The Courting of Life and Death

by VMJaskiernia

Original ONGOING Fantasy Historical Horror Romance Anti-Hero Lead Female Lead High Fantasy Magic Male Lead Multiple Lead Characters Mythos Non-Human lead Ruling Class Slice of Life Steampunk Strong Lead Supernatural
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

Book 1, Larkspur, is now on Amazon (US link, available worldwide) and Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Apple! Please leave a review there too (you can copy/paste your RR review)!


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.

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.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
  • Total Views :
  • 14,640
  • Average Views :
  • 610
  • Followers :
  • 244
  • Favorites :
  • 61
  • Ratings :
  • 96
  • Pages :
  • 192
Advertisement
Remove
Go to Table of Contents
Rate it
Fiction breaking rules? Report
Advertisement
Remove
Author
VMJaskiernia

VMJaskiernia

Macabre Fantasy Romance

Achievements
200 Followers
200 Review Upvotes
60 Reviews
10,000 Views
35 Comments
Word Smith (VI)
Top List #50
Premium Member
Advertisement
Remove

Leave a review

Reviews
Sort by:
FortySixtyFour
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

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.

Primate
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

The style.

Omniscient third person narration. The author is able to convey the feelings, thoughts and perspectives of the characters to the readers in a perfect way. Excellent style.

The Story.

Right from the synopsis, the story line is gripping. 

"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.

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."

And once the readers pick this book up, they'll find it hard to drop. The story is developing nicely without deviating from the story line.

The grammar.

This is excellent. Albeit a few error that never affected the flow of the story.

The characters.

The characters are well written. I found the nature of the Pierre character, quite intriguing. The author is really doing a great job in developing his story line so far. Not a lot to say about the character Liz for now, but I think her character is full of unlimited potentials.  

Thanks author, well done..

CoCop
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

Putting the 'Romance' in Necromancy

Reviewed at: ~ Hanging ~

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.

Style
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.

Grammar
I didn't notice any errors, that's a good thing.

Story
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.

Character
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.'

Vera Anne Wolf
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

Dark Magic, Death, Blood, and the Fea are wonderfully twisted into the rules of the forbidden magic of necrocreaft. Mora, the Lady of Death, is both chilling and intriguing. Her courtship with the MC Perrie grants him both power and puts his life at peril. I do sometimes wonder at the risks he takes for such magic. To heal is a wonderful thing, but if it means the person you heal may die a more gruesome death, or you yourself are guaranteed a painful death—not to mention the whole art of necrocreaft is forbidden. It’s a lot of risk not to be taken lightly, though, I can see how it would feel pretty powerful being able to literally bring someone back from the dead.

The writing is detailed and beautifully crafted. The dark twist of the magic, the costs, and its status in the world are wonderfully thrilling. Elizabeth, Pierre’s love interest, while seemingly innocent is also curious about magic and knows just enough about necrocreaft to uncover Pierre’s secret if she gets too close.

This is an easy 5 stars for me. There were minor bumps of confusion that I left in my comments but overall this was a pleasure to read and I am definitely looking forward to more.

MrBadWithNames
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

Style 4.5/5, the story is written very well, no complaints here, I'd apprechiate some imagery but that's just a personal thing.

The pacing is great and the world gets a fair amount of descriptions.

 

Gramma 5/5, as always, not much to say :D

 

Story 4.5/5, while the setting seemed pretty standard in the begining, I've definitely been caught off-guard by the end of chapter one and I have to say I'm liking what I see! 

I'm looking forward to a unique adventure!

 

Characters, so far while the characters' motives aren't perfectly clear, I can tell they aren't 2D caricatures, so I'm giving the story the benefit of the doubt and rating them 4.5/5

 

I definitely reccomend you give this story a read, it's a fun and easy read :D

B_N_Miles
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

Love, Death & A Captivating Read

Reviewed at: 6 ~ Larkspur ~ Poison

I'm not an avid reader of romance (or fictions with a lot of it), but this story still managed to get me hooked. The characters are interesting and deep. There's a wide range of them, like a pair of on-the-edge lovers and a cat... The world is fleshed out and has an uncommon a magic side.

