Series: Shadows of Asphodel #1
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on May 11th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction
Source: Advanced Readers Copy
ISBN: (ASIN): B00W5X4YTS
She never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer.
1913. Austria-Hungary. Ardis knows better than to save a man on the battlefield. Even if he manages to be a charming bastard while bleeding out in the snow. She hasn't survived this long as a mercenary without some common sense.
When she rescues Wendel, it isn't because he's devilishly handsome, but because he's a necromancer. His touch can revive the dead, and Ardis worries he will return from the grave to hunt her down. Besides, a necromancer can be useful in this world on the brink of war.
A gentleman of questionable morals, Wendel drops to one knee and pledges his undying loyalty to Ardis. She resists falling for him, no matter how hot the tension smolders between them. Especially when she discovers Wendel's scars run much deeper than his skin, and it might be too late to truly save him from himself.
Please be sure to check out the Shadows of Asphodel Review Tour information here: Review Tour
In accordance with current FTC Guidelines, please let it be known this book was received through Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Shadows of Asphodel was a unique mix of magic and technology, that left me guessing what interesting twists and turns were going to happen next with each chapter. A warning to all readers though…this book is definitely an adult book. It has many scenes involving graphic violence, but more importantly chapters with very graphic sex.
Set 1913 with the world on the brink of war, one mercenary, Ardis, finds a nearly dead man on the battlefield who will set her on a path that will not only change her life, but the lives of many others.
The characters are surprisingly human. They are flawed, broken, complex, thus making them far from the average “cookie-cutter” characters. The story has plenty of interesting twists that allowed me to enjoy reading the book (unlike some others I’ve read where I’m just waiting for the book to tell me what I already know is going to happen). The magic is unique in and of itself, but the way that Karen Kincy added technology into the mix, was well crafted and allowed a further enhancing of the flavor of the setting.
Some of the major events in the story I felt could of had more detail and explanation. A few times in the book, I found myself guessing at the motives of the characters, and in return, was only offered a hint at the reasoning. Although finding truth from fiction is a big element of the story, some parts took the mystery a bit too far. At times it almost seemed like I missed a page because the characters appear to understand what’s going on, but the narrator never fully explained.
The final complaint that I have, is one that many fantasy/science fiction books are guilty of. When such a big thing, such as the existence of magic in a large portion of the population, exists in a story, I find it hard to believe that the world would develop in exactly the same way as ours. Even though in Shadows of Asphodel, magic has always existed, all of the countries and societies exist as they did in 1913, with the exception of the existence of magic, and a few different political groups of archmages. This always bothers me when I see it because it is a sign of poor background development. Change begets change begets change. I’ve always been a believer in the Butterfly Effect, wherein changing one thing could have massive effects on the future over long periods of time. To me, adding magic to the mix is a serious change, one that would reflect greatly in world development.
Shadows of Asphodel was an easy read that kept me interested all the way through. The sex scenes were quite graphic but were skillfully used to gain a greater understanding of the characters, and further the plot of the story. Aside from the poor background development, it is a great mix of fantasy and science fiction that I would recommend to any adult reader looking for their next book.