Rating: 4.5 🌈
The Scars That Bind Us, the first book in Michele Notaro’s urban fantasy series, The Magi Accounts, takes in a scary, horrific universe, especially if you’re not human.
Here , the revelation that mages and shifters existed along side humanity did not go over well. WWIII happened, countries, governments, peoples and environments were devastated and divided. So too were species. With shifters and the magi at the bottom of the species pile.
I won’t recount it here. You can read it. People so fearful of those that make them feel less powerful ,the prejudice. So they relegated to a status as “others “ ,as less than equal. Easy to control, confinement to compounds. Tagged. Registered.
Notaro ‘s has the ability to bring the ability to transfer these devastating elements to this universe and the lives and conditions the shifters and magi now live under.
It’s very emotional reading when the narrator is magi Madeo Driscoll, compound born, paired to another mage Jude Driscoll, almost since birth. A dyad. Paired magi which increases their magical strength . Which for the government meant sending them out to fight in wars when they could barely walk. More tools than people, or children in this case.
The anger, trauma, and damage Mads (for Madman) carries within him and in the enormous amount of scars on his body is there in his words and actions throughout the story and events.
Jude, his soulmate and brother, whose presence has seen everything Mads has and been there to help heal him, is as quiet and powerful a man as Mads is verbally and emotionally angry. Yin and Yang. So great a couple and yet there’s no romantic attachment. It’s a brotherly love and bonding.
The other love is coming in the form of Cosmo Ono-Nai , alpha of a pride of Lion shifters and the new team Mads and Jude are supposed to work with.
The story has a wonderful found family element with another young magi, Logan Torres, that was rescued from a brutal attack by Mads and Jude. As well as the overall arc and storylines that stem from the tears in the universe that a mysterious group on Earth keep opening up and the monsters that pour through.
Notaro manages to build a continuous atmosphere of anxiety and suspense due to the unstable nature of the status of our characters. They basically have no rights, no say over their future so when we or Mads start to get invested in a relationship, any of their relationships, it comes with a equal amount of trepidation and fear.
It ends with a uneasy HFN.
Which makes me want to grab for the next one immediately.
There’s a trigger warning at the beginning of the story. It’s about assaults that happened in the past, off page. But even without them happening in current time, there’s enough emotional content that it’s intense , and might make some people feel very uncomfortable. Please read the warnings so you can make the best decision for yourself.
Tremendous storylines, great characters and amazing world building, as awful and believable as it feels.
I’m highly recommending it.
The Magi Accounts:
🔹Our Hearts That Tie Us #0.5
🔹The Scars That Bind Us #1
🔹A Kiss To Revive Me #1.5-4/19/2022
🔹The Shackles That Hold Us #2 – release date TBD
What kind of mage would be crazy enough to crush on a shifter? Me. Apparently me.
The world is a messed-up place. Especially for those of us who have magic, and I know just how terrible it can be firsthand. Which is one of the reasons I try to stay away from people… humans and shifters especially.
Unfortunately, the NHSO forces magi to work alongside shifters to help protect the humans from taragorians—scary beasts from another realm. Which means I’m thrown onto a new team and forced to work with Cosmo Ono-Nai, a lion shifter.
And for some reason, I can’t keep my eyes off him.
The Scars That Bind Us is a 115K word novel and the first book in the MM urban fantasy series, The Magi Accounts.
*Intended for adults only. Please read the trigger warnings at the beginning of this novel.