Today’s book review is part of the official blog tour for Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy – keep reading for more information on the tour & an *international* contest!! Then tune in tomorrow for an exclusive guest post from Karen herself!
So, full disclosure: I don’t normally read adult fiction, and I don’t normally read fantasy, and I don’t normally read self-published books. But when my friend Candace raved about Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy … well, I through all my “normally” rules out the window. And I’m so glad I did. Shadows of Asphodel is a really fun, adventurous, and sexy story that paints a twisted alternate history of World War I that’s filled with magic, necromancers, and dieselpunk (the diesel-powered cousin of steampunk!).
1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.
But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.
If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster—or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.
Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?
Shadows of Asphodel is one of those books that’s just fun to curl up with and get lost inside — with its nonstop action and adventure, steamy romance, and intriguing plot. Magic and mystery round out the story and keep the pages turning.
Readers will no doubt be torn over their feelings for the charming rogue Wendel — he’s the kind of guy who will give you mixed emotions, but either way, he’s sexy as hell and damn fun to read about. Meanwhile, Ardis is an admirable young heroine, who’s been through a lot and isn’t going to let anyone get in her way. Though an adult character, she has a lot of characteristics that will appeal to YA readers.
As with most self-published novels, I do think Shadows of Asphodel could have benefited from some traditional editorial input. But that’s not to detract from the book in its current state; what I mean is, it is already quite good and could have only gotten better.
I should caution readers that this book is adult — not YA — and as such, it features some mature scenes (sexuality, graphic violence) and should be approached with that in mind.
Shadows of Asphodel is available now.
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We’re so pleased to be participating in the official blog tour for Shadows of Asphodel. Follow the entire blog tour HERE … then enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card HERE! (Contest open internationally!)
About the Author:
Karen Kincy (Redmond, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.