Ink and Shadows by Rhys Ford ~ Book Review by Teresa

Ink-and-shadowsTitle: Ink and Shadows

Author: Rhys Ford

Publisher: DSP Publications

Cover Artist:

Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 07/07/2015

Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)

Genre: Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy


Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.

For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.

And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.

The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.

Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.

When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.

My View:

Ink and Shadows is a new urban fantasy novel from Rhys Ford that takes a look at mythology not often seen: the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse – War, Famine, Pestilence and Death. It was a new twist on paranormal and fantasy themes, some familiar others not.

I enjoyed being immersed in this new world, but at times it was overwhelming and confusing as while there was a lot of information given, a lot was hidden as well. We are teased with bits and pieces being revealed and I never felt I totally had a grasp on the world.

There are a lot of characters at play, and while the title of the book is Ink and Shadows, to refer to Kismet and Mal, it really should have been titled Death and All His Friends. Death and Ari, War, were as central to the story as Kismet and Mal were.

I really felt the blurb to be misleading as to the focus of the story. The blurb talks about Mal and his longing to be more human, but that really never came across in the book. Kismet’s predicament is not hinted at in the blurb and the incident “When Kismet recues Mal from a shadowy attack” never happens. Mal and War rescue Kismet…

My biggest complaint was the constant head hopping. It occurred paragraph to paragraph and sometimes it was hard to keep straight who was talking or from whom the perspective of the scene the narrative was coming from. The perspective wasn’t limited to the main characters either.

The story ends on a “to be continued” vibe, with the immediate issue dealt with but with more to come. This really is gay fiction, with little romance to be found and no sex to be had, but it has lots of fantasy elements people who like that genre will appreciate and enjoy.


Ink and Shadows on Goodreads
DSP Publications
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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