Author: Hayden Thorne
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: selfpubbookcovers.com/frinaart
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 11/15/2016
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Fantasy, Gay Romance, Historical, Paranormal
Decima is a centuries-old Italian city on the water, a vanity project meant to be a fairy tale escape for the titled and the privileged. But something in the distant past had turned it into a murky, putrid dreamscape instead, a crumbling city haunted by a scourge of revenants whose origins and purpose now seem destined to be hidden in the shadows forever. Not even the brave, dogged attempts at fighting midnight creatures by the descendants of a select bloodline can rid the city of the near-daily threat.
Michele De Santis is a young minor sorcerer, a reluctant champion who, along with his twin sister and his cousin, has lost too much through the years and has resigned himself to a life of endless midnight hunts while selling healing and protection spells and artifacts during the day. A life of loneliness, of a forced solitude in a desperate bid at keeping collateral damage at a minimum appears to be his only future.
When long-dead corpses suddenly turn without vampire bites, logical patterns no longer hold true, leaving the weary hunters baffled and unsure for the first time. Decima’s bronze guardians fall silent for no reason, a dark, binding spell muting their warnings. A long-abandoned church shows signs of life in the most grotesque ways imaginable. And everything seems to point to an unknown threat, one that’s long lain dormant but has been awakened by the arrival of a young English heir and his amateur antiquarian uncle.
Romance and the gothic layer ‘Hell-Knights’ with the dark, rich textures of an alternate universe Europe, a nineteenth century world where magic reigns supreme, and love knows no gender
Now that was a vampire book! I loved it. It definitely didn’t have sparkling, or even romantic vampires so if that’s what you’re looking for, look elsewhere. What Hell-Knights did have was an alternate reality historical UK and Europe where being gay isn’t an issue and magic abounds (both dark and light). The feel of this novel was very dark and Gothic with evil fogs and mindless revenants roaming the night; the vampire hunters being the only ones to protect the people, doing so in secret.
The main setting was an Italian Isle where the worst of the scourge is happening. Gabriel and his uncle go there to explore its antiquities and find themselves smack dab in the middle of the trouble. Michelle and his family, who protect the city, must work with Gabriel to overcome the evil.
While not love at first sight, there is an instant connection between Michelle and Gabriel. While their attraction is central to the story, it doesn’t overwhelm the main plot. I loved how their feelings grew and yet they didn’t leap into bed. Now, I love my sex scenes, but the tone of this story didn’t lend itself to frequent encounters and I was glad the author didn’t resort to them. In fact, I almost wish the one that is there wasn’t. It didn’t feel like a part of the story but rather an addition the author felt needed to be added to appease the masses. It felt perfunctory.
That aside, the rest of the novel was delicious! I loved the mystery and the characters. I loved the fact that gayness wasn’t an issue. In fact they never even use the word. People just loved who they loved and it was okay. I definitely recommend this book to people who like a little spine tingling action with their romance. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but I will be sure to read him/her again!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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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