After having read A Reaper of Stone and Broken Banners by Mark Gelineau and Joe King, which I really enjoyed, I decided I had to read more! So I returned to the kingdom of Aedaron with Best Left in the Shadows, that is the 1st novella in the crime noir thread to this epic series.
Magistrate Inspector Daxton Ellis is brought down into Lowside, the poor and dangerous underworld of the city, looking for answers. A girl has been beaten and murdered, this wouldn’t normally raise much attention in Lowside – it is a regular occurrence in fact – but this is no ordinary girl. She is a true blood girl from Highside, a daughter of wealthy and powerful parents and a direct descendant of the First Ascended. Magistrate Dax is charged with bringing those responsible to justice quietly and discreetly. To do this he is forced to call upon the streetwise Lowsider and former flame Alys for help.
I loved the love/hate, tension filled but also playful chemistry between Dax and Alys; it helped to lighten this dark, crime tale for me. Dax and Alys originally met and dated during their time training in the academy, when they were young, naïve and idealistic. All grown up, they’ve come to believe that a true blood guy and a Lowside gal can never be. Although secretly I think Dax is still pretty idealistic but he is also acutely aware of his station and responsibilities. Alys on the other hand is a free, kick-ass spirit who has learnt how to play and survive in this dangerous world – a world that Dax can’t break into without her help.
This is the 3rd novella I have read by the new dynamic duo, Mark Gelineau and Joe King, and it is perhaps my favourite so far too. I love how Gelineau and King say they came together to write the Echo of the Ascended series in homage to all the classic, epic fantasy tales and great heroes of their childhood. In this crime noir thread to this epic series, it was exciting to see a different, darker and seedier side to the kingdom of Aedaron; set in the Lowside of the city rather than, in the previous books, out in the large, isolated march lands. I really am impressed by the character description and fantastic world building Gelineau and King have managed to achieve in these novellas.
Best Left in the Shadows was an intriguing fantasy/crime noir adventure which I just sped through! I can’t wait to continue reading this series with Civil Blood. Great read.
Thank you to the authors for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you read this? Or any of the other Echo of the Ascended novellas?
Once Upon a Time X – #4