When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.
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?
Dieselpunk romance. Because Steampunk wasn't dirty enough.
Recommended for ages 17 & up.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As my first attempt at Dieselpunk, this book certainly does not disappoint. I am not a huge fan of romance, but it managed to capture just the right amount of bitter versus sweet with a huge dollop of snark. The pages are filled with assassins and archmages bound by a truce that is centuries old but on the brink of complete collapse. War rages under the guise of peace, magic prevents the use of gunpowder and enchanted blades swarm the battlefield with a far more sinister conflict looming on the horizon. I am now completely infatuated with necromancy, technomancy and automatons! Throwing myself headfirst into the next book, Storms of Lazarus.
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.
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*I received this copy from the author in return for an honest review, and opinions are mine alone.