The Viper and the Urchin.") What to do if you are a bored assassin or rough-around-the-edges swordswoman-in-training? After their last adventure, Longinus and Rory find themselves "honestly employed" with nothing to occupy themselves...which could be dangerous in it
...more
Elizabeth Lloyd
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The second adventure of the Viper and the Urchin finds these two disparate characters relocated to the warehouse of Cruikshank, engineer to the Marchioness, no longer an assassin and a pickpocket, but officially employed by the Old Girl, as the Marchioness is affectionately called. But their services have not been required and they are feeling aimless and redundant when at last they are summoned to investigate a mysterious death by exsanguination in the insalubrious Bayog district of the city of ...more
Christina
Second in The Viper and The Urchin series, though can easily be read as a standalone, this was steampunk at its best. There was intrigue, adventure, mystery, alchemy, and a dash of romance.

Rory and Longinus are bored living an honest life. But when an old friend of Rory's from her urchin days turns up exsanguinated, Rory and Longinus set off to investigate, through the poverty and illegality of the Rookery, to the opulence of The Mansion and its inhabitants and visiting diplomats, to the brothel
...more
Silvia Weyland
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous follow-up to The Bloodless Assassin! I absolutely adore this world, these characters, and the exciting stories that Ms Jeanjean weaves in this series. I devoured this one over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. My current reading mindset is generally* "loved it" or "can't be bothered to finish it," and this is firmly in the former camp. Meeting up with Rory and Longinus was wonderful, like meeting old friends at Susie's for coffee. Their relationship is so delightfully unexpected, a ...more
Denise Young
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really love the characters in this series, their arcs and their banter. This is the second book in the series, and it showcases Rory's struggles with her identity as she goes from being a street urchin to working for the Marchioness and Longinus's ongoing struggle with his fear of blood--and his current worries about being kept out of the loop. There are tons of plot twists to hold the reader's attention, and there were plenty of moments where I didn't want to put the book down. The only thing ...more
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Celine Jeanjean is French, grew up in the UK and now lives in Hong Kong. That makes her a tad confused about where she is from. During her time in Asia she’s watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat, lost her shoes in Vietnam, and fallen off a bamboo raft in China.

Celine writes stories that feature quirky characters and misfits, and her books are a mixture of steampunk, fantasy and humour.

Other books in the series

The Viper and the Urchin (8 books)
  • Bloodless Assassin (The Viper and the Urchin, #1)
  • Slave City (The Viper and the Urchin #3)
  • Doll Maker (The Viper and the Urchin #4)
  • White Hornet (The Viper and the Urchin #5)
  • The Shadow Palace (The Viper and the Urchin #6)
  • The Opium Smuggler (The Viper and the Urchin #7)
  • The Veiled War (The Viper and the Urchin #8)

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