by Deborah Blake
Series: Veiled Magic #1
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Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…
Police officer and Witch Donata Santori spends her days interrogating dead witnesses by summoning their spectral forms. Normally the job is little more than taking statements and filing reports. But when she’s called in on the case of a murdered art restorer, she finds herself suddenly in possession of a mystical portrait that both the human and paranormal communities would kill to get their hands on.
Unable to take on the forces hunting her alone, Donata seeks help from two unlikely and attractive allies: a reluctant shape-changer and a half-dragon art forger. But as the three of them hurry to uncover the truth about the powerful painting, Donata realizes that she’s caught in the middle of not one but two wars—one for possession of the painting’s secrets and one for possession of her heart…
VEILED MAGIC by Deborah Blake released in 2015, and I was waiting for the audiobook release, but when I realized book two was releasing and still no audio, I decided to bite the bullet and read them. I devoured this on a lazy Sunday morning. Blake shared a fabulously paced story, with fantastic world building and a motley crew of characters. Fan of urban fantasy will want to add this series to their bookshelves.
In the world of VEILED MAGIC, Witches are out. They live and work among humans successfully, even if there is some prejudice. Police officer Donata Santori interrogate the recently deceased, mainly victims of foul play to catch their killers. The rest of the paranormal world has not come out to humans and abide by a treaty made with the Catholic Church during the Inquisitions.
Donata is a witch who can summon the dead. She works in the windowless basement of the police department. While most of her fellow officers will grudgingly admit her usefully in solving cases, the whole summoning thing freaks them out.
Our story begins when Donata is called to a crime scene by her commanding officer. A restorer was murdered for a painting, and in a strange twist, she finds herself caught up in a case that could impact both the human and paranormal worlds. When the Witches Council and a secret society both want the painting, she finds herself turning to friends and outsiders for help.
Dragons, witches, a secret society known as the Cabal, and unique paranormal creatures are all part of Blakes world. I loved the twists on shapeshifters and a creature known as a Kobold. The author does an excellent job of sharing the basic hierocracy of the paranormal world, and its role in the present world. There are five types of paranormal groups and then subspecies. The five major are Witches, Ghouls, Ulfhednar, Dragon and Fae. However, a rumored sixth group and a vexing problem for the Dragons have me drooling for more information.
The world has a paranormal vibe to it, but I like the direction Blake is taking with it. This first novel shared Donata’s perspective and introduced key characters. Blake provided one heck of a suspenseful mystery that allowed the characters to have growth.
Donata finds herself with more than a familiar when a Kobold named Ricky follows her home. She soon finds herself evading her boss, and seeking help from Peter Casaventi, a half-dragon art forger, her ex-boyfriend, Magnus Torvald, a smexy alpha shapeshifter and her estranged family. I loved the dynamics, the possible love interests and other secondary characters we met.
Aside from the stellar world building, Blake delivered a kick-ass heroine who isn’t a whiner. (thank you) I loved how this motley crew interacted and the humorous moments Blake provided. Ricky was delightful, and the posturing between Peter and Magnus will leave you grinning.
VEILED MAGIC was an excellent start to the series and the ending hints at things to come. Blake left me reaching for the VEILED MENACE the second book in the Veiled Magic series.Fans of urban fantasy won't want to miss Veiled Magic by Deborah Blake (Veiled Magic #1) Click To Tweet