Feb 9, 2014

{Tour: Review + Giveaway} of Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

GENRE: Young Adult
THEME: Dieselpunk, Romance, Paranormal

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?


I was excited to read my first dieselpunk romance as it’s something I never heard of so I couldn’t wait to try it out, but highly enjoyed it nonetheless. I was pleasantly surprised with the intense kick butt actions scenes with magic swords and battles of course since its based at the beginning of WWI. This is definitely going to be an author I’ll keep an eye on and a new genre I can’t wait to read more in.

Shadows of Asphodel follows Ardis a mercenary who carries an ancient magical sword. With WWI on the brink, a hex has been placed on weapons making them not usable by the archmages. Ardis comes across Wendel a necromancer on the battlefield and his snarky charm and the possibility of him becoming a monster if he dies has her decide to rescue him. An alliance is made between the two and together are pulled into the conspiracies of the military and the angst relationship that starts to grow.

Ardis is a seriously tough as nails protagonist who is working as a mercenary for Austria-Hungry. She acts first and thinks later as she has killed many along the way. Lets just say you would want to stand next to her in the battlefield. Her confidence is what I enjoyed most about her, especially with the past that she had. She is half-asian and was never accepted into the life of her family, thus she became the hard cold killer for the Archmages. I normally love kick butt female leads, but was happy to have Adris have a softer side to her and not just a warrior on a mission.

Wendel is a surprise, I loved when the readers first meet him that he may seem weak but his abilities make him scary strong. As a necromancer he can control the dead. His arrogant snarky attitude may not charm Ardis at first they figure things out quickly. What I enjoyed most about Wendel was is mysterious past; he has a lot of demons and a very rough life, it made him real and likable that he is flawed and not like every other hero I read about.

The romance formed fairly fast between him and Ardis, since she was sickened with him at first because of what he is. I’m not a fan of insta-love romance so this was a bit of a negative for me but once that was over and the romance moved forward I loved it. This is definitely a young adult novel with its sexual tension and smoking hot moments.

Overall this was a great start to a new series, the magic, action packed moments, great secondary characters and romance really hooked me from beginning to end. This was a quick read for me and I liked how the ending wasn’t heavy and thank goodness no cliffhanger. But there is still so much happening around these two characters that I can’t wait for the next book.


This is a young adult novel with sexual content that for is for mature readers. Fans of Gail Carrigers Parasol Protector series and Apparatus Infernum series by A.A. Aguirre will really enjoy Shadows of Asphodel series by Karen Kincy.

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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.

Author Links: website | twitter | facebook | goodreads

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