The Courting of Life and Death
- Traumatising content
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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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Different than other novels on RR, it's so wholesome it could be published physical book instead. And I bet it would be bestseller.
When I read it, the victorian atmosphere just hit me in the brain and pulled me right inside. Beautifull, exquisitively crafted descriptions that will force you to imagine you being here but still gives you enough space to imagine your own things. It reads as Jane Austin books a little bit. (and that's a big, BIG bow from me).
The story is dark and mysterious that you will just impatiently await more chapters.
All characters are having personalities, ambitions and motivations. You will dive into life of nobles in the victorian era, where intrigues and rules of conduct are important. But there is a scale of characters, each of them important. You feel them live their lives even when they leave the scene.
Magic is very tasteful and not too much or too little. Incredible how can you write magic system without overblowing it.
For what I can say, that grammar is perfect.
What can I say? Read it! Definitely! R.E.A.D I.T!
Brilliant work by the author in creating this piece of dark fantasy. Follow the exploits of Pierre as he dabbles in dark magic and pursues romance but all with ever-present spectre of Mora, the Lady of Death. The book opens with blossoming romance but takes a sharp turn into the nighttime world of the supernatural with blood rites and ritual as Pierre traverses the realms between the living and the dead. Familiars, faries and other fey creatures form part of this dark but enchanting realm. The script is written in a flowing style with language typical of the English Victorian / Elizabethean courtship era. This adds a sense of history which pairs well with the sense of lost archaic forbidden magics and creatures of old. Am definitely going to continue reading this one!
This story a highly organized and well-written work of art. The amount of planning put into every aspect is incredible.
The characters are well developed. The interactions are fluid and believable. The world is captivating; the prose is engaging.
Go and read it!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm taking my own advice to read the rest of this polished gem.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Courting is a long, ongoing tale currently rocking at one hundred thirty two thousand eight hundred and eighteen words. Oh god now I have to update this review when VMJ adds more words to it, why have I signed myself up for this eternal sysyphian labour?
Seriously though, this book is amazing. I wish I'd read it earlier, because then I'd have the first review ever. That's how goodly this is. One of the best on Royal Road. Have a seat by my reviewer campfire and I will tell you why...
Gramatically it's wonderful. I've read much of this tale and I'm yet to discover sentence, structure or spelling fails. VMJ has clearly put a shitton of work into this and it shows!
Story style is smooth as silk. Would read again if I was deprived of my memory because of an evil fairy sprit. The romance setting is realistic and healthy and strong with this one. Dialogues are well executed and don't feel forced. The magic system is well explored and is enjoyable to read about. This book isn't your standard isekai premise, it's an original at its very heart - a grimdark romance.
Characters are VERY solid. I freaking love the infochart in the beginning made by VMJ. It's superb. Wish more writers would resort to this tactic of making me fall in love with the characters using visual powers of AI generated people. Brilliant! I should steal this idea for my future books if I ever lose my drawing powers. Pierre Salvador has a solid character hook and beautiful motivations for being a necromancer. He's not a murderhobo like many necromancers are.
Setting: [not a category but whatever I am the review princess I do what I want]:
Fantastic! I love the nobility interactions. The lore is deep enough to drown in for a very long time.
If I was a publisher or a rich mangate I would totally print this for VMJ. [Wills his dodgecoin and laika crypto investments to rise with powers of necromancy.]
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.