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Paladin Charm #1


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Marius Everhart is something even mages fear — a shadowmancer. His power marks him as cursed, a creature belonging to the Queen of Shadows. Marius escaped her realm with his memories corrupted and his sanity in tatters, managing to live a fragile, lonely existence at the edges of society.

Some might call Ayodele Sauveterre delusional. He prefers the term “optimistic”. With his homeland in danger from invasion, Ayodele will do anything to protect it, even recruit a shadowmancer. Marius’s incredible power and gentle nature make him a perfect addition to Paladin Charm, a new mage guild dedicated to helping rather than exploiting the non-magical populace. The fact that handsome Marius also warms Ayodele’s bed is a wonderful bonus.

With support from Ayodele and his new friends in the guild, Marius begins to heal. He’s also quickly falling for the alluring mage, but Ayodele struggles with what’s forming between them. Past experience left Ayodele flippant but guarded, and Marius’s open honesty unnerves him.

As they grow closer, Paladin Charm prepares for a battle with impossible odds. And in the darkness, the Queen of Shadows waits to reclaim Marius and drag him back into a nightmare.

189 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 5, 2019

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About the author

Devin Harnois

27 books75 followers
Devin Harnois has several published novels and he’d have more if he spent less time on Twitter and playing Dragon Age. Most of his books involve magic, monsters, and hope. They're also getting progressively more queer. He collects skull items and only a strong will prevents his apartment from being overrun by them.

In second grade he wrote his first story, a romance about two mice falling in love. He still has the original draft.

Devin lives in Minneapolis.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews
Profile Image for Deborah.
3,351 reviews435 followers
June 4, 2019

I found this to be an enjoyable fantasy. I liked both the world building and the characters but the romance part just felt too rushed for me.

Marius Everhart is cursed. He wanders alone hungry and tired. Not even able to trust his own mind. He’s feared wherever he goes.
He belongs to the Queen of Shadows. Having escaped her realm with the ability to control Shadows he’s incredibly powerful. He’s a shadowmancer.

Ayodele Sauveterre needs help. He needs a shadowmancer and Marius seems perfect. He just needs to to convince everyone else that working with a shadowmancer isn’t a death sentence.

Like I said it’s an enjoyable easy read.
Profile Image for Christelle.
808 reviews
March 4, 2019
First book in what seems to be a new MM romantic fantasy series. For fans of fantasy, magic, some action and MM romance.

The premises ? In a world divided in cities, some powerful and controlling, some wealthy, some needing protection, Marius is a shadowmancer, ie he can summon shadows. For that, he is much feared. He was abducted by the Queen of Shadows, but managed to escape and tries to find a refuge. That finally happens when he meets Ayodele, a powerful mage who chose to protect his home-city and family over a glorious future. Yaodele is not afraid of Marius : on the contrary, he sees in him a powerful ally and a lustful promise. Can they together protect Yaodele’s city and fight the Queen of Shadows ?

The world building and the characters are quite interesting but needed more development imo and the relationship between Marius and Ayodele felt a bit rushed. That said, as I’m not a fan of fantasy (but looking to expand my horizon), I was nicely entertained by this book for the good writing, the interesting world building and the team spirit from Yaodele’s magic guild.
More to come in this series : for fans of magical MM romance, it’s worth checking.

ARC of “Shadowmancer” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,238 reviews1 follower
March 4, 2019
Marius and Ayodele

Okey this should definitely be a movie!! Goshh I had goosebumps more than once. All the magic. It was overwhelming.

Marius Everhart is on the run, hiding for the Queen of Shadows, hiding so she can’t take him back into the shadows. He is so lonely and hurt. He is a Shadowmancer, controller of powerful shadows, and there isn’t a soul who isn’t afraid of him. Well, uhm.. except one, Ayodele!

Ayodele gives Marius shelter in return for help with his powers. Ayodele head and creator of the Paladin Charm wants to knock down the Serpent Fang, a strong group of mages who wants to conquer the Paladin Charm for the gold and power.
Not every member of the Paladin Charm accepts Marius and not everyone sees his true kind nature. Ayodele and Marius share their power and a bed. Marius is afraid the queen will find him and hurt the ones he love.
Danger is near!