Everything is really well written altough at some points it goes overboard with either too much detail or borderline purple prose. At some points it could be trimmed for a faster pace. And on the topic of pace -- often, I don't feel like the story is progressing.

There are a few grammar mistakes, but they aren't the worst thing in the world.

If you read this fiction, you read it for the deep characters and to get lost in a truly different world. In the end, I wasn't disappointed and actually enjoyed it a lot.

redfalcon696
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

Excellent Writing, Characters and Concepts

Reviewed at: 7 ~ Delphinium ~ Spirits of Death

Wow, this is a very unique, and well written, piece of dark fantasy.
The characters are relatable, yet leave themselves with an heir of mystery with facets of themselves yet to be uncovered.

The concepts of life, death, and everything in between, not to mention the concept of magic itself, are very fascinating and extremely creative thus far.
The use of oxygen and plasma from an individual's blood, for example, reminds me of the science-based magic (mitochondria) and concepts used in Parasite Eve (1997 - PlayStation), which isn't seen often in fantasy, and is a welcome addition.

Can't wait for further chapters to be released!

Kevin Sinclair
  • Overall Score

A genuinely unique and special story.

I look forward to reading everything that comes next in this dark and unerring world. It has a feel of good classical writing combined with modern writi g styles which I love

The Juggernaut
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

Review - The Courting of Life and Death ~

To begin, I have to give the author props for a very well written story. It is very well put together in all important aspects.

 

First - Style - The style holds the attention of the reader and keeps them hooked until the last chapter. The author runs a fine line of foreshadowing, mystery, and clarity without any mistakes as of yet. The only thing that irks me, but maybe not others, is the long sentences that can almost span a paragraph. While they are very uncommon, they still detract just a tiny bit from the style. 

 

Grammar - Spotless. I may not be a Grammar Nazi, but i try to keep up with all things grammar. Yet, I found almost no mistakes in my view. Well, done.

Stroy - I was hooked from the beginning till the end. Its the Authors strongest point in my opinion. Great Job.

Characters - The characters are quite varied and each represent who they are and could possibly be. They arent flat with no prospect of grownth any time soon. 

 

In conclusion, this is a must read on RR. 

Vowron Prime
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score

Not a combination you'd normally expect. The power over Death in fantasy often goes hand in hand with rotting corpses and necromancy, but this is a little different. Sure, we've got the MC who dies and comes back to something like un-life, but there are none of the familiar zombie tropes here. Instead, we're presented with a richly-built universe replete with a complex system of magic whose workings are dropped via hints and allusions. And the best part?  Everything is original, which makes this a very compelling read.

Style

The author has flair, telling the story with rich and colorful(purple being the only one missing) prose, narrating what is obviously a very complex and well-thought-out universe through a Victorian-esque style. There's a bit of a learning curve, but the unique terms and and style really give the story a sense of depth that is so lacking with most on this site.

Story

Still pretty early days, so it's hard to tell where this will go. We've seen setup for some potentially very interesting events down the line, but the romance is also only just budding between the protagonist Pierre and the heroine Elizabeth. Still, given the richness of the universe and the machinations behind the world's magic, I'm sure we'll see some juicy plot here before long.

Grammar

Flawless. Published-quality, honestly, and the author has a knack for beautiful prose. Sentences and paragraphs flow like a river, and there are pretty much zero spelling and grammatical errors to be found. Easy 5/5

Characters

The meat and blood of a romance story. Luckily, the characters in this one are strong. Pierre comes across as an educated, feeling individual, and Mora has such a sense of depth to her that I somehow found myself rooting for a Pierre x Mora romance. Mora is a truly mysterious, seductive character. Elizabeth, in contrast, feels a bit less well-fleshed out to me, but I get the sense that we'll see more development in that department soon. The author seems to have some genuinely interesting plans for her!

 

In summary, though we've yet to see a whole lot of romance, the worldbuilding, the style, and the grammar all work together to create a truly novel universe in which this surprising romance is set. Once we see the romance build, I'll bet you will be fully engaged, and perhaps a bit horrified, in this romance between a dead man and a living girl.