Review: City of Storms by Kat Ross

Book Review

City of Storms by Kat Ross
(Nightmarked, #1)

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A tarot reader with a dangerous secret. A priest whose scarred conscience won’t let him sleep. And a fallen angel bent on corrupting them both.

After decades of civil war, the Via Sancta has declared victory over humanity’s basest instincts. Anger, hatred and greed are suppressed by intricate Marks on the skin. Wards tame the wild psychic magic of the ley. The Church’s enemies, the once mighty nihilim, have been driven into the Void.

But even the most perfect of worlds has a shadow side.

Alexei is a priest in the storm-wracked southern capital of Novostopol. He hunts deviants whose Marks have inverted, driving them mad. When a prominent doctor violently turns, Alexei stumbles across a conspiracy at the highest levels of the Via Sancta. The trail leads to Kasia Novak, a cartomancer who is much more than she seems. The cards say their fates are intertwined — if the threads aren’t snapped short.

Now the ley is rising again. A nihilim has infiltrated the city. And Alexei discovers that his faith’s triumph over the darkest recesses of the human soul is more fragile than he imagined.

What is your deepest desire? Money? Power? Revenge? Lust? I’ll give to you.

Malach is many things. Seducer of the pious. Survivor of the Via Sancta’s bloody campaigns. Implacable foe of all it stands for. He’s primal desire made flesh, and the thing he wants most is a child. Half-bloods are fragile creatures, but if this one survives, it will be monster, a savior — or both.

What I thought
Thank you BookSirens for giving me an ARC copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

This was my second book by this author, and I can definitely say this will not be my last.  I really enjoyed this first book that is part of a 6 book+ series. This book does start a little slow, but I believe that is due to you being thrown into a fantasy world that has gone through two dark ages.  Please do not spend too much time trying to figure out where this world fits with what we know about technology because you will drive yourself crazy.  There are some technologies like cars (not gas) that they have, but they mention things like airplanes being knowledge that is lost. There is magic (ley) in this world that is the driving factor of everything.  I really liked how there are multiple layers to the Ley and depending on which level you use determines how good/evil you are perceived to be.  

During the time of this book, the “Church” runs everything.  The structure of their system appears to mimic the standings in the Catholic Church.  I could be wrong, but by just people’s titles alone, that is how I thought of it. The church gives their priests marks (tattoos) that allow them to manipulate the ley in different ways.  The whole concept was very interesting to me.  

This is a very character-driven story, and I loved all of them for different reasons.  Yes, I even liked Malach, don’t ask I’m not sure what it was about him, but I couldn’t find it in myself to hate him. Oh, and don’t worry about there being too many any losing track of who they are because there is a glossary in the back of the book!

I am not going to mention all the characters because there is a good size cast in this book and I did not realize how many there were until I started writing this review.  I will say that I have three favorites, Alexei, Spassov, and Kasia. Not only did I like them separately, but I especially enjoyed them together.  

I am super excited about the next book, which comes out in May 2022, so I don’t have very long to wait. 

My Rating: /5

Have you read this book? If so what did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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