This was really an amazing read. I loved all the magic from all the characters. The friendship and romance was well woven into the story. We get to know all the members of the Paladin Charm, also the world outside this group!
I found it quite refreshing how Ayodele was developed, flawed even sometimes to the point of irritating my nerves. All in a good way, I loved it when a character can rattle me. He has idealism and will go through walls to reach his goal. Failing at anticipating situations he uses his never ending optimism.
The story is smoothly written, in such a way I could visualize and enjoy all the magic enormously. The environments were fantastic and all the characters and plot ditto.
A recommendation for the fantasy lovers among us!!

Kindly received an arc from the author
Profile Image for Ann.
1,452 reviews126 followers
April 24, 2019
Shadowmancer’s Marius had me hooked from the first chapter. The author built this character that grabs you by your empathy and doesn’t let go and I didn’t want him to. Marius is a shadowmancer, he’s a human who was kidnapped by the Queen of Shadows and given magic that is powerful and frightening and the life he leads in the shadows is slowly destroying his mind. When we meet him at the beginning of Shadowmancer he’s managed to escape back to the human world, all kinds of mentally damaged, and while there’s a sense of relief, Marius is surrounded by humans who fear and loathe who he’s become. I wanted to hug him and fix all the thing because he’s one of those compelling characters you root for, respect and want to protect all at the same time.

The author did a really good job of building the world around Marius and his his whole persona organically. As I said, I was on board the Marius train from page one and when Ayodele found him putting the shadow beatdown on a group of thieves Ayodele was hooked too. Ayodele is spoiled but he knows the benefits he was born with. He wants to protect his homeland from invading city states led by Ayodele’s former guild, Serpent Fang.

So, we have Ayodele’s home, which is uncomfortable with mage’s in general, with a guild established by Ayodele and his family’s cash, filled with magical misfits and here comes Ayodele with a Shadowmancer, Marius, in his ranks, preparing to defend his home against invading forces. This was probably my favorite part of the book. The dynamics in Paladin’s Charm (Ayodele’s guild) is a great read. The secondary characters and their relationships with one another is a treat. I would have been happy if the first book in this series focused on that alone to be honest. The group is overall uncomfortable with Marius, but they are also empathetic and Marius is just so damn likable and honest, he naturally works his way into their ranks.

I’m really bad at building up the background when it comes to fantasy stories, I’m the first to admit it. I don’t know why I don’t just tell you to stick to the blurb, but I don’t, and I’m sure it’s just because I want to talk about it with reading pals because there is always so much to unpack with fantastical tales. In this case, it’s the story in general and Marius and Ayodele in particular. There’s a lot of nuggets in their relationship that I want to pick apart and mull over repeatedly. They both grow and learn to trust in their own ways throughout the story and I loved how they came together. It wasn’t without a level of angst that was necessary considering where they both came from and while I love/hated it, I needed it to make me believe in an HEA for them.

Marius has a mantra that he goes through to keep himself centered and every time I read him going through his ritual, my heart broke a little. I loved that Ayodele committed it to memory and personalized it for the evolution of Marius. You have to read it to appreciate the subtle loveliness of it all, but I ate it up.

I do want to take a little paragraph to talk about my cover love for this book. The artist nailed it hard with the characters and the mood of the story. It’s unfortunately rare that the characters are truly represented on the cover of their book. Ayodele and his beautiful eyes had me swooning and I pictured the MC’s exactly how they were portrayed on the cover.

I did have a niggle though. The wrap up of conflict was entirely too fast. Well, one was and one wasn’t. I would have been totally fine with one of them left hanging and moved into book two. There’s a lot to cover in a story of this length and the ending felt rushed considering the build up. Annnnd, I wouldn’t change the build up and considering this is the beginning of a series, a thread that continues would have been totally fine by me. There’s plenty of meat for this series to continue with the setup that was dealt out here, but the big arc should continue to give it the seriousness it was built up to have in book one. That actually makes sense believe it or not.

Overall, this was a total treat and I can’t wait to read the next installment. I miss Marius already and I hope there’s some more background on the rest of the guild. They’re a fascinating group and will make for a great series.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,346 reviews307 followers
February 26, 2020
Only my second time reading this author and there's lots of things to be positive about including a very interesting premise and look at magic.

