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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?
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.
ReviewI have not read many dieselpunk or steampunk books before (not from a lack of trying. I just haven't gotten a hold of many), but I knew looking at the description that I was going to love this book. Seriously, this book has so many elements that I adore and more. I am and have always been a great lover of assassins and mercenaries, so just having a mercenary in this book made it a good concept. But throw in necromancers, mages, ZOMBIES, swordfights, random scary-a** creatures, love, lust, magic, and an awesome revenge story set in a historical setting and you have me completely enthralled. The book wasted no time in getting to some action and threw enough bad-a**ery to keep me entertained throughout. Some of the concepts were really awesome. A curse making it so that firearms would not work? Genius.
We have two seriously flawed main characters who earned my love and admiration. Ardis and Wendel were one of a kind characters. Ardis was a very strong and independent character who has both intense senses of loyalty and distrust. Wendel was pretty much awesome and could kick some serious butt as well. Well, you know, when he wasn't being an a**hole. But I liked him. He was just broken and had the roughest life growing up as a necromancer. I really felt for him when I read his back-story. There were some parts of the book that weighed heavily on my heart, but that just makes the book that much more awesome, in my opinion. Also- Ardis is half Asian! Bonus points for diverse characters!
The romance between these two developed a little too quickly for my taste. One second Ardis was disgusted by him and wouldn't even touch him since necromancers are so disliked, then she is thinking semi- mushy thoughts towards him. But after that initial switch, the romance took on a better progression and was enjoyable. The book is recommended for an older audience due to how far it progressed. ;) Yeah, you heard me. *wink wink* Don't worry- It is nothing too erotic.
Overall, Shadows of Asphodel was a highly enjoyable and different read with bada** characters and interesting concepts. Also, have you seen the cover? It's GORGEOUS. I want it on my shelf so I can stare at it.