I’m a big fan of Wells’s “Murderbot” series so I wanted to give her new fantasy book a try! But I went in knowing that “Witch King” is nothing like the Murderbot novellas, and I didn’t expect it to be, either. These are all new characters in a world very different then what I was used to, so of course I didn’t go in expecting the same humor and voice that I get with Murderbot. I think a lot of people kind of forget or don’t realize that when starting this book… Which is a dual timeline of our main character, a demon named Kai, and his witch bestie, Ziede as they try to uncover who abducted them, why, and the greater conspiracy around that—all while going back 60 years to see a young Kai as he becomes the demon and Witch King we see in the present chapters. This is a very ambitious fantasy world full of complicated political intrigue and warring factions and races all with their own kind of magical abilities and belief systems. The magic system felt vague from start to finish, however, and I think only one timeline truly delivered on the experience I was hoping for from Wells.
Ever since reading “The Girl with the Stars in Her Eyes” I’ve been waiting for a new release from Axelrod, and behold! She is here and she is stunning! “Love on the Byline” follows former college classmates and secret crushes as they reconnect five years later. Now, Blake is a cub reporter at a gossip magazine that she hates, and Oliver is the best friend turned personal assistant to her latest celebrity assignment: the arrogant Brandon Cody, who, on first appearances, doesn’t look like he’s changed much from when she last saw him. But, much like Axelrod’s previous release, our main cast of characters are filled with a surprising amount of depth, accomplish huge growth amidst interpersonal mysteries and secrets, oh, and have palpable tension and steamy encounters, all packed into a very smooth contemporary romance. Seriously, Axelrod is quickly becoming one of my auto-buy authors!
“The Witch King” is a fantasy parallel of real-world issues, for example: racism, slavery, and anti-LGBTQA+ movements to just name the big ones. This book is not an allegory of any of that, and is quite clear in its messaging. I don’t say this because it’s a bad thing, but it more to accurately summarize the plot of this story without getting into specific details that could be considered a spoiler. I want/need to read more diverse books so reading a book by a trans author about a trans witch was perfect, especially when you throw in the complications of two different worlds (literally) colliding and then the difficulties of fighting against a fated-mate type trope. But while I love the idea of Wyatt, as a main character I found him to be anticlimactic.
I’m going to start by saying that pretty much everything “big” about this series has been spoiled for me long ago because of how insanely popular this series is, and all the incredible art that gets done for it. That’s no one’s fault but my own because I have no chill about those kinds of things. But, despite nothing really being a mind-blowing surprise, and considering the beast this book is in terms of length, I still DEVOURED it. Really, that should tell you everything you need to know and it’s all I’m really letting myself focus on when it comes to “A Court of Mist and Fury”.
I know I say this a lot, but I LOVED the idea of this book. Put the Olympian gods smack dab in New York during the height of prohibition and make them the biggest criminal organization selling booze and running brothels? Uh, yes please! I have recently been on a mafia and organized crime kick so I figured this was the perfect time to finally settle in and read this book, especially since I do love me some Greek mythology. But the story I got wasn’t the one I was expecting, and not in a good way either? Kind of, even now I’m still a bit conflicted.
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