Raedan Warrior Series, Book 1
So, Ingrid read this book a few years ago, back when it was called Necromancer Rising. Abbott recently re-released it with a new title; it’s possible that the text was also updated, but if so, the changes weren’t significant, because everything Ingrid wrote in her review is still true.
However, as someone who has likely read more paranormal romance than Ingrid had when she first reviewed this book, I have a few additional notes for potential readers.
- When Ingrid said this book is dark, she wasn’t kidding. It’s not just the villains who are decapitating people. Both the hero and the heroine kill people in cold blood—and not just in battle. In fact, a central internal conflict for Adeline is what her relationship with dark magic will be.
- This is a fated mates book, with the twist that William was not *entirely* honest with Adeline about why her powers weren’t working. So we’ve got a bit of dishonest beginnings here to spice up the fate, which was a fun twist. Also a fun twist: both William and Adeline can sense that they are uniquely attuned to each other.
- I would also call this an age-gap romance. William is 500, give or take a century. Adeline is 21 (plus the fourteen years she was dead). While this is fairly standard in paranormal romance, Adeline’s youth and naïvité were really played up here.
- The worldbuilding is somewhat uneven. Ingrid noted that she relied on the author to explain who actually died and who didn’t; part of that is that there seemed to be inconsistencies in how to kill an immortal. Some vampires die when you break their necks, and some don’t. On a bigger picture, there are a LOT of characters representing a LOT of different kinds of creatures, so there’s not really space to flesh them all out. Even creatures who appear frequently in paranormal romance—such as werewolves and vampires—don’t seem to follow standard genre formulas for how they should behave.
- A corollary to #4: Some of the characterization is uneven. Part of this is, I think, a feature of having so many characters, but I couldn’t really get a bead on William or Adeline either.
- With that said, the plot moves at a brisk pace and kept my attention. And some of the secondary characters were just weirdly delightful.
As a sidenote, the villain here is the Morrigan, and Abbott also wrote/is writing a trilogy all about this particular triple goddess from her/their perspective—which would be a fun companion piece to read in parallel with this story and its sequels, if you decide you like gore and antiheroes. (I reviewed the second part of that trilogy here.)
Anyways, read on for Ingrid’s original review, which covers thoughtful things like tension and pacing.
Heat Factor: It’s about as hot as a book about the undead can be (hotter, if you’ve never once thought the undead could be featured in a smut book)
Character Chemistry: Sexy fated mates but with lots of corpses
Plot: A werewolf warrior man saves a super powerful witch and there are all these other paranormal people and a compound and…there’s a lot going on, but they do fall in love and are hot hot hot during all the shenanigans.
Overall: If you like dark paranormal and lots of plot twists and some well-timed, stress relieving sex scenes, you’ll dig this one.
I have done very, very few paranormal books, so I went into this book a bit of a blank slate. I generally avoid anything…undead…but this was actually extremely enjoyable. The plot was just gripping–our hero Adeline is kind of a baby Queen of the Dead and just learning her powers when she’s thrown together with William, her sexy werewolf. It’s complicated, which made sense when I realized this is the first of a series.
Essentially, William and Adeline get thrown together when Adeline is brought back from the dead and William is nearly sacrificed. Adeline is fated to become Queen of the Dead and will be the only one who can destroy this kind of mega-witch (my word) who is up to all kinds of trouble. William’s part of a pack in this compound that knows all about the trouble this mega-witch is about to unleash and helps Adeline reach her full power in order to destroy said mega-witch. But it’s a LOT more complicated than that, and it’s really just constantly full of twists and turns and whatnot.
I kind of wished the book was longer simply because there was so. much. going. on. So many types of magic, powers, vampires, nymphs, witches, people being killed, people magically healing, people getting throats ripped out. Just a lot going on. The writing was good enough to support how dense the action was, but if you’re new to paranormal like I was this might be a little intense. I have to say that the hanky-panky scenes were really well done and the timing was perfect–just when everything would start to feel too dark or too stressful, bam. Great chemistry.
Also, (and again, this might not be a problem to avid paranormal readers) but I just could not figure out who was dying and why. People were getting limbs ripped off and necks snapped and throats grabbed out and smushed all the time and sometimes they regenerated and sometimes they didn’t and they’d die. And I ended up being really dependent on the author telling me why they didn’t die after the fact because it was so difficult to tell which characters were the dying kind and which weren’t and why. It didn’t bother me particularly, it was just always a mystery.
Otherwise, it was a very enjoyable read. Engaging, sexy, and just chock full of fantasy and suspense.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
NOTE: Necromancer Rising was revised and rereleased as By the Moon We Fall in March of 2023.
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I was going to say that this is our first book involving the undead, but ACTUALLY, this one ALSO has an undead heroine!