Donata Santori is a witch working for the police – one of the future supernaturals that are publicly known to the general population. But even with her useful ability to speak to the dead doesn’t make her very popular with her fellows.
Just when she’s starting to get out of the basement and be trusted one of those ghosts comes to her with a mission that not only risks that newfound trust – but also her life. There’s a painting that holds not just all the secrets of the paranormal races (which the Inquisition Cabal would love to get their hands on to push their crusade) but also a lost race… which may be even more destructive than a renewed inquisition.
This book is a very classic Urban Fantasy – very much in line with all the classic points and elements of a basic Urban Fantasy
And that sounds like a bad thing – but I like Urban Fantasy. I like classic Urban Fantasy. If I didn’t like all the hallmarks of a basic Urban Fantasy then I wouldn’t be a fan of that genre. The key is both what is added to that template and how well done that template is addressed
I do like Donata, the protagonist. Again she is a very classic Urban Fantasy protagonist who ticks a lot of boxes but does it well. She’s a witch, which in this world means lots of ritual magic and utility spells but not much in the way of throwing lightning. She’s also a cop (therefore involve in investigation) and knows enough martial arts to be useful in a fight and not be a damsel. She’s active and dangerous without being super-powerful and story breaking. I really like how she asserts herself when defying both the authority of the Council and her disapproving family (and certainly her two male cohorts) but does so without the classic suicidal sass that is so common to the genre (Honestly, I am tired of raging protagonist raging at authority which should squish them so many times over but never ever does). And she has conflicts with her family but does love them and seems to be blessedly free of the almost compulsory tragic past. I also quite like that the romance was only briefly the cause of men fighting each other
I mentioned that she can hold her own in a fight though it is slightly frustrating that her two male cohorts are so much more physically dangerous than she is – it’s such a trope and when the supernatural are involved it’s so unnecessary. Why can’t the woman be the one with physical super powers and the man be the one with support magic?
The world setting is also interesting – again, it’s very classic. We have a range of supernatural beings forming a council – some of which is known to humanity (the witches) but most of them are still very much hidden. What is interesting is that the creatures chosen are a nice difference from the usual vampires/werewolves. We have witches which are very similar, but also dragons, ghouls, a different take on fae and a very different look at wereanimals.