Original Title: Shadows of Asphodel
Year Published: 2015 (originally 2013)
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley
Number of Pages: 350
First Sentence: “Ardis trudged across the blood-churned earth, blinking as the wind whipped spindrift snow into her eyes.“
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
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.
I really enjoyed this book. It was great fun and really interesting. This was not at all what I expected which was a very good thing. This book almost literally flew by for me, it was just that enchanting.
The setting was very interesting. 1913 in Austria-Hungary. It is not often book’s are set there or in any part of Europe that is not London, and it felt like the author did a great job of describing certain locations in Austria-Hungary. It sometimes felt like you were there.
The plot is both interesting and captivating. There were moments that were duller than the rest which is why this book did not get 5 stars. Otherwise, it was brilliant.
Ardis is a very interesting heroine as well. She is half Chinese and half American, something that makes her feel like she doesn’t fully belong since her appearance does not allow her to really blend in with her surroundings. Her background, both her mixed ethnicity and her actual background in America, haunts her and is something she struggles with throughout the book. However, she is still a badass. I would not want to face her in a fight.
Wendel is also very interesting. Super grumpy, but interesting. He is a necromancer, a power that is both useful and super scary. He and Ardis have a very complicated yet very romantic relationship. It does sometimes feels like the relationship isa little bit rushed, but it works out well in the end.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do. It was interesting and a fun read.