I enjoyed the majority of this book but felt, overall, that it was a little bit rushed and the romance element in particular felt like it needed just a little bit more time taking with it.

The conflicts all came from Marius' unusual magic type, something supposedly very powerful and dangerous but he himself was such a sweet-hearted man that all those opposed to him seemed to collapse like dominoes after just a little bit of time.

That's my one real criticism as the word building is encouraging, the six characters of the Paladin Guild are nicely developed and the two main characters have a good amount of time devoted to them.

I think with perhaps just a few chapters more to dig deeper into the genuine fears before they were overturned would have paid off.

Now, as there are more books in the series, it may be that we get more of that development as the big plot with the bad guys in this one kind of ended rather abruptly.

I'll be keeping an eye out for book two and I love the cover style on this book.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Micah.
265 reviews28 followers
May 30, 2019
This was a fun book. The magic & world building were the highlights of the book for me. Particularly, when the magic was put into use in fight scenes. I was just captivated by it and on the edge of my seat. Also props to the author for including diversity in this book. It’s much needed in this genre. This would’ve been a 4star book for me but the romance subplot kind of killed the whole vibe. It just felt so inconsequential & way too rushed & I kind of skipped over those pages if I’m being honest. Anyway, it still was a fun & worth a read.
Profile Image for Achim.
1,098 reviews66 followers
February 25, 2020
I love the cover and usually a character like Marius would have all my sympathy but I Ayo was difficult. It started quite nice but I couldn't feel their connection and suddenly their world felt more outlined than fully created and although the story is full of magic the language is not.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,481 reviews424 followers
February 26, 2019
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.5 stars

Shadowmancer was an intriguing mix of fantasy and magic that tried hard, but ultimately fell a bit short. Let’s start with the positives. The premise of Shadowmancer is an interesting one and the author has done a great job setting up a cast of characters that work well together. Marius has been used and hurt for a long time before he meets Ayodele. So he’s rather fragile and the idea of finding a home at Paladin Charm is like a dream for him. He’s easy to champion as a reader because there is no malice in him. He genuinely cares for others and his power is a burden he never asked for. Ayodele is a bit of a dandy and somewhat shallow, though we get the sense that he’s trying to be a better person. He’s just using Marius at first, but he’s honest about his motives and as his feelings evolve, so do those motives.

Read Sue’s review in its entirety here.

Profile Image for Merissa (Archaeolibrarian).
3,484 reviews97 followers
March 7, 2019
SHADOWMANCER is the first book in the Paladin Charm series, and we meet Marius, the Shadowmancer in question. He was human, until he was taken by the Queen of Shadows. She changed him, and he now has more power than he knows what to do with. He is a gentle soul who is struggling with the loneliness his powers bring. Along comes Ayo, someone who has had a very different upbringing, but his heart is in the right place... most of the time.

This was a fantastic introduction to this world of city-states and denim trousers! The world-building was enough to satisfy for the first book in the series, whilst still leaving room for more. The characters are all brilliant, and I loved learning more about them at the same time they learned themselves.

A fantastic introduction, and I can't wait to read more. Absolutely recommended by me.
Profile Image for Skye Kilaen.
Author 15 books304 followers
March 6, 2019
I've read three of Devin Harnois's books now - Darkness at Dawn, Undaunted, and Shadowmancer - and I think one of his greatest strengths is worldbuilding that draws from familiar elements (vampires, mages, post-apocalyptic monsters) but does fresh and interesting things with them. So if you're looking for a fantasy romance about mages that's not the same thing you've read before, give this one a try. I did feel like this would have benefitted from a bit more length to let the romance develop - everything felt like it happened very fast, and there wasn't as much depth and complexity to the main characters' emotions and relationship as I'd been hoping for. But overall I enjoyed reading it, the fast pace was great for the non-romance part of the story. The secondary characters were extremely well-developed, too. Plus, the mage guild's name is Paladin Charm and the guild cat is named Nugget, so really, how could I have resisted?

Content warning: A character mentions they suspect they may have been sexually assaulted in the past.
Profile Image for Valerie.
156 reviews14 followers
February 9, 2019
I received an ARC with a request for an honest review.

