Saturday, 27 November 2021

Storms Of Lazarus by Karen Kincy


Storms Of Lazarus (Shadows of Asphodel #2) by Karen Kincy
Self published in July 2014.

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


1913. Christmas Eve. Ardis hardly expects a quiet holiday with Wendel, between fleeing Constantinople and hiding from an ancient society of assassins. And they owe a debt to a certain archmage.

In Königsberg, Prussia, they work with Konstantin on the next evolution of Project Lazarus. Wendel once called Königsberg home, the city now besieged by the Russians and their clockwork engines of war. This may be Wendel’s last chance to save his family and find redemption, but he’s tormented by nightmares and tempted by laudanum. Ardis fears her love isn’t enough to save Wendel. Her hands are full working as a mercenary, and she’s terrified to tell him a secret of her own. Will they—and their love—survive the storms of war?

Storms of Lazarus is a fast-burn fantasy romance novel with lush worldbuilding and gritty fight scenes. Perfect for fans of enemies to lovers, secret royalty, and tortured bad boys who might not be redeemable.

Storms Of Lazarus is the sequel to Shadows Of Asphodel, a dieselpunk fantasy novel I read back in 2016 and absolutely adored. I amazed myself realising just how many years had passed between my reading the first and second novels. All credit is due to Karen Kincy's atmospheric and memorable writing that I had no problem picking up on the storyline and characters without having to re-read. Admittedly, Kincy does give hints, but I didn't notice any overlong reminder flashbacks. Quite to the contrary in fact because Storms Of Lazarus is a fast-paced action adventure set within the Balkan conflicts just prior to the Great War. I loved seeing how Kincy interweaves her dieselpunk magic with authentic historical fiction to create a narrative that's essentially fantasy, but felt genuine. Living in an era now when nanotechnology means tiny robots are reality, I could easily transfer my belief to the miniature clockwork marvels Kincy describes.

At the heart of Storms Of Lazarus however is the tempestuous romance between exiled assassin Ardis and traumatised necromancer Wendel. I was delighted to still find myself captivated by their relationship - and my crush on Wendel continues unabated! Ardis makes the perfect heroine for me - capable, quick-thinking and brave, but not impervious - and I felt as though she was always Wendel's equal. Overall I wasn't quite so blown away by Storms Of Lazarus as I had been by Shadows Of Asphodel, perhaps because the concept wasn't so new and unique this time around, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent immersed in the Asphodel world and will no doubt buy myself the third book in the trilogy in due course.

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