Format: Kindle, 226 pages
Release Date: October 10, 2018
Publisher: Elewyn Publishing
Genre: Urban Fantasy
New world order, new job, new mission.
As the first Justice of the Arcana Council in two hundred years, Tarot-reading Sara Wilde is tasked with taking out the most dangerous magic-wielding criminals on the planet. Her first assignment? A killer known only as the Red King, who's systematically picking off the world's most gifted magicians in the rollicking streets and storied canals of Venice, Italy, on the eve of Carnevale.
Amidst the festival's music, masks, and brightly colored costumes, Sara must unravel the truth about a brutal murderer from Venice's own murky past, navigate the twisting political currents of magicians who seek to rival her own Council, and keep one costume change ahead of a conjurer whose lethal spells could end Justice--permanently. Good thing the diabolically sexy and deeply powerful Magician of the Arcana Council has Sara's back...if only he didn't hold so much of her heart as well.
The canals of Venice will run with blood when you deal in The Red King.
The Red King is the first installment in author Jenn Stark's Wilde Justice series. If you are new to this world, let me set you on the right path. Wilde Justice is actually a spin-off from the authors Immortal Vegas series. In fact, this book picks up shortly after the ending of Wilde Fire. You don't necessarily have to have read the previous series, but it never hurts. Plus, if you have read the previous series, you will immediately identify all of the major players in this new series.
Wilde Justice means new adventures for protagonist Sara Wilde who has had an interesting past 5 years. She was one of the most sought after artifact hunters around until one Armaeus Bertrand came calling. Her shtick, as it were, is using Tarot Cards to lead her to where she needs to be. As we enter this new series, that hasn't changed one bit. The only real change is that she is now the Justice of the Arcana Council having accepted her Immortality and her ascension to a new position that doesn't exactly come with a working manual.
As with the previous series, author Stark takes Sara on a journey to different places. From Boulder, Co, in search of or something called the Black Elixir. From Boulder, back to Las Vegas where readers will meet new characters such as Mrs. French and the "Lost Boys." Later to Venice, Italy where much of the story takes place as Sara hunts for the mysterious Red King. As the new Justice, Sara has her hands full. Thankfully, she has her best friend and confidant Nikki Dawes along for the ride, as well as characters such as the Magician, the Joker, the Devil, and Death.
As the author has indicated, this is probably the first real book where Sara is more of a detective, than an artifact hunter. As the first Justice in 250 years, she has to go where her cases take her. The mystery of the Red King takes Sara and Nikki to Venice, Italy where magicians are ending up dead. This was one of my favorite aspects of this story. I especially loved that it takes place during Carnevale di Venezia. I loved the scenary, and the costumes, and the history that is told. If you haven't been, I'd recommend it.
I rated this as 4 starts which means that I think The Red King is a good start to a new series. Some curious new characters, plus a mystery of who the real villain is, plus Sara attempting to walk her way into finding out what it really means being the Justice of the Arcana Council. Plus, I adore the friendship that has grown between Sara and Nikki, as well as the romance between Sara and Armaeus.