Veiled Magic by Deborah Blake #Review

Posted November 17, 2015 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 15 Comments

Veiled Magic by Deborah Blake #Review
Veiled Magic

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Intermix
Released on November 17, 2015
Pages: 280
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

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I really enjoyed the author’s Baba Yaga series so I eagerly accepted this one where she again weaves her creative magic in writing an entertaining Urban Fantasy story of witches, dragons, shapeshifters, and dark secretive forces set to tear apart the world. A small band of misfit paranormals takes on the powers that be and the powers that live in the shadows in this paranormal adventure with a hint of romance. It ended on a high, hopeful note that felt more like a new beginning than an end.

The story opens with witch cop, Donata Santori, called to a crime scene to interrogate the dead witnesses. Humans still are adjusting to the fact that they have magic users living amongst them, but Donata’s gift of speaking to the dead is a harder sell than oh say a healer like her sister. But when push comes to shove, she is right where she wants to be earning her own way and making a difference for people.

This murder turns up something disconcerting in regard to a painting that is the main piece of evidence. The restorer who died makes Donata his new crusader in the fight to both render the painting harmless while getting it to give up its secrets before it falls into the wrong hands. The painting is spelled and it will take an expert and specially qualified restorer to work on it. Donata is appalled to discover her new contact also happens to be a half-dragon professional forger who has no idea he has a bit of flame and scale in his family tree.

But between dodging the Cabal and her own paranormal Council, Donata and crew struggle to fulfill their tasks. Donata also is confused about her growing feelings for the forger and the feelings that are fanned back to life by a past lover who joins their rag-tag crew. It was one breathtaking, intense story nearly to the end once everything got going.

Alright, this one sets up like a paranormal murder mystery in the beginning with the author carefully weaving in the worldbuilding and situation for each of the characters. Donata is the sole narrator. She was engaging and wry, tough, but has not wholly come into her own yet. She hopes that by completing the task laid out by the dead man that she will earn the respect of her family and her boss with the police. She is surrounded by characters who in their own ways are just as in limbo as she is and must figure out how to rejoin the world around them and make peace with their past.

As to the romance, like many Urban Fantasies, this one has hints and some ‘moments’, but nothing concrete since the focus is on the quest and not the development of relationships. This story ended leaving things up in the air and a potential love triangle. Normally, I run from those, but not when they are developed organically and not just present to beef up the drama.

The background of this story is strong. I enjoyed the color flavors of creative characters in that the half dragon is slowly learning about himself and the shapeshifter is more blended with Viking Berserker (yum), and there is also a Kobold who is like a short elf who can be a strong support or a dangerous annoyance when riled. Donata’s own witch background is the most filled in. Her spells were intricate and felt authentic when she was weaving and casting them (makes sense with the author’s background). But even the little things like delicious foods, the art connection, and the police politics were all nice layers to the story.

I hope there is more after this story though I loved what I got. I would definitely recommend it to Urban Fantasy fans who enjoy a strong witch heroine and a colorful cast of paranormals supporting her in her mission to protect the world.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.

Books N Tunes #52

Romance Roundabout #379 UF

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Great review hun!!! Urban Fantasy is a genre I haven’t read too much of, but I have been wanting to try more of. This sounds interesting. It is always more enjoyable when you have a solid background story.

    • Oh yes, Urban Fantasy was my first love and still is for stories involving magic and the paranormal. I like the feel of the longer story arcs that a PNR can’t give me (though I like those, too).

  • Great review hun!!! Urban Fantasy is a genre I haven’t read too much of, but I have been wanting to try more of. This sounds interesting. It is always more enjoyable when you have a solid background story.

  • UF, hmmm, I do want more UF

    • Me, too! I really hope this one gets a continuation story.

  • UF, hmmm, I do want more UF

    • Me, too! I really hope this one gets a continuation story.

  • Whoa! I missed this! When I saw the cover on my feed I thought it’s a new BY novel. So cool that she has a new series out. Thanks for the head’s up, from your review, it feels like this is more polished than BY?

    • From what I understand, she wrote this one years ago and then set it aside. Then after BY’s success, Penguin was interested so she dusted it off, cleaned it up, and here we go. It felt finished and written by a mature writer. I’m not sure it will develop into a new series, but the foundation is laid if they do because this one ends at a good stopping point, but there is quite a bit left to get tied up.

  • Okay, I really think I need to start reading urban fantasy. I’ve never read one before, but I’m seeing so many reviews lately that are blowing me away!! This totally sounds like something I would like, so I don’t know why I haven’t ventured into this genre yet. Great review!! πŸ™‚

    • Hey, Lisa! Yeah, Urban Fantasy is not to be missed. I read it for a few years before I ventured into PNR and still prefer it many times. Hope you get a chance to try some. Let me know if you have a favorite paranormal race/type and I’m happy to give some reccs for it.

  • Nooooooo dont say triangle πŸ™

    • Not quite there yet, but looks like its heading that way. The romance is waaay back seat in this one. I think you’d be safe if you wanted to give it a go.

  • Oh dang. I had totally forgotten about this one. I remember marking it on the email with them to grab if I got caught up and yeah so didn’t catch up. lol I’ll have to add it to my over Christmas reading πŸ˜€

    • My emailbox can get out of control and I find stuff long after the expiration date. Good news is that its not a long story. πŸ™‚