Hello world! I hope you are all safe and that you all are having a good time coping with this unique period!
Today I am here to talk about a book that was an unplanned reading, but that was a very pleasant surprise. I would try something different with this review, and I hope you would enjoy it anyway!
Title: The Demons We See
Series: The Dark Abyss of Our Sins #1
Author: Krista D. Ball
Page Count: 412
Society was rocked when the Church asked Allegra, Contessa of Marsina, to negotiate the delicate peace talks between the rebelling mage slaves and the various city states. Not only was she a highborn mage, she was a nonbeliever and a vocal objector against the supposed demonic origins of witchcraft. Demons weren’t real, she’d argued, and therefore the subjection of mages was unlawful.
But that was all before the first assassination attempt. That was before Allegra began to hear the strange whispers in the corridors. That was before everything changed. Now, Allegra, and her personal guards race to stabilize the peace before the entire known world explodes into war with not just itself, but with the abyss from beyond.
So much for demons not being real.
This was a completely unplanned reading. But some time ago I have read an interesting review of this book (and it was the first time I have seen this book around, too) but then it was on Scribd and it was a book that I can use for the Bingo so… why not?
Yep, I have a TBR for this month and this book wasn’t in it, and yes, I shouldn’t start new series like this but… how could I resist??? And so, I went and read it, and I have no regrets!
To be honest, I didn’t love this one as much as I was expecting, but the problem was that it was a bit too angsty for me at the moment. But it is a great book, with a lot of good things in it and I had so much fun reading this one! And so I decided to try something a little bit different with this review, and try to write it down like a list of recommendations to you!
This book is the book for you if…
1)You love a female main character with an attitude and who knows her mind!
Allegra is an amazing MC. She is strongwilled (quite a lot), she is sharp, witty and she is strong! And I am not saying that she doesn’t fear, that isn’t true at all, or that she doesn’t doubt, but she is strong, determined, in some sense, she is self-assured and she can be quite spiky, too. But I loved her, and I think we need more characters like her.
2)You love some good banter!
I may be partial, but I love, I just love, when we have good banter in a book. And in this one, we get some and more. It was fantastic! I loved Allegra and Stanton together, they made me laugh a lot. And even Lex and Dodd were fun. And even the Holy Father has some fun in him. This book has a great sense of humor, if I can say so for a book, and even if the story is not a happy one, you would have a ton of fun while reading!
3)You love politics.
This book is deep in politics. We have this wealthy and rich Contessa who became the sanctioned Arbiter between two political factions: the ones who want to keep the mages, all of them preferably, as slaves and the ones who want to free the mages and/or are mages. They are on the brim of war, and she has to defuse the situation somehow. You would be between plots at every corner here. So if intrigues and politics are your thing you have to give this one a try!
4)You want to read something about diversity.
The author in there did a great job. We don’t have only the more classical diversity here, and I am speaking about the usual in fantasy. It is quite normal to have some difference going on with the fantasy genre, and here, in particular, is about mage people and not mages (mages are treated as less than humans, and elemental are considered an abomination and sentenced to the mine where a horrible death awaits them), but we see them in a ton of other books. It could be differences between rich and poor, between two different races, or religions, or ability and so on and so on… It is about the inclusivity that characterizes this genre. But here we get more.
Lex uses the pronoun they/them for themselves, and it was quite refreshing to see this so well treated. The author did a good job with it, with portraying this, and Lex is a happy character, who is loved and who is accepted, and that was quite great!
And (I hope you are seated comfortably here) the Holy Father is married, with a man. I don’t think I have to say more here, right?
5) You want something original!
This book is, in its own ways, unique because we get to see some things that aren’t so usual in fantasy books:
- A noblewoman who is the MC and who does the noblewoman. Allegra is a mage, yes, and she has some peculiar talents, yes, but she is a noblewoman who does what noblewomen do. She is well versed in social arts, if we can call them so. She may not love the elegant dresses and the opulence, but she is not the usual noble lady who refuse her role. She is a Contessa. She is one of the richest and powerful women of her world and she takes full advantage of that. She writes a lot of letters, she goes to balls, she acts like the diplomat, but she is doing what a lady usually does. And she is amazing!
- Allegra fears for her life. She fears a lot. And we see a lot of her fears and self-doubts in there. And even if, per se, this is not a unique thing, because we have a ton of books in which the MC is self-doubting, in here is done way better than in some other books. And the main point here is that she fears for herself! Mind me, she is afraid for the other mages and elementals, too. She is not self-absorbed. Not at all. But usually, we have the hero who fears for the others but never for himself, or herself. In there she is scared mindless for her life, and that was refreshing, even if hurtful because you feel for her.
- The main plotline is quite original. I mean, the main point here is politics! She is the arbiter in a very delicate situation. And all the story is built around this point. I can’t think of a similar book, on this respect. And if you have some other books to suggest, let me know, please!
- The Church. In there we have a pretty unique representation of the Church. Usually, they are the bad guys. In there they are both. And the Holy Father was just fantastic! I understand why it is not so, usually, and I am not complaining at all if I am to be completely honest, but seeing something news is always welcome! And, again, you have to meet the Holy Father!!!!
- The Holy Father. I know I am repeating myself. But just do yourself a favor and read this book!
6) You are a fan of slow-burning romance and relationships!
Well, this is quite self-explanatory and I don’t have a lot to add. If not for saying that we get to see a lot of relationships develop in this book, and not only the main one. The author really did a great job with her characters, their growths, and relationships.
This was a fun and captivating reading, with some great things in it! I loved Allegra, her witty sarcasm, and her cutting thong, I loved the Holy Father because it was pure genius, and there are some really good points in there, too. So, even if I didn’t fall in love as I was expecting, because sometimes we have some angst full moment, and I wasn’t in the right mood for them, I enjoyed the reading, and I would continue the series for sure!
What do you think about it? Have you read it? Or have you on your TBR? Let me know! And if you know of other books that can be similar, recommend them to me!