Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Marius Everhart is something even mages fear — a shadowmancer. His power marks him as cursed, a creature belonging to the Queen of Shadows. Marius escaped her realm with his memories corrupted and his sanity in tatters, managing to live a fragile, lonely existence at the edges of society.
Some might call Ayodele Sauveterre delusional. He prefers the term “optimistic”. With his homeland in danger from invasion, Ayodele will do anything to protect it, even recruit a shadowmancer. Marius’s incredible power and gentle nature make him a perfect addition to Paladin Charm, a new mage guild dedicated to helping rather than exploiting the non-magical populace. The fact that handsome Marius also warms Ayodele’s bed is a wonderful bonus.
With support from Ayodele and his new friends in the guild, Marius begins to heal. He’s also quickly falling for the alluring mage, but Ayodele struggles with what’s forming between them. Past experience left Ayodele flippant but guarded, and Marius’s open honesty unnerves him.
As they grow closer, Paladin Charm prepares for a battle with impossible odds. And in the darkness, the Queen of Shadows waits to reclaim Marius and drag him back into a nightmare.
This was a great beginning to a new series. Marius is feared for what he is, even if it isn’t something he can change and he is just like a puppy underneath. Ayodele lived under a guild that he now wants to fight against while trying to convince those in his homeland that magic (and Marius) aren’t necessarily bad.
This was a very interesting world, though at times I wished I would have more background, I felt I was just told how things were and not reasons for it. Many of the names in the story are a bit fanciful to me and the longer they are or if they were being used a lot sometimes made me have to really focus on the story to know what was going on.
I felt for Marius from the beginning, you could easily see he just wants somewhere to call home and to be even somewhat accepted. I hurt for him when all the thought he deserved was semi-tolerance. Now Ayodele, I know he means well but he doesn’t always go about it the best way. He seems to expect a lot to be so because it’s what he wants and while it hurt Marius I think that it helped him to realize that a bit. I look forward to reading more about these two in the next book.
I loved the cover art by Kanaxa and the many visuals from the book.
Sales Link: Amazon
ebook, 178 pages
Published: March 5, 2019 by October Night Publishing
Edition Language: English
Series: Paladin Charm #1