The Courting of Life and Death
- Traumatising content
Clandestina is a realm of secrets, fairies, and dark magics. Among the nobles there is talk of a goddess of death, and a forbidden magic she grants to those that follow her-- cræft that can heal injuries that should be fatal or even bring back the dead. But she asks for much in return; blood and sometimes even life itself.
Larkspur, or A Necromancer's Romance: Pierre Salvador has just returned to court after finishing his studies and becoming a surgeon. But as he flirts with his childhood friend Elizabeth Anne, Mora, The Lady of Death, waits for him.
Delphinium, or A Necromancer's Home: Lady Elizabeth Anne does not know about the dark magic her beloved practices, and he has no intent to tell her. As they travel to his childhood home for the summer, Pierre Salvador attempts to balance his newfound love with his murderous cræft and his duties as duc.
Aconitella, or A Necromancer's Wife: Coming Soon
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To me this was a mix of myster of magic, this work is honestly phenomenal, it was like reading a classic novel mixed with the novelty of plot, magic and mystery of web serials. I honestly loved it.
The style of the story was filled with the mystery and charm of the story, it conveyed to me how that world is much different from other mystery and magic stories, if I had a bone to pick it would be that sometimes i was confused due to the structure, but those were very few.
The story and plot itself, oh were they good, reading the first few chapters told me how much of this world was built and thought upon by the author i really want and hope it to continues that way.
I did not feel there was something wrong with the grammar so nothing from me here.
I read about a quarter of the current released chapters so for what i saw in the charcters was they each held a distinct characteristics based on their position in royalty and in the plot. The MC was the one that held a bit of character that steamed out from emotion. But like i said i stopped fairly early on and i am sure the rest of the characters get fleshed out later.
That. Was. Awesome. I read to the end of book one. So far, it’s excellent. It was a combination of things I never knew I needed, like Cheerios and chocolate milk, tacos and blue cheese, lemon juice and menudo. If I were to describe the story to you, it would Jane Austen in her black period. Pride and prejudice but metal AF. Rammstein but delightfully sensitive.
It is solid. And I’ll be honest, I put it off. I put it off because, boo hoo, I’m a man, I don’t have time for no sensitive romance. But this romance is metal as hell, death is a character, and Pierre and Elizabeth are both so interesting and alluring they’ll make thoroughly reevaluate your position on the Kinsey scale.
Okay so, obviously I’m drunk, but I’m going to try and be intelligible for a bit. VMJ’s style is incredibly clean. The dialogue flies off the the page. The characters are fascinating, and occasionally infuriating, but in the sense that you want to slap them across the face and make them say nice things to each other, never in the take-them-behind-the shed-and-shoot-them sort of way. It’s this manifestation of constant tension and face-rending stress of what the characters will do next and oh, hot damn, that’s right, there’s necromancers in this story and it’s friggin relevant and interesting y’all, and maybe dating a necromancer isn’t such a good idea, but he’s hot and significantly more interesting that housecarl daryl in the tower across the way, so you can’t exactly blame her and holy crap what’s going to happen next?! Interrobang.
God dang I’m pumped and clearly limiting my language for RR friendliness.
Y’all. This story is a labor of love. It shows from the first word to the last sentence. Even if romance isn’t traditionally your thing, give it a shot. Got a thing for the macabre? VMJ’s got you. Want some sweet and fluffy moments? VMJ’s got you. Want a moment where you look at everything that’s occurred and completely recalibrate and reevaluate everything you’ve read and judgements on the characters you thought you previously understood?
VMJ’s got that too.
Love it. Not a minute was wasted and I’m coming back for more when I’m sober.
I would start by simply saying that this story is a MUST read. I do not tend to give 5 stars in all categories but alas my hand was forced by the masterpiece that this story is. A tale written in the realm of Clandestina filled with magic and cræft it will take you through a journey of the tale of old when magic was much more real and dire.
If I could I would have given this category 10 stars, but I only have 5 to work with so I had to make do. The writing style represents something written in the 1800s and it is a PLEASURE to read. The interaction, the world building, the subtle hints, the way the characters think, the way everything fits the image of this realm of magic Clandestina is something I am in love with it and I think you will be too.
