Book Review: The Faceless Mage

The Faceless Mage by Kenley Davidson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a bodyguard is tasked to masquerade as a Princess, she is given her own bodyguard–a brooding, silent, and dangerous force to be reckoned with. 

The Faceless Mage is the slow-burn fantasy romance that has every one of my boxes ticked. 

Large, stoic bodyguard?

Strong lead protagonist?

Slow-burn to the Gods?

Oh. And Magic?

I had added this book to my “to be read” list for a while after seeing it in my advertisements on Facebook. I pushed it off for other books in my never-ending TBR list but I wish I hadn’t put it off. 

This book just clicked with me. It is the kind of romance that pulled me in and I couldn’t stop until I reached the end. It was so fulfilling that I had to buy the sequel immediately. 

Was the book perfect? No. But, what it might have lacked, it made up for with interesting characters with crazy chemistry and swoon-worthy interactions. Even more importantly, this story delved into themes of choosing your own path and self-discovery.

To put it simply, I loved this book. I would recommend it 100% and cannot give it enough praise. 

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Favorite Quote

But courage was a language they could both understand, and hers never faltered. Neither did her compassion, and that was perhaps the most difficult thing of all. Because amid the darkness of his desire for revenge, he, too, felt compassion— for this lonely human with nothing to cling to but her duty to a kingdom that had been so blithely willing to risk her life.

Book Blurb

Leisa’s ambitions used to be simple. Guard the princess. Hide her magic. Wait for her family to return.

But all of that changes when her king demands that she use her unique abilities to spy on the rival kingdom of Garimore.

Alone, far from home, and living a lie that grows more perilous by the day, Leisa’s task is complicated by her most dangerous enemy yet—the masked assassin known only as the Raven.

Everyone in the Five Thrones knows to fear him, but the Raven is not what Leisa expected. As silent as he is lethal, he provokes her curiosity as much as her fear, and hides secrets she’s determined to learn.

When her already precarious mission takes a deadly turn, Leisa must evade the Raven himself if she is to succeed. It’s never been done before, but Leisa is nothing if not stubborn. And if she doesn’t become the first to escape his blade, her entire kingdom will pay the price—in blood. 

Book Review: Heart of Dracula

When a woman with incredible empathic powers collides with the most dangerous being, sparks fly.

Kathryn Ann Kingsley paints a beautiful, gothic tale of deadly forces and wicked love. I was enthralled by her prose and beautiful storytelling. From the moment our main characters met, I was caught in a battle of “should she?” and “yes, please”. 

There were moments where I held my breath and hoped that their romance would not take a horrible turn with sexual assault, and I was right to be hopeful. Although dark, their relationship is consensual, albeit twisted, which I can tolerate. Even though I am an advocate for healthy relationships, this does not claim to have such a narrative. The author acknowledges that Dracula is the “bad guy” and so Maxine’s inner struggle to accept or reject him is fascinating. 

Overall, I enjoyed myself thoroughly and wish to read the sequel. 

Note: There are sexual themes and scenes in this book. It is not a “clean” read.

Rating: 5/5

Favorite Quote

“You were wrong, earlier. You are dangerous, Miss Parker. Very dangerous.” His voice was still a quiet whisper. When she looked up to him, she expected to see anger in his eyes. But what there was instead was grief. Grief, and hope, and the knowledge that it would surely die. The expression of a man who knew tragedy was to come and that it was unavoidable. “I should kill you now for the threat you bring me.”

Book Blurb

Boston, 1897.

Death comes to the city heralded by a crimson moon and screams in the night. The Vampire King has come to claim the city, unless he can be stopped…

Maxine Parker has lived a solitary life. Not because she wishes to, but because she has no choice. Her empathic ability has rendered it impossible for her to touch anyone without killing them.

But as she is thrust into the middle of a war between the enigmatic and alluring Vampire King and three stalwart hunters, she learns she cannot kill what is already dead.