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360 pages, Kindle Edition
First published December 1, 2014
We have a very dark dystopian world which resembles our modern only with a few changes (not good ones). MC Nela lives with her parents in Colonge, Germany. She is a witch but witchcraft of any form is forbidden by the Brotherhood ( they control witches), and so at the age of 16 every girl-witch or boy-witch are marked with a magic (ironic) tattoo that prevents them from doing magic - this tattoo spreads poison every time a witch or a mage presents magic and eventually this poison will kill them.
Two priests walked up to Grand Master Claudius, one of them carrying a silver tray with the needle, the other a cup with the ink. It was dark red – since it contained actual blood from the witch that had worked magic on it as well as holy water and permanent ink with traces of iron. With every act of magic, the tattoo would spread like the strands of a spider’s web across her back and iron would be released into her skin, would be absorbed by her organs, and would slowly, with every breach of the law, poison her body. She would die of organ failure if she were lucky – or the expanded tattoo would betray her to the Brotherhood.
Not a very pleasant perspective. The book starts very darkly with this ritual of making tattoos and introduces us to our first MC Nela, then gradually we are presented with our second MC Darko
It was a guy, only a couple of years older than her, with impossibly dark eyes. She could barely make out his pupils; his irises were too dark. He was dressed in a long black coat, his black hair shaggy.
who performs his own dark ritual only with killing a human and extracting a heart from the dead body.
Slowly Darko pulled his arm back, through cooling flesh until his hand left the man’s ribcage with a creak from the bones, the still beating heart clutched in his fingers.
Darko is not a good person, has no illusion about him. He embraced darkness a long time ago when he lost his family and now he wants only revenge against the Brotherhood. He is working for a Master, who is a more powerful mage and Darko wants to help his Master to summon a demon who will help them to destroy the brotherhood, but to accomplish this task they need a necromancer - someone who can raise dead, and it turns out Nela is the right person for their purpose, only she doesn't know it yet. Darko's task is to meet her and to convince her to help. But what Darko will not tell Nela is that she is not supposed to survive the ritual of demon summoning.
The plot development was quiet interesting, I really was intrigued by what is going to happen to MCs. The world building was detailed, I was informed about this world and it's history through out the book, it didn't feel like I missed something about the world around. But I also felt this nagging sadness everywhere, how everyone was afraid and people turned each other out of fear - witch or not. The language was pleasant and I enjoyed it enough. There was humor but mostly this book is pretty dark and cruel.
He raised the knife and swung it down. With sickening crunch, he severed the cat’s head from its body. The last meow died away and the cat lay still. The knife stuck in the wooden floor. Blood pooled around the lifeless body of the cat, trickled into the gaps between the floorboards.
This is a book about witches and here we indeed have magic and spells and I felt like really reading about the witches and compared to another book I recently read and was highly disappointed - this one was way better.
But this book has flaws. I'd say that there was maybe too much despair and sometimes I was overwhelmed with it and didn't want to continue reading, maybe you need to be in a darker mood before starting this book. Also, the pace was too slow sometimes, I wanted more liveliness, it felt like characters and at times everything felt lifeless around me. I'd say I wanted more character from MC (sorry for calambur). Summing up all this book has, it could be a masterpiece if added a little of this and that, it needs more development and more detail in characters but I didn't disliked Nela and Darko - I just saw the potential for them to be amazing.
Overall, the concept of this book is very promising but a little bit underdeveloped. It was still quite interesting to read this story. Characters were nice and did not annoy me most of the time. The romance was good and hot sometimes, I'd like more Nela and Darko together. The language was pleasant and the world building was pretty detailed. The mood of the book was very dark but I felt like really reading a book about witches (more Salem tv-show style). Yes,this book is not perfect but I hope more people will read it, because it has a great potential and ended with a promising cliffhanger, and the second book may very likely turned out to be more developed, because as we know it is not the first time when the second book is better.
So if you are in a darker mood and want to read about witches - this book definitely wouldn't be a bad choice for you.