Overall I really enjoyed this story. I had a few issues with the relationships feeling a bit rushed. But, I think this is more to do with the short format than the actual writing. Short stories and novellas often feel rushed to me.

That said, the author maintained good tension throughout the story, I enjoyed the world building, and I really enjoyed the overall story arc. Definitely will be seeking out more stories in this world.

There is a note from the author at the end stating that these characters will return in the next book. I look forward to getting to know these characters better.
Profile Image for Erica.
1,503 reviews29 followers
August 1, 2019
I liked this, overall. There were some random anachronisms which drew me out of the story from time to time, and the ending was a bit rushed. But the ideas were solid, and the writing was competent, so I'll look forward to trying out the next one.
Profile Image for Pandora  Phoenix .
61 reviews3 followers
January 6, 2020
An M/M book with a black MC who isn't poorly portrayed. In fact, the black MC is believably faaaabulous. It's sadly poorly portrayed but think of your most fabulous drag queen when they are not working (an almost flamboyant persona) and it helps clean up what the author was attempting to convey in the character.
Don't get me wrong, this book is 3 stars at best due to the poor writing and shallow worldbuilding but just the fact that it has a black MC and doesn't make him either a bumbling idiot or an overwhelming jerk makes it a 5 star by default.
Thank you Author!
Profile Image for Elaine White.
Author 41 books236 followers
March 5, 2019
Reviewed for Divine Magazine


Shadowmancer: Paladin Charm, Book 1, by Devin Harnois
189 Pages
POV: 3rd person, dual character

Shadowmancer is one of those dazzling fantasy novels that takes your breath away effortlessly, while weaving you into a magical world unlike anything you've ever known before. It has heart, fire, strength and the power to sweep you off your feet without you even noticing. I loved every second of it. Although Devin Harnois is a new-to-me author, I'm eternally grateful to Shadowmancer for introducing me to a new amazing author, who I'll be eagerly reading more of in the future.

I'm an avid fantasy reader, especially when it has this historical, almost medieval world, I just can't resist it. Add in two MC's who are equally charming and unique, and there's not much more I could ask for. But I got it, here. I got interesting and exciting secondary characters, who I can wait to read more about. I got action and romance in equal parts. I got some truly original plotting and exceptional world building, without the pit-falls of info dumps or rambling. And it all came in a package that was less than 200 pages, so easily readable and quick to devour, without feeling like anything was missing.

Marius is a shadowmancer on the run from the Queen of Shadows, who kidnapped him from his human life, instilled him with shadow-magic and has consistently altered his memories over years of torture, until he can't tell what is real and what isn't. This part of the story just blew me away. It's so original and so clever. And not once did Harnois fall into the trap of forgetting about it. At small, inconsequential moments, as well as during the bit battle at the end, Marius was constantly and doggedly hounded by fleeting, confusing memories. The way it affected his magic was consistent and so well written that I didn't always see it coming.

Then there's our other MC, Ayodele. A mage of vast power who left one the greatest and most feared mage guilds in the land, to protect his homeland. Despite having left it at a young age, he abandoned power and prestige to return home and protect his family. His strength of self-worth and self-belief are incredible to see in someone so young, who is also carefree in his happier moments. I love that he was the strongest of the guild, yet he didn't lord it over the other members he had tried to recruit. He went against the grain, to prove that mages are more than money- and power-hungry tormentors. The way he treated Marius showed his true colours, time and again, proving what a tender heart he had behind the strong facade.

The chemistry between the two characters was beautiful to see. Soft and slow forming, it began as nothing more than lust and instant attraction, but it built over time into something much sweeter and more meaningful. I love how well it was done; that there were quiet moments when you saw the raw emotion between them, the flaring hope and crushing doubt. Both men were the most vulnerable when it came to their relationship with each other, yet powerhouses of untapped magic at other times.

The secondary characters were just as wonderful. Kiran and their open love of research and knowledge; Solon and his staunch protection of the guild and resistance towards shadowmancy; Varinia and her inner strength and the way she mothers the group; then Nadia, who protects them all and takes care of the emotional and mental wellbeing of the guild. Each one was a treat, each one was individual and well explored within the pages of the book. No one was cast aside or ignored, in favour of the main characters and, when it came to the final battle, I loved seeing that everyone played an important part.

Overall, there wasn't anything I didn't love about it. From how vulnerable and sweet Marius is, so ardently protective of Ayodele, to the way that Ayodele takes care of him in return and helps him understand that just because his magic is dangerous that doesn't mean he is too. I loved the subtle, uncluttered world building; the explanations of magic and how the guild works; the character backgrounds and histories with each other; and how all of it was given not in info-dumps but exactly when and where we needed to know about it.

I can't wait for Tempest, the next book in Paladin Charm, to see where this series will go and where the characters will take me next. And I'll be reading more from this author very soon.


Favourite Quotes

“This was the man spreading fear through the land? He was more like a starving puppy.”

“He's sure to be a heartbreaker. If dark and mysterious was your type, and Ayodele was starting to think his just might be.”
Profile Image for DC.
794 reviews2 followers
January 30, 2019
Interesting world comprised of “city-states” each ruled by a king but with the more powerful controlled by mage guilds and the lesser city-states containing or banning magic, thus making them vulnerable to attack from their powerful neighbors.

At the beginning we meet Marius, who is a shadowmancer that escaped the Shadow Realm, a dark parallel world ruled by the Shadow Queen. The Shadow Queen kidnaps humans and controls and toys with them by manipulating their memories. So when Marius escapes, he struggles to determine the difference between reality and false memories. Marius is found by Ayodele and pursuaded to return with him to his home in the city-state of Aveyons. Aveyons is a very wealthy country and since the citizens are wary of magic, they have no mage guild and are rather naive and unaware of their vulnerability to attack by their aggressive and powerful neighbor Thanorphos and their large and powerful guild, Serpent Fang. That’s where Ayodele comes in. He is a powerful mage and founder of Paladin Charm, the guild he hopes will protect his homeland of Aveyons from the coming invasion.

Some of the things I really liked about this story: The six members of Paladin Charm were such a rag tag bunch who really came together as a family to support and defend one another. And in our own world, they would be an EEO/Diversity Manager’s dream as the author managed to quite tactfully cover all his bases. Marius is such a sweetheart. With everything he had been through he still manages to be a kind and gentle soul. He’s such a magnetic character that he almost single handedly keeps you drawn into the story.

What I didn’t particularly care for: The “city-state” terminology didn’t really make sense. To me, a city-state is a nation comprised of a single city, like Singapore or Vatican City. But the way the political boundaries were described, there was the main city with lots of villages spread out across the territory. It might not have been so bad it the term was thrown at you over and over again. I also had some difficulty warming up to Ayodele. From his mannerisms and speech, I couldn’t envision him as anything but a very effeminate drama queen. His pentient for throwing the word “darling” around became a little cringeworthy. It wasn’t until he really started to show that he wanted Marius more for who he was as a person than for his power that I started to like him.

The two major issues this story builds towards reach what appears to be temporary resolution. But we still get a satisfying HFN for Marius and Ayodele and their Paladin Charm family. Since the subtitle is numbered; i.e., (Paladin Charm 1), we can expect them to return for the next in this new series. I did enjoy this one enough that I look forward to the next. Overall this a light yet engrossing read.

I received an ARC in which a review was requested but not required.
387 reviews3 followers
February 22, 2019
4.5 🌟 rounded up

This is a really great fantasy story. It has a unique plotline that kept me engaged throughout the book. I really enjoyed the writing style; it was descriptive and flowed naturally.

This is a world where mages hold all the power. The majority of the time, it is used to gain riches, land, or more power. The city-states usually have a guild of mages that they wield like a weapon. The guilds are cruel and ruthless in their pursuits.

However, in a bid to save the city-state he was sent away from as a young boy because of his magical abilities, Ayodele returns from the guild in which he was trained and seen as powerful mage. He creates his own guild in a city-state that fears magic in order to face impossible odds using principles he believes to be right.

Marius has escaped from the Queen of Shadows, a virtual demigod, and is lost and alone with only his jumbled memories and everyone's fear to guide his way. He is a Shadowmancer, able to control the power of shadows, and Ayodele wants to use his power to defeat the enemy that threatens his home.

