Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Blood & Ash by Deborah Wilde...a rewview

 There’s all sorts of magic in Vancouver—the Van Goghs who manipulate art, the Charmers whose magic is literally charming people—but the one kind of magic that isn’t supposed to exist is blood magic and when it appears, it’s cast by someone who’s not supposed to have any magic at all. 

Deborah Wilde’s Blood & Ash  is the first in a new urban fantasy series that offers a snarky heroine who has a complicated life, really good friends, and  a mother who’s deeply into human versus  magical politics. And oh yes, there’s also her prickly relationship with Levi Montefiore, the head of  the most powerful magic “house” in the city, and a someone who’s known Ash almost all her life. 

Did I mention Ash’s life is complicated? She is at the center of a spiderweb of intrigue that begins when she witnesses a strange paranormal  event in which a dark smudge-like  THING possesses  a woman after using  up its previous host  and leaving  him dead on the sidewalk. When something similar happens a few hours later, it becomes clear to Ash that something dark has come to Vancouver and it’s up to her to stop it. 

Wilde has put together a believable  world in which magic-workers and mundanes know about each other and coexist.  It’s a diverse place,  and  Ash (short for Ashira) has real-world problems that make her relatable. (Her  relationship with her mother is  particularly engaging because Thalia is…a  piece of work.) 

The mystery of what’s going on in the story has several levels, and one is very personal for our heroine.  The  stakes of what’s  going on  in the main story are real and consequential, and readers will be  rooting  for Ash  every step of the way. 

The world is steeped in Jewish  mysticism and  culture, and that  automatically sets  it apart from 99.9%  of the other  urban fantasies out there. And when a golem shows up, it feels only natural.

It’s  a lot of fun  being in Ash’s world, and the steamy dose of sexual healing that comes in at the end, feels like a treat. It also sets up part of what’s to come in the sequels. This is definitely something a little different.

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