Aint’ No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant is surely the theme song for Slate Ardoin: playboy, ladies man, grave robber, art thief…and unwitting heir to a magical legacy that just might kill him. Slate is the type of protagonist that is fun to root for; he is as imperfect as they come, with raw wit, a bad attitude, and raunchy inner monologues, that contrast sharply with a surprisingly chivalrous streak and wildly protective tendencies towards those who have earned his affection. In fact, Slate is the perfect near antihero, to contrast with the too-good-for-words Cadence, his counterpoint in all things magical, with whom he shares an immediate romantic spark. Cadence is so good in fact, that her theme song might be Goody Two Shoes by Adam Ant…not that she necessarily wants to remain pure once she meets Slate. Of Wicked Blood is told from the alternate perspectives of Slate and Cadence, as they work alongside two other heirs to the world’s magic in an attempt to unravel a centuries old mystery revolving around a vanished mystical quatrefoil, that if reassembled will return the ability to wield magic to the world. The only problem? Each piece of the quatrefoil is cursed in a way that will be particularly horrific for the heir meant to retrieve it, and if they don’t reassemble is by the new moon, Slate is doomed to die slowly and painfully.
Of Wicked Blood is a real delight to read! The dialogue between, and the inner thoughts of, Cadence and Slate are laugh-out-loud hilarious, while the slow burn of their attraction is equally intriguing. The story moves along at a even, fast pace, with each test the group faces seeming just challenging enough to be realistic, without becoming over the top fantastical. It is so well written, that you could almost start to believe that magic really is hidden from the world by some cursed force, able to be freed by breaking a series of curses. Just when I thought I had things all figured out, the last few chapters executed a neat plot twist, leaving me relieved, but also waiting desperately for the next book in the series. By the end of the story I was left pondering whether or not restoring magic would be in the best interests of the world, and I began to reevaluate the motives and actions of some of the characters, which in my opinion are the best types of cliff hangers. This book is wickedly enjoyable, and it was easy to give it the coveted five star rating…I highly recommend all urban fantasy lovers check it out!
Elemental Magic – Deviant Art