Von Haegert builds her story around compelling characters with complex, often conflicting motives, with lust and love scorching through their veins. Ashdon stands as a grand creation, a Mazerati-driving immortal who refuses a kingship and whose voice purrs like “the sound like velvet over steel.” Kielyn, meanwhile, spends much of the book’s first third observed at a distance or unconscious. But soon she’s commanding, making bold choices—including participation in a blood ritual that showcases the book’s strengths: it’s dark, sexy, dangerous, epic.
At times the prose can edge toward the florid, especially in scene-setting descriptive passages, but the action zips along, the dialogue is sharp and often funny—warned that a ghost will haunt him if he takes a decisive action, Ashdon snaps “As long as your ghost wears deodorant.” Scenes involving blood, sex, magic, and power all pulse with welcome vigor. The story is sweeping, but Von Haegert keeps the scheming, betrayals, and varied magic sets clear and engaging, right up to climactic revelations that promise even more magical beasts in the follow-up.
Takeaway: This steamy fantasy thrusts a mortal woman into war among vampires, angels, and more.
Great for fans of: Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A