Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: May 11, 2015
Format: E-Book, 352 pages
Genre: Adult, Steampunk
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.
Shadows of Asphodel is a story that takes place in and around alternative history Austria-Hungary. It is a place where there is a Hex in place that keeps weapons like guns from working. Ardis is a heroine who works as a peacekeeper for the Archmages of Vienna. It is her job to go into hostile territories and take out the trouble before it can spread. On one such trip, she meets the man (Wendel), who will help change her entire outlook on the people she works for, while bringing the search for her long lost father that much closer to reality.
Ardis escaped from America 3 years before after an incident that hasn't been fully covered as of yet, but I'm sure it will be in Shadows of Lazarus. Considering the era that Ardis lives in, being half American and half Chinese makes her stick out like a sore thumb every where she travels. Living the life of a mercenary isn't as glamorous as one might think. She has no problems killing to keep the so called peace with her trusty sword called Chun Yi. After discovering Wendel bleeding, she gets even more than she bargained for when it's revealed that he's also a powerful necromancer.
Wendel is character that is as mysterious, as he is a tortured soul. He has some serous issues that needs to be addressed. Supposedly disinherited by his family, Wendel tries to stay one step ahead of The Order of the Asphodel's assassins who want to bring him back to Constantinople. Wendel is full of self-sacrificing issues, but he does have some interesting abilities. While he fights alongside Ardis, there are times that he seems as though he will give up the fight, and let the assassins have their way with him. Perhaps that is all in my minds eye at looking at things.
At times while reading this story, I felt as though I was a Navy sailor who is experiencing shore leave for the first time in her life. She staggers around to different markets, shops a bit at the markets for souvenirs, gets a bit tipsy drinking Sambuca, but thankfully, she walks away from anything really horrible from happening to her thanks to a charming stranger that guides her back to the safety of her ship.
In summary, I still don't know all that much about the Archmages of Vienna, or The Order of Asphodel due to the author skimming over these facts. I do hope Kincy will touch on them further in the next installment. There are moments of curiosity as to what the characters are actually thinking. Here is a heroine who can't stand to touch Wendel for who he is, while the next moment, she is falling all over him, and jumping into bed with him. Wendel has so many mood swings, I wanted to send him a bottle of estrogen so he would stop his bitching.
Since this is adult steampunk, of course there are plenty of hot, sexual encounters. Let's not think about the fact that the sex parts were, in fact, more impressive than the anti-Heroes actions. A hero who is being hunted by the Order of the Asphodel because he is a powerful necromancer, and a heroine who refuses to allow him to fall so far he can't get up.
Next up in series: Storms of Lazarus
**I received this book for free from (Curiosity Quills Press) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo