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REVIEW: Marked by Death – Kaje Harper

Marked by Death - Kaje Harper

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Asking a necromancer for help is scary; falling for him may be downright terrifying.

Darien Green’s afraid he’s going insane. The voices in his head are getting louder, weirder, and more numerous. But tattoos appearing on his skin say that there might be a magical reason, something other than his own brain going around the bend. He’s worked up the nerve to ask the local necromancer for help. Now he just has to survive his encounter with tall, dark, and talks-to-ghosts.

Necromancer Silas Thornwood doesn’t appreciate being woken out of his bed by a stranger pounding on his door. But when that stranger turns out to be a half-frozen young man with an unexpected appeal, Silas can’t turn him away. Even Grim, his cat-familiar, agrees— in a world of death and demons, protecting gorgeous, ghost-ridden Darien is Silas’s next difficult job.

The Review

Darien Green has ghosts in his head.  The only way he knows how to deal with this craziness is finding a necromancer, and he knows just the place to find one.

He goes to an old mansion and awakens the necromancer, Silas Thornwood. Aggravated by this person at his door, Silas lets him in, and then Darien collapses.

After giving in and helping Darien, both men realize they know each other from years before.  Darien was nine when Silas was nineteen and going off to college.  He recognized that Darien had a special power.

To prevent the demons from doing harm to Darien, Silas set his own wards on Darien. But when the Guild came to find Darien, the wards were still powerful and they couldn’t see how special he was.  Now not even Silas knows if he can remove the wards from Darien and relieve him from the deadly ghosts that haunt him.

As days go by, Darien lives in the mansion, and many facts come to light. He starts to learn about Silas’ powers and Silas starts to teach him. But Darien is headstrong, and he wants to be more than just an apprentice. Many dangers crop up for Silas and Darien: homosexuality, demons, ghosts and even the Guild.  Darien will also have to make a monumental decision, if he’s ever to rid himself of the ghosts.

“Marked by Death” is a really fantastic story. It has suspenseful battles, amazing action and outstanding magic scenes. Harper makes this an easy read about necromancers, sorcerers, wards, shields and familiars. 

Silas has a familiar by the name Grimalkin, better known as Grim, a tabby cat that’s snarky, mischievous and humorous. There are many more familiars that pop up in the story, and their powers are gradually revealed.  The characters and the roles that they play, along with the world building, make this an expertly written book tha’s easy to follow.

I also appreciate that this is not an insta-love story.  The relationship is strictly kept to a mentor and student and gradually they get to friends, with just a hint that they may become more. I really enjoyed how Harper builds these two characters, who are polar opposites, and the banter between them is sweet and fun.  

This is not my normal read and I’m pretty sure this is my first necromancer/sorcerer novel.  I was completely entertained and this was a real page-turner for me.  I highly recommend “Marked By Death” for anyone who likes a well written and entertaining story.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

 

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