Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy Publication.Date June 14th 2016 Pages: 280 Published By: 47North Author Sarah Fine Reliquary on Goodreads My review copy: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Mattie Carver’s engagement party should have marked the start of her own personal fairy tale. But when her fiancé, Ben, is violently abducted the next morning, her desperate quest to find him rips her away from small-town life and reveals a shattering truth: magic is real—and Ben is hooked. It’s not the stuff of storybooks. It’s wildly addictive, capable of producing everything from hellish anguish to sensual ecstasy almost beyond human endurance.
Determined to find out who took Ben and why, Mattie immerses herself in a shadowy underworld and comes face-to-face with the darkly alluring Asa Ward, a rogue magic dealer, infamous hustler…and her missing fiancé’s estranged brother. Asa has the power to sense magic, and he realizes Mattie is a reliquary, someone with the rare ability to carry magic within her own body, undetected. Asa agrees to help find Ben on one condition: Mattie must use her uncommon talent to assist his smuggling operations. Now, from magic-laced Vegas casinos to the netherworld clubs of Bangkok, Mattie is on a rescue mission. With Asa by her side, she’ll face not only the supernatural forces arrayed against her but the all-too-human temptation that she fears she can’t resist.
"The night before everything fell apart was the best of my life - the last purely happy, uncomplicated hours I would ever have."
"I guess I'm the queen of biting off more than I can chew."
"Weddings bring people together!""But with some people, that's more of a curse than a blessing."
Reliquary starts off with an engagement party that promises nothing but a blissfully happy life for Mattie and her soon-to-be husband, Ben. Mattie is head over heels in love with Ben, and he seems to love her just as much. Unfortunately, their happiness doesn't last long and their personal fairy tale is cut short when tragedy strikes. When Ben is kidnapped the day after the wedding, Mattie is desperate to find him. She's determined to get her husband back, no matter the cost, but what she's not prepared for, is being pulled into the world of magic and temptation. A world she never knew existed. Things get even more complicated, when Ben's estranged brother Asa turns out to be the only one who can help rescue Ben. And worse yet, the only way for Mattie to pay for his help, is to become his partner in a magic smuggling operation.
Confession time: I don't read urban fantasy. Like, ever. I'm not even sure why, I guess it's because I'm more into classic style fantasy (with medieval settings, witches, dragons, knights etc.). And I'm undeniably intimidated by the concept of fantasy in a modern, urban setting. That being said, I was completely blown away by how awesomely readable Reliquary was. This book pulled me in right from the first page and I quickly found myself completely immersed in its world. And it was one intriguing, sensual world. Sarah's compelling writing style kept me hooked all throughout the book and when I hit the last page, I was left craving more. I really can't wait to pick up the next book and find out what happens next!
This is an adult story (as adult as they get without crossing over to erotica). And it's really, really hot. It's literally loaded with amazing sexual tension. The world Sarah created is incredibly unique. There are 4 types of magic in it: pain, pleasure, emotion and manipulation. Mattie's fiance/husband turns out to be a magic addict who got in trouble because of his unpaid debts (not a spoiler, we find that out very early on). Asa, on the other hand, is a sensor, someone who can sniff magic. Initially, he comes across as a bit of an asshat - he swears a lot and acts like a jerk. But as the story progresses, we begin to see through his mask and we realize that there are good reasons for why he acts the way he does. The character building was really good, and not only in Asa's case, but in Ben's case as well (even though we don't see much of him in the book at all, but we learn a lot about him). Mattie was a really likeable character and I enjoyed following her story. She was a trusting and dedicated person, with a good heart. Watching her trying to navigate the world of magic, temptation and danger, was definitely very interesting.
Overall, I had a lot of fun reading this book. There is obviously a love triangle in this book, and if you're not a fan of those, you will probably not enjoy it as much as I did. Especially considering the ending of this book. To be frank, even I was upset with how Sarah ended this installment, but at the same time, I understand that it was for a reason. There are, after all, two more volumes in the series, and we need to keep the tension going. I, for one, can't wait to continue on with this awesome trilogy!
About the author:
Sarah Fine is a clinical psychologist and the author of the Servants of Fate and Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast.
3 Finished Copies of RELIQUARY (US Only)
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