How I got the book?
I got this book while looking for “The Witchers” Books by Andrzej Sapkowski and after not finding them in the list of books available with the Kindle Unlimited subscription, I settled for this one. I was already looking forward to reading about witches in freezing weather (I do watch the show), so I figured this one would be the one. And yes, there are witches in freezing weather, mixed with knights, kings, princesses, and murder (great components right?)
This is my first book by R.M. Schultz, and he has written several books, all within the Fantasy, mystery, thriller genre. It did not have high numbers of reviews on Amazon, but the average was 4.4 out of 5, and I wanted to read a book with witches. Same was with Goodreads, with an average of 4.14 out of 5. I am happy I gave this book a try, and it hit the spot of my reading hunger.
Information about the book
TThis was the sixth book from author R.M. Schultz was released in October 2021. The author has a total of seven books all within the same genre of Fantasy and Mystery. This particular book can be obtained as an ebook or paperback and is included in the Kindle Unlimited subscription.
What is the book about?
As taken from Amazon and Goodreads the premise of the book is:
In a land where the wolf wind and mists roam like ghosts, the conflicted son of a witch was knighted by the king. Knighted to repay a debt to his father.
His name is Calec.
He alone holds knowledge from both the knighthood and the mysterious witches of the woods.
When the king’s sheep are found lying in the snow, riddled with black rashes and hemorrhagic eyes, Calec is summoned to discover the reason for their deaths. Then, as human victims arise in the city, Calec uncovers an eerie string of clues. He seeks the aid and determination of pious Eristin—his betrothed and niece of the king—but to catch the murderer they must find answers, answers hidden beneath a web of secrets ensnaring the royal family, a witch, an innkeeper, a priest, and a former thief.
And Calec never suspected he’d have to choose between the only two things he’s ever loved.
My Personal Opinion:
As I said at the beginning I was looking for a very specific theme, I wanted witches, freezing snowy weather, and a complete fantasy setting and I got exactly what I wanted. I do enjoy reading Fantasy / Sci-Fi books, so this one was right on my alley. My previous book was a Romance Novel (you can find the link here for that review), so this was a nice change of genre.
Yes, I was influenced by the fact that for me the book was free, but for a weekend read about a fantasy realm where knights swear their lives to the throne, and witches are seen as the enemy, and we want to throw in a murder mystery… it hit the spot.
There were times in which I felt the story fell apart, but then it came back
There were times in which I felt the story fell slow, I think especially because of the impact religion had on the Kingdom, which is understood for the time and place, but felt a bit slow at times because of it, however, the book puts itself back quick enough to resume the story at a good and fast pace. The characters in this book are so both layered and straightforward. From the time they are introduced you can picture a character and it will remain the same throughout the story. Their true self is easily shown to you, and since it is a Murder Mystery novel this was great when trying to figure it out who could have done it?
The main character Calec is both determined, and insecure at the same time. With his honor to protect, but he is not clear why? The reasons why he became a Knight even though he should have never been knighted, give him reason to doubt his place in the palace and his reputation with the other knights, as well as confirming he deserves the love of his betrothed.
The pace of the story was very good in my opinion, the chapters were short and made a point and the uncertainty of the culprit was well reserved until the last reveal. The murders were shocking, yet interesting. The possible murderers allow you to agree and doubt at the same time.
The Highlights of the Book:
The plot was the highlight of the book. The murders were interesting, mysterious, occult, religious, witchy, evil, and scary. I also enjoyed the fast-paced and the fast development of the characters.
The characters were sufficiently developed to believe that the murderer could be any of the secondary characters, all with their reasons, and excuses.
I truly enjoyed the weather and the scenery. I was at times feeling the cold weather, with its freezing and howling winds, the white snow constantly falling as well as the cold rain drizzling and pouring throughout the town, the forest, the mountains. It was very vivid how much the weather impacted the story and I enjoyed it.
The negatives of this book, in my opinion, was the romantic relationship between Calec and his betrothed Eristin, there was little to no chemistry, but then when the love triangle starts to develop, I failed to feel the chemistry between Calec and Serilene (the witch) once they were engaged their interaction became a bit weird as a reader. It was clear the lack of passion, love, and romance and their way of approaching marriage was not something I enjoyed reading.
The religious influence was a bit over the top to my liking too. I do get that it was set in Medieval times and the importance of Religion at that time was necessary for the plot, but it was a bit too much praying at times.
Information as found in Amazon:
- Publisher : Self-published
- Publication date: October 31 , 2021
- Language : English
- Paperback : 317 pages
- Genre: Fiction / Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
What are you reading right now? What book would you recomend me? Would you like a personal review to a book? Let me know! I am always looking for recommendations and suggestions to add to my reading list.