The Black Rose Chronicles: Book 1 Deceit and Lies
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My Review: Brilliantly different read by AK Michaels. Set in a dystopian future rather than a paranormal present day, this book had an entirely different feel. It felt quite dark and gritty but still with the edge of humour you expect from Ms Michaels.
The world has been plagued by a inter-species war and witches have been hunted to almost extinction due to a dark prophesy. Rose is part witch, part werewolf and the survivor of a witch hunt when she was a young child. Left with a guardian whilst her father hunted those who hunted them, she is trained well…too well you could say by her fathers friend, Seth, and becomes a lethally effective assassin – The Black Rose.
She is sought out by the Demon, Basilius, to take down a rogue Vampire, Cassius Allarde, who is seeking to unite all “supers” under his commend and take over the world and hunt humans without regard. But Rose does not follow orders blindly, she researches her targets well and only kills when she knows, without doubt, that they are worthy of death.
When she goes to meet the engimatic Cassius, under the guise of working for him, she is hurt by a “super” and wakes up under Cassius’ care. The man she meets has little in common with the intel she has been provided. So Rose gets to work determining the fate of Cassius and his followers before she concludes her assignment.
NO spoilers here but there is a cliffie (damnit!!!). I loved all these new characters. Rose, mysterious hybrid assassin; Seth – Ex Special Forces Soldier and Witch; Cassius – Vampire High Duke and all around hottie and Basilius – the new power hungry Demon leader of the Council (think paranormal UN).
There are also great secondary characters that I hope we see more of in the other books in the series such as Sue and Valentine (who I think are adorably self effacing). There are also a slew of icky bad guys that by the end of the book you will be making up your own tortures to inflict on them (Ms Michaels writes really good slimebags!!!!)
I read this in one go as I could not put it down and it was a well paced story with snappy dialogue and great interplay between the characters – both allies and protagonists! There are also nods to other paranormal authors throughout the book, Ms Michaels is not afraid to highlight the work of other authors to her large fanbase or to take a pop at certain sparklies!