The story has a lot of aspects mixed into it, political intrigue, romance (not the sappy kind), drama, etc. Our protagonist courts death itself and while death is a strength there are consequences for it. The beautiful way that the author has expanded on necromancy had me gripped right from the start. A different and such a refreshing take over a magic that has been over-generalized by LitRPG, it takes spirits and death and the nature of Afterlife into account and overall is just delightful to read with a lot of potential for the future. An easy 5/5 here.
Very rare typos but flawless otherwise if I was petty then I would have cut a half star here but honestly, I was so enamored by the story that I never even notice the typos. 5/5
What would you say when Death herself was a character? Each character has a purpose a goal, and each one seems equally deep and well thought. The only difference that I see between the main characters and side characters? How much we know about them. I will not spoil here so JUST GO READ! You will not be disappointed as right from the first chapters the characters drag you to travel through their tale, full of Life and Death.
Give the story some time it may take a while to grow on you, as the text is dense and filled to the brim with content so some reader may feel overwhelmed but go past that and you would have in your hands a masterpiece you wish was on your bookshelf too.
TL;DR Go Read it!
To start, this is novel novel is positively dripping with lore and aesthetic. This means that the writing is dense to the point where it might turn off some readers, but that doesn't mean it is bad. The novel is a true Gothic Romance and very very good at what it does. It's filled with clever wordplay and medieval dating/courtship rituals all with an undercurrent of magic and folklore that is both feral and dangerous.
The style is where this shines. The dialogue is stilted in a charming way, mimicking the overwrought langauge of the court. That said, the wording, wordplay, nonverbal cues, descriptions, all of it is very well done without going over the top. It very much feels like something written in the 18th century about a man of science harboring a dark secret. If you enjoy any of the old school proto-horror novels such as Dracula or Frankenstein (where half of the purpose was the aesthetic of the era) this book is VERY much worth a read for the style alone.
I didn't notice any errors, that's a good thing.
The story is ultimately a love story with some elements of jealousy mixed in. At times it can run a little slow, a bit overburdened by the lore and the world it dwells in, but I am very much engaged in it nonetheless.
There are limited characters, all of whom are interesting and have their own role and voice. There isn't much to say other than 'they're well done' and 'more Wolfram.'
V. M. Jaskiernia pens a lighthearted romance steeped in horror—or is it perhaps a horror that has instead been beset by romance? Nuances of the dark and tantalizing blot across the finery of Victorian intrigue, with dread and delight waxing and waning in tandem to vie for the reader's attention. Larkspur's single defining shortfall is its brevity—this fiction will capture you with its heartfelt whimsy and then steal your last breath away.
This reads way different from most RR novels in my opinion ( no offense). I love the magic system and how vague it is as that's what magic is about for me. The characters all have their personalities and motivations. So ya, would recommend
What can I say. Impeccable grammar and story telling. A refreshing style of story. Budding romances and ver very interesting and ethereal magic complementing a victorian age style collection of fae realms.
This novel is extremely well written and will keep you entertained. I'll admit that this isn't really my genre but because it's so well done it kept me engaged.
You can tell the author took their time to proofread their content because I couldn't find any grammar mistakes(although people might have already pointed them out to him by the time I started reading). The characters are interesting and I want to see where they'll end up as the story progresses.
Overall this is something every new writer should read if they want to learn how to get better at their craft.
I had a Gormenghast vibe reading this novel. It reads more like a classic than a webnovel. The style really complements the setting and the genre, it is beatufully written and imaginative. Dialogue is well written, it flows well and oozes you into the story. I really enjoyed Pierre, he reminded me of myself during my "darker" periods.
You can see that the writer really cares about her world. Everything is carefully done and thought through and many tidbits add to the overall story. It is a refreshing(?!) look on life and death, little romanticized but well executed.
I didn't find a single grammar hiccup, unlike my review :). Professionally done.
The first thing that will stand out to you, when you read this work, is how well written it is. The variety of prose, their flow, the word choice. It's a joy to read. Grammar 5/5, Style 5/5 easily. The quality of writing is consistent, at least for the first 7 chapters.
Story: It's a cool story that's filled with detail. The world the story takes place in is clearly well thought out. I love the little details that give the world a lived-in feeling. The story in the early part is exciting if a bit slow-paced to start, but once things pick up it's very engaging. 4.5/5.
Character: The characters have personalities, desires and quirks. The omnipotent narrator will tell you what each person is thinking allowing the reader to get to know the characters well. 5/5
Overall 5/5. A great story, and clearly head and shoulders above most of the stories here on royal road.