Marius is desperate for stability and acceptance. Ayodele is self-centered because of the way he was raised and trained in the enemy's guild. I was able to connect more easily with Marius and the other guild members because of the way Ayodele behaved in the beginning of the story, but he eventually grew on me a bit.

As the guild starts to work together as a team, they are able to form a tentative plan for the coming war. But, as the battle wanes, Marius's past comes back with dangerous consequences. Again they must work together to face this final foe to reach their HFN ending.

This book is not a cliffhanger, but the author does let the reader know that the story will continue in a future book. Overall, I really enjoyed the magic and the storytelling in the book.

Happy reading !

* I received an ARC of this book. *
Profile Image for Em.
503 reviews12 followers
March 8, 2019
I received an ARC of this book from the author

This is one of those reviewing-for-myself-or-for-other-people things. Honestly I wasn't into it, but I'm so sure that it was mostly a me thing I don't feel good giving a really low rating. But at the same time I can only report my own feelings and they are what they are? So 3 stars, and I'm just trying to be fair to the book as much as I can.

This is a fantasy/paranormal world with a romance between the MCs, but honestly it didn't read much like a romance novel. Mostly a found family story line (I know that is many people's jam, it isn't mine). It's a self contained start to a series which is great, with a diversity of characters. One of the MCs has dark skin, there's a nonbinary character in the main group, the world is not a GRRM type cis white playground, which I appreciate.

That said, this book's biggest weakness was the worldbuilding, which just wasn't strong enough to support such an inventive setting. There's magic, and different types of it, and levels, and guilds, and city states and a Shadow Queen, but none of it felt grounded or really understandable. The guild names all sound like Pacific Rim Jaeger OCs (Serpent Fang! Paladin Charm!) and overall it felt too much like reading about a DnD campaign and not enough like a glimpse at a real world.

Since the fantasy world setting wasn't pulling its weight in my opinion, I was looking for more from the romance arc. But it's not really a source of conflict or growth - they get together pretty quickly, there's some brief angst, they talk about it like grown ups, and it's fine for the rest of the book.

Basically I like to be more tortured by feelings than this book was willing to do to me.
Profile Image for 空.
502 reviews7 followers
May 28, 2019
My biggest issue: the writing itself. Predictable plot and clunky writing. It read like the author had made an outline and then added paragraphs while ticking off a list: Marius offers to not join the guild until all the guild members say yes (which, why is that even an option? Either you go majority or it's all-or-nothing), the other guild members warm up to him except one, a convenient emergency occurs where Marius shows his True Strength, the last guild member warms up to him, they face down the guild, they face down the queen, they win, Marius is free, the end.

Additional: It was almost like the author couldn't handle two ongoing plot threads at the same time, so they had to pick one, resolve it, and then move on to the next. So everything felt so ... staid? static? I don't know how to describe it. It just felt like we were going down a bullet point list.

One last: The Shadow Queen took up such a large portion of Marius' background story, his fears; she (I assume) was supposed to be what drove him through most of the story — her presence and the promise that she will catch up. And ... she got resolved in like, one chapter. What.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ali.
1,833 reviews12 followers
March 7, 2019
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review An Alisa Review:

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was a great beginning to a new series. Marius is feared for what he is, even if it isn’t something he can change and he is just like a puppy underneath. Ayodele lived under a guild that he now wants to fight against while trying to convince those in his homeland that magic (and Marius) aren’t necessarily bad.

This was a very interesting world, though at times I wished I would have more background, I felt I was just told how things were and not reasons for it. Many of the names in the story are a bit fanciful to me and the longer they are or if they were being used a lot sometimes made me have to really focus on the story to know what was going on.

I felt for Marius from the beginning, you could easily see he just wants somewhere to call home and to be even somewhat accepted. I hurt for him when all the thought he deserved was semi-tolerance. Now Ayodele, I know he means well but he doesn’t always go about it the best way. He seems to expect a lot to be so because it’s what he wants and while it hurt Marius I think that it helped him to realize that a bit. I look forward to reading more about these two in the next book.

