September 26, 2015

Steampunk Sundays: Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

Series: Shadows of Asphodel 1
Format: Mobi
Release Date: May 11, 2015
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Source: Publisher
Recommended By: Candace's Book Blog
Genre: Adult Fantasy | Steampunk

She never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer.

1913. Austria-Hungary. Ardis knows better than to save a man on the battlefield. Even if he manages to be a charming bastard while bleeding out in the snow. She hasn’t survived this long as a mercenary without some common sense.

When she rescues Wendel, it isn’t because he’s devilishly handsome, but because he’s a necromancer. His touch can revive the dead, and Ardis worries he will return from the grave to hunt her down. Besides, a necromancer can be useful in this world on the brink of war.

A gentleman of questionable morals, Wendel drops to one knee and pledges his undying loyalty to Ardis. She resists falling for him, no matter how hot the tension smolders between them. Especially when she discovers Wendel’s scars run much deeper than his skin, and it might be too late to truly save him from himself.

3.5 Cauldrons

Want to take a cheap European vacation? Read SHADOWS OF ASPHODEL by Karen Kincy! This was such a decadent read that I felt like I was enveloped in the lushest fur, sippping on vodka, and savoring the tastiest caviar... with archmages and necromancers playing in the background.

  • I know some of you aren't very keen on steampunk. The good news is, SHADOWS OF ASPHODEL is not steampunk, it's more dieselpunk (meaning the gadgets run on diesel rather than coal/steam). The better news is, it's more fantasy than -punk. The technology isn't in the forefront and served as an accessory to the story than a driver. 

  • I love the pace of the novel, it's quick and straightforward. I wasn't much of a fan of the insta-love though. But it's not like Ardis and Wendel were immediately declaring their love for each other, there's just a sudden softness, pull, and emotional attraction between the two almost at the very beginning. 

  • I love the diversity of the cast, Caucasian, Asian, straight, bi-curious, etc. The setting is probably my favorite part, KKincy took us to Vienna and other surrounding areas as background of this fantastical dieselpunk adventure.

  • Ardis and Wendel are likable characters, but they have yet to grow on me. I love Ardis' enchanted blade though!

  • The plot is rich with enough complexities to make it interesting. There are also a couple of twists down the road involving both Ardis and Wendel which added layers to their characters, and made the building conflict more entertaining. Gotta love family drama! 

I had fun reading SHADOWS OF ASPHODEL, it's a very entertaining series. The biggest draw for me is the amount of thoughtfulness that KKincy wrote into the series from the characters down to the setting. It's not unique by all means, but the manner in which she put it all together made all the difference. I will definitely read the next one soon!

Talk Supe


  1. I think you'll love them more once you read book two, at least I hope so! I'm so glad, either way though that you read and liked this. It is a fun series and I love the dieselpunk/steampunk aspect so much!

  2. I think that was my problem with this book as well. The insta-love thing left my head spinning.

  3. I also need the relationship in a book to build instead of bam! Instant love. Hello! I need build up lol

  4. Yep, I added this, and I can't wait to try it. It's too bad about the instal-love thing, but it still sounds like a fun book overall :)

  5. I am very curious about this series. And the cover is so pretty!

  6. Shadows of Asphodel sounds really good, Braine! And hey, a trip to Austria-Hungary sounds like a very good plan :D
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  7. Beautiful cover. I need more steampunk in my reading, so I look forward to these posts. Currently reading Etiquette & Espionage right now.

  8. Oooh even though I am still new to steampunk this one sounds like my kind of read! I love fantasy and I am so curious about Wendel!

  9. Added this to my TBR per your recommendation :) Thanks Braine!

  10. I recently got caught up on this series and loved it. The layers you speak of was my draw. Things were exciting, but she took the time to sketch in the little things, too.

  11. You are the second person that has liked this book. I hope you love all of your new books.

    Grace @ Books of Love

  12. lol at that cheap european vacation comment! Never heard of the term dieselpunk. I like the steampunk genre, although I also like the mixes or when the steampunk element is more on the background. That's a shame though about the insta love, not a fan of those. That enchanted blade sounds cool. Great review!

  13. I've seen this one somewhere else too. And if I'm remembering correctly I believe they enjoyed it as well. Sounds like one I need to look into. :) Thank you!

  14. Gotta admit, dieselpunk sounds interesting.

  15. Not my usual genre but you have me intrigued with the characters. I might put this one on my wish list for when my TBR pile lightens a little.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  16. I'm a fan of Steampunk and I've seen this one around (might even already have it on Goodreads) so now I'm really curious. Gah, the setting alone has me excited, and well the romance seems fine as well. I can't wait to see your thoughts on book two!! :)

  17. gah so many people enjoyed this one i feel like i am missing out, it does sound like the characters are well thought out

  18. Nice review. You made it sound like a good book to pick up. I have not read a steampunk or gotten on that reading genre, but this one sounds good. Maybe some day. ^_^

  19. I was so excited when I saw you reviewed this one! I adore this series and absolutely love Wendel! I also like the diversity in the books. That was one thing that really stood out to me and I really loved that.

  20. You know I'm a steampunk virgin (although I'm about to pop that cherry with Immersed by Katie Hayoz) but I had to check out this review as I have Shadows of Asphodel on my kindle. I admit to being a little worried since it was your Sunday steampunk review...but now my fears have been calmed. :D And I'm kinda excited about reading this one. ;)

  21. Now I wonder how the ending went! And I love steampunk -- but I'm very selective of the books I read. I've tried reading some popular stories (Clare's) but I didn't enjoy them.

  22. *adds to my wishlist*
    I usually avoid stuff from this time era but it sounds really interesting! Also I don't think I've ever read anything with necromancers.


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