This book, in my opinion, is a mixture of fantasy and paranormal. For the fantasy part it takes place in a different world that Downum has create as well as some different types of creatures, and the paranormal part comes from the use of mages, witches, necromancers, ghost and spirits. I really enjoyed this book, I have not been the biggest fan of fantasy books in the past, but I find the more I ease myself into the genre the more I am enjoying it.
Isyllt Iskaldur is a necromancer and a spy who has been sent to Symir, the drowning city, to help finance a revolution that is brewing within the city. The city is made up of outcast, pirates, smugglers and expatriates, but the city and surround area offers something that the Emperor seeks, he therefore, is unwilling to relinquish his hold over the city. Isyllt is sent to this city and mission alone, except for two mercenaries, Adam and Xinai, but she does not if she can trust them, as they are after all mercenaries. Once Isyllt is in the city she discovers that her mission will not be a as simple as it seems, the Emperor will not relinquish the city easily, there are two different revolutionary groups each with a different reason for wanting freedom from the crown and, neither of which is receptive to outsider out and Isyllt finds herself the center of attention, which is never a good place for a spy to be. Plus there is a strange man, Asheris, who she feels drawn to as his Heat counteracts her Cold, but she know that she shouldn’t trust him, but there is something about his Power, his Heat. But in this city of exiles you can trust no one, and one never really knows which path is the best one to take, but as the events unfold Isyllt is forced to make a decision between fulfilling her mission or saving the drowning city.
My first thoughts of the book were that it was slow. It took me a bit to get through the first part of the book, but I understand that Downum needed to set the stage of the world she was creating. It also did become a bit confusing with the different, yet all similar names of a few of the main characters, but that may have just been me. That said, I did like her writing style, it was quite descriptive, and she liked to use all the senses when describing something. I also like Isyllt as a character, for all her power over death and the dead; she does get weak if she uses too much power. She also was not the hardcore badass spy; there are times when she is frivolous about wearing a dress or numbing her pain so that she is able to wear shoes for dancing. There were also some different/new powers associated with necromancer, for example the ability to see the last event before an individual died, well as long as a person still had their eyes.... Additionally, the powerful Mages and Witches are associated with one of the elements or that of death, they did hint that there were mages that had the power of life as well but none of those were mentioned in this book. They also use Diamonds as a way to focus their power, or in the case of Isyllt the ability to trap ghost within her ring.
I know when I explain part of the book there is a bit of romance hinted there, but within the book that is all there is, a hint. This book is more of a political thriller book based in a fantasy and paranormal world.
All in all a Great New Start to the series, and I am excited and will read the next adventure in this series. This book is for you if you like paranormal or fantasy genre, defiantly an author to watch out for.