Black Magic by Megan Derr

Black Magic, #1
M/M Paranormal Romance

rating

When High Paladin Sorin discovers the brutally dismembered body of his cousin Alfrey, a much loved priest in the royal palace, he is left baffled as to who would do so terrible a thing to so good a man. But to find the answer to that question, he must cooperate with one of the highly despised necromancers, men who practice black magic, sleep in graveyards and feed upon souls …

The necromancer Koray, however, is far from what he expected. He is beautiful, stubborn, and possessed of a tongue sharp enough to cut down even the High Paladin himself. Koray is also possessed of a strength like nothing Sorin has ever encountered, and the power of the Goddess herself.

It does not take them long to realize that solving a murder is the easiest challenge they must face, and in order to save a kingdom they must first unravel centuries of lies and misunderstandings.

Definitely a unique story since it was so divided. It’s almost in different sections – a romance between the two mains, developing romance between others (who I guess will get their own stories?), the mystery the group has to solve together. Throw in strange kingdom politics, racism against certain breeds of magicians and groups, and you get this book. There’s some spark and fun and a little romance thrown in along the way.

Pacing was decent, but the main draw was the unusual world building. Historical paranormal fiction set with knights and castles and kingdoms, oh my, but throw in necromancers who aren’t the typical necromancers we’re familiar with, a bizarre breeding of demons, mad scientists screwing with nature, and you get a fun mixing pot of paranormal beasties that hold the interest even when the pacing slows down.

High Paladin Sorin was a bit hard to take sometimes with his almost unwavering dedication to the cause, but I didn’t want to strangle him long since he did eventually let intelligence and emotion over weigh brainwashing. Geez. The necromancer is filled with some angst (for good reason), but he’s the best character anyway. I dug their budding relationship overall, although it kind of got weighed down in the second half when the book started focusing on other relationships.

Megan Derr seems to like non-traditional sequences and divisions in her books, and this isn’t any different since its divided. Sometimes it stays interesting and sometimes my interest waned a bit. The overall arching mystery was a good one though, even if the relationships were slightly lackluster in comparison.


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