Review: A Stroke of Brilliance (Arcane Hearts #2) by Nazri Noor

Rating: 4.75🌈

This series just gets better. Nazri Noor takes the plot of two young magical people find love while doing amazing things to save the world. Sounds simple, right?

But in Arcane Hearts nothing is simple, even falling in love.

The first story saw Noor establish the sad histories of Jackson Pryde, and his next door neighbor Xander Wright. Jackson, a artificer who lost his parents in an explosion that saw the loss as well all his Guild, was first at odds with his old childhood friend. Xander is a mage who’s parents and college have a awful future planned out for him. But a joint quest and several murders soon saw their friendship renewed and then turned into something more. Now they’re in love and working together to uncover the basis of the purple threat that’s killing people.

Noor laid out his wildly fascinating universe, with its amazing Black Market who’s ability to move itself effortlessly onto new locations just by placing new doorways is endlessly entertaining. It opens up the characters and storylines to endless possibilities about new countries and mythologies to encounter. I love this!

Here the door goes to Japan and we meet some endearing tree spirits and one goddess from Mt Fuji. Culturally, Noor has thrown his narrative door wide open with his moving Black Market and it’s terrific.

The author has paid close attention to his characters as well. Their characters are developing more depth as their relationship is deepening. As they learn more about each other, they bring out more growth personally. It’s great to see.

There’s also a circle of friends that’s continuing to expand. Another master of a Guild, more friends pulled in by events or acts of kindness. A foundation of another sort of family comes together. Just as a bigger enemy is found that threatens the world.

The book ends as a small battle is eon knowing a bigger one is coming. Absolutely satisfying and I’m ready for the next book!

I’m so happy to have found this author and series. I’m recommending both! Read them in the order they are written in order to understand the series of events and the character development.

Arcane Hearts series:

✓ A Touch of Fever #1

✓ A Stroke of Brilliance #2

◦ An Iron Fist #3

◦ A Velvet Glove #4 › Stroke-B…A Stroke of Brilliance (Arcane Hearts Book 2) – Kindle edition – › showA Stroke of Brilliance (Arcane Hearts #2) by Nazri Noor – Goodreads


The fragrance of chaos. The flavor of terror. The color of madness.

Jackson Pryde and Xander Wright are loving a life of hunting and harvesting rare reagents wherever the Black Market travels. But a routine trip to visit Japanese tree spirits turns up something sinister: two crystal shards, embedded in the bodies of wild animals. They’re familiar, glimmering, violet… like splinters of amethyst.

But that’s not all. Two rival guilds are in strife, Jack and Xander caught in a crossfire of spells and slander. SEER and its hundred eyes are still watching their every move. And then there’s the matter of meeting Xander’s parents, perhaps Jackson’s deadliest challenge to date.

The Chrysanthemyst’s return is the least of their problems.

A Stroke of Brilliance is a 70,000-word M/M urban fantasy romance with a HFN ending. Join a fast-talking artificer and a snarky sorcerer, childhood friends who become bitter enemies, then lovers, as they explore a world filled with strange flora, mythical fauna, and magical murders. If you like your urban fantasy with humor, horror, and a whole lot of heart, you’ve come to the right place. Experience A Stroke of Brilliance today.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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