Thank you to the Corvisiero Agency and the publisher Hachette Book Group, for responding to my requests and making this book available for review. The premise promised a story that would delight and transport, and I will say that I was very pleased with the book and story.
John Charming started out as a man after my own heart: not only does he believe sparkly vampires are stuff seen only in YA fantasy, but he is addicted to coffee, has a family name that connotes Disney princes and rather overbearing heroes, and yet his dry humor manages to keep him grounded.
Mixing fantasy elements, including the addition of rarely or never seen characters in the written world (Valkyries and Naga) as well as adding in some (I am told by those who know better) elements from RPG. I will say that it was a rare treat to have these new additions and learn about their powers, skills and background. Unfortunately many of these additions that intermingled elements needed explanation, and led to several passages of information dump that slowed the momentum and progress. What does emerge, however, is a well-developed and beautifully created world in this Urban Fantasy: one unlike any that I have seen or experienced before.
Then there is a romance, budding and developing, but although I didn’t find myself desperate to see them together, with all of the set-up and establishment of this first book, I was able to treat it as more of a thing to come, and allow the character of Charming to do his thing, and deal with the most pressing elements of the story at the moment. Elliott James has managed to hold my interest through fight scenes and action packed moments, kept me reading forward as I saw him twist religious beliefs, weaponry from multiple cultures and a disarmingly witty repartee to disarm and overcome enemy challenges.
As a start to a new series, this is an amazingly well-crafted book that is sure to please readers who count fantasy among a favored genre, and can even bring those of us who enjoy fantasy but don’t need it as a daily option a new series to read. I’m curious and excited to see where this story will lead, in fact I purchased a copy for my own library.
Author: Elliott James
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Hachette, Orbit
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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John Charming isn't your average Prince...
He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.
That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.