Shadows of Asphodel Tour Schedule
Title: Shadows of Asphodel
Author: Karen Kincy
Acquired Via: CBB Book Promotions
Release Date: September 13, 2013
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?
Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy came as a bit of a surprise to me. Self-published punk novels (dieselpunk in this instance) have not had much luck with me as their reader. However, it did not take me long to realize that the world-building and imagination in Shadows of Asphodel is just as good as anything that I have ever read in a traditionally published novel. While the worldbuilding was amazing, I did have a little bit of issue with the relationship between Ardis and Wendel, but I promise you, there was good in that as well.
I have spent the majority of my adult life studying history, so I love when I get to feel all elitist when I read alternate history novels and know exactly each point that differs from what is real. *looks through monocle and sniffs* Shadows of Asphodel is set during the events leading up to World War I, except that there are archmages and necromancers that make life in early twentieth century Europe a lot more… interesting. The archmages have set up the Hex, which causes gunpowder not to work. As you may remember, guns were kind of important to setting the world on the path to all out warfare. But that’s not the main focus of Shadows of Asphodel. (Maybe I wish it was a little.) Anywho, it was a fun world to roll around in, and our two main characters certainly did plenty of that!
Yes, children, you read that right. Shadows of Asphodel is NOT a young adult novel. Ardis and Wendel like each other a lot and there is quite a bit of sexytime. However, I think it is done in a positive way. Yes, they do fall into bed with each other rather quickly. Yes, the l-word comes up fast. That being said, use of “preventatives” (condoms) is stressed before each… encounter, and Ardis ignores Wendel the first time the l-word is used. Young people do make more rash decisions than older folks (it’s the bitterness that slows us down, I think, and maybe the bad knees), but these whippersnappers made the most positive choices while “playing hide-and-go-seek”. *elbows you in ribs*
For me, there’s not much that will beat world-building and safe sex. There are things that I would have liked to see expanded on, but I didn’t write the book. Maybe they’ll be in the next one, but it doesn’t matter much because I enjoyed Shadows of Asphodel nonetheless.
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About the Author
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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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher or author through CBB Book Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.