(Gaslamp Gothic, #6)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: July 31st 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling
A bungled murder.
A ridiculous quest.
And a hero with extremely dodgy credentials.
Christmas 1889. Count Balthazar Jozsef Habsburg-Koháry tries to lead a simple life.
Oh, he enjoys a few hobbies.
Collecting ancient Egyptian artifacts. Hunting necromancers with a wire garrote. Impersonating dead Hungarian nobility. Seducing an endless string of women who never suspect the price of the count’s attentions.
But considering what Balthazar used to be like, these pursuits are harmless. And surely he deserves a reward for assassinating the elusive necromancer John Mortlake in the middle of Cairo’s teeming bazaar. What could be better than a holiday cruise up the Nile with his secretary Lucas Devereaux?
There’s just one thing that might ruin his mood.
If, for example, someone stole the talisman that’s kept him alive for two thousand years.
That would really suck.
Unfortunately for Balthazar, he just killed the wrong necromancer – one with a vengeful daughter and huge debts to some very shady djinn. To get his mojo back, he and Lucas must find a legendary sword and liberate a desert kingdom of magical misfits. For centuries, the people of Al Miraj have sought a valiant champion willing to face the wrath of the arch demon Fulad-zereh!
What they get is Balthazar.
But the gods always did like a good joke.
Balthazar, an ageless former necromancer is on a quest to rid the world of the evil necromancers that remain. His latest bounty brings him to Egypt where he quickly dispatches John Mortlake. However, the easy kill comes with strings attached. John Mortlake has debts with the djinn and a daughter who absolutely refuses to pay the debts for a father she equally despised. Balthazar gets waylaid after Mortlakes death by a beautiful woman and ends up on a Nile cruise. Balthazar's wiles get the best of him though, as the woman he is chasing steals the talisman that has kept him alive for over 2000 years. In trying to retrieve his talisman, Balthazar gets tied up in the woman's troubles and finds himself imprisoned by the djinn in a magical desert kingdom and now must retrieve a sword from a demon in order to escape with his life and his talisman.
Enchanting, fun and action packed, Balthazar's Bane continues the world of the Gaslamp Gothic series. I really enjoyed getting to know Bathazar and Lucas better. The writing dives into some of Balthazar's lengthy past and his history with Lucas without slowing things down. I was in a love/hate relationship with Zarifa's character based on her changing actions. She was strong, independent and free thinking, mostly one step ahead of the guys. Most of all, I loved being transported to the magical city of Al Miraj and exploring the many inhabitants of the city along with their dwellings and items. The trails that the demon led had me enthralled as Balthazar deftly fought his way through. Thoughtfully weaving in themes of growth, good vs. evil and respect for all living things, Balthazar's Bane entertained from beginning to end and I can't wait to see what these characters get into next.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.
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