I loved the cover art by Kanaxa and the many visuals from the book.
Profile Image for Isabeau Delaunay.
246 reviews4 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
May 30, 2020
DNF at 25%. There's a lot of promise associated with this book. I love that it's a mm story told in a fantasy world with an interesting magic system and some dark, traumatic elements for the characters to deal with. I like that there's representation for darker skin people (not sure race works the same way in this world, but intriguing). But I kinda lost interest. I couldn't believe the two main characters, Ayodele and Marius, were already together! Who knows, I might come back to this one, but I'd have hear a recommendation or read a review from someone I trust that the SFF elements manage to carry the rest of the story to an interesting conclusion.
Profile Image for Dixiecowgirl.
1,396 reviews23 followers
March 7, 2019
Fantastic!! Terrific world-building with and incredible story-line and awesome characters. I loved this story! I got totally caught in the magic and romance of this story! Awesome writing and great story-telling!

Marius and Ayodele are very special together and i totally fell in love with them. The entire group of characters that make up the Guild are amazing and i so want to know more about them.

I cannot wait until the next story. This book ends with a HFN and no cliffhanger, but it does give you hope that a new book is in the works.
Profile Image for John Altman.
258 reviews26 followers
March 11, 2019

Rating Review Rollout:
(1) Attention Keeper: 3
(2) Digging deep in Character Development: 2
(3) Feeling the Words: 2
(4) Give me more please factor: 2
(5) Going with the Flow of the Story: 3
(6) It's all about the Chemistry, baby: 2
(7) Love connection: 2
(8) Plot Worthy: 3
(9) Show me Entertainment: 2
(10) The Writing speaks for itself: 3

Total Rating: 2.4 out of 5 👎
Profile Image for caroline wilson.
557 reviews3 followers
May 17, 2019

I received this book by the author and this is my honest opinion.
This is a new to me author but I love fantasy and magic so gave it a try. It was good, I liked how the author portrayed the characters and world and which were explained excellently so that it was easy to imagine. It took me a bit of time to get into the book but once hooked I thoroughly enjoyed the intrigue and imagination. The cover is really nice, all in all a well thought out book and one for fantasy lovers
Profile Image for Kevin.
2,159 reviews34 followers
October 19, 2020
It's a moving story about a dangerous, cursed man named Marius whom everyone shuns. He is shocked to encounter someone eager for his company. That man (Ayodel) is looking for a powerful ally to repel a dangerous enemy. Ayodel and his tiny guild discover new ways to combine their talents, and Marius finds acceptance, love and a family of sorts.
Typo: "They gasped in surprised and then laughed in delight..." (surprise).
56 reviews2 followers
June 8, 2019
The Shadow Queen is coming...

I know these things to be true: Paladin Charm has wonderful magical members, Marius is broken and needs Ayo to help him heal, and Ayo is a mage very confident in himself and the members of his guild. Loved the book and characters can't wait for the next one.
Profile Image for PaperMoon.
1,390 reviews57 followers
June 11, 2019
The fight against the baddies are a little too "neat and easy"for my liking; for all the imputed threat of the dreaded arrival of the Queen of Shadows - the subsequent fight/encounter seemed almost an afterthought stuck to the end of this HFN title. Not sure if I would get the next book in the series.
Profile Image for James Hardison.
29 reviews1 follower
February 28, 2020
Nice Story - Kinda Bland Characters

The story is good and moved at a fast clip, but all of the characters (with a very few exceptions) are so super sweet and nice that they come across as a little bland. I will be picking up the next book, so I can't be too upset with them. They all are rather lovable.
167 reviews
July 5, 2020
This was good story. The one improvement that could have been made would to let us get to know the other members of the guild more. I was intrigued by all of them, including their powers and stories. I think that would have made the story richer, as well.

The MCs are awesome, and the action is just the right amount of intense. This is awesome!
Profile Image for Ivy.
423 reviews9 followers
March 7, 2019
It was my first time with Devin Harnois and definately not the last. I enjoyed this book a lot.
The story and the plot were good and captivating, the MCs interesting and loveable, and I love the universe of the book.
It's definately a series I will follow and can't wait for the next book.
345 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2019
Strong World Building

Likable main characters, although our mage is recovering from a spoiled childhood and can be annoying at moments. The story is well crafted, although there were moments of "and then magic things happened." Recommend.
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