The Courting of Life and Death

by VMJaskiernia

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

Buy the books, or cross-post your RR review - BOOK 2 OUT NOW! ❤

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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Macabre Fantasy Romance

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Characters, Maps, and Lore ago
Books ago
1.1 ~ Gala ago
1.2 ~ Illness ago
1.3 ~ Lord of Death ago
1.4 ~ Fairies and Daimons ago
1.5 ~ Murder ago
1.6 ~ Poison ago
2.1 ~ Spirits of Death ago
2.2 ~ Cræft ago
2.3 ~ Fée Funeral ago
2.4 ~ Her Fate ago
2.5 ~ Witch ago
2.6 ~ Flirting ago
2.7 ~ A Favor ago
2.8 ~ Château ago
2.9 ~ Death and Dreams ago
2.10 ~ Council Meeting ago
2.11 ~ Dancing Lessons ago
2.12 ~ Going Into Town ago
2.13 ~ Sabine ago
2.14 ~ Letters ago
2.15 ~ The Ladies ago
2.16 ~ Secrets ago
2.17 ~ Foundling ago
2.18 ~ Surgery ago
2.19 ~ Authority ago
2.20 ~ More Letters ago
2.21 ~ Fairy Boots ago
2.22 ~ Fortune Telling ago
2.23 ~ Dead ago
2.24 ~ Dinner ago
2.25 ~ Blancræft ago
2.26 ~ Necrocræft ago
2.27 ~ Presence of Death ago
2.28 ~ Meetings ago
2.29 ~ Magic of Death ago
2.30 ~ Familiar ago
2.31 ~ Midspring and Summerfinding ago
2.32 ~ Church ago
2.33 ~ Mora ago
2.34 ~ Feuilles ago
2.35 ~ The Prince and the Duc ago
2.36 ~ Cold Iron ago
2.37 ~ Cursed ago
2.38 ~ Fay ago
2.39 ~ Loyalties ago
2.40 ~ Ghosts ago
2.41 ~ Clinic ago
2.42 ~ Hospital ago
2.43 ~ Blood ago
2.44 ~ Summer ago
2.45 ~ Jourdain ago
2.46 ~ Caught ago
2.47 ~ Death ago
2.48 ~ Requiem ago
2.49 ~ Engagement ago
2.50 ~ Truth ago
2.51 ~ Revenge ago
3.1 ~ Wedding ago

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Emperor Lake

Truly, I am much more chad than the people who rate this less than five stars..


I'll preface this review by disclosing that I'm not a fan of gothic settings or heavy romantic themes. However, the author had little trouble winning me over with beautiful writing, haunting imagery and intriguing characters.

Style is the story's strong point.  I'm a big fan of dialogue-driven prose and in my opinion, The Courting of Life and Death has some of the best dialogue on all of Royal Road. It's not just what said, but what remains unsaid as well. VMJ captures the charm and language of court with a finesse I someday hope to master.

The Grammar is bloody excellent. Engrossed in the chapters, I didn't come across any and for that author gets the rare and flawless five-star rating.

Even though the Story is bloody amazing, I felt it suffers from pacing issues at times. This looks like a classic case of the author being in love with their lore and world and wanting to share it with the reader. However, this doesn't detract too much from the story and I managed to look past my usual issues with the genre and become fully immersed. (It did take me a bit longer to dive in, though. If not this review would've come a lot sooner.)

The Characters make the story shine like the seductive night-time star this story is. Each of them has their own voice and personality and gets the reader well truly invested in their plight. 

BTI Penner

Lush Splendor with Long Shadows

Reviewed at: 6 ~ Larkspur ~ Poison

Regency romance with a heavy dose of ghostly dark. Pierre is a man living in two worlds, one as a healer of the sick and the others as a necromancer. A dealer in both the exemplary and the forbidden. Lady Mora also straddles both ends of a spectrum. At one end, she is the demon she started her existence as. She is also the god the afterlife needs. Elizabeth Anne seems to be a simpler character, but I suspect she has secrets of her own.

It's a story that has drawn me in with exquisite prose and realistic characters surrounded by the fantastic. I can't wait to see what happens next.

George Haufman

Wow, just wow! I love the way each character talks. It oozes a pompous charm. This is going on my reading list. The world seems interesting and the character have so much chemistry. Also death sounds kind of cute. :)

Joseph Feely

An impressive dark fantasy with a compelling MC

Reviewed at: 1 ~ Larkspur ~ Gala

The story grabs you from the start and is occasionally engaging in a jarring manner. It is a dark fantasy romance that always carries and air of mystery. It's pretty well-written and definitely a gem among the other dark fantasy entries here on RR. I think the way magic is used is unique and the main character is complex and layered--this is, for me, the ideal for keeping a narrative engaging for the reader. 


A Unique and Mysterious Read

Reviewed at: 6 ~ Larkspur ~ Poison

It is a mysterious and romantic Dark Fantasy, one written with solid prose and dialogues. The concept of spirits, necrocraft, and whatnot, basically the magic system, in general, is unique. With death as a concept being literally personified into a Lady, and as a potential suitor to gain supernatural powers, just like our mysterious main character, it definitely makes for a good read. It also seems to set up a much, much larger narrative that would bring even more exhilarating concepts and mysteries. 

Well recommended.


This is an excellent story and there is no denying the author has put a lot of love and time into it's construction. 

There are classic elements in the structure of the world that the author builds but they are blended with a unique touch and mystique that pulls the reader in. The details outlined with things such as necromancy show that the author has put a great deal of thought into how everything will work and what makes it truely unique to this world that we read of. It gave a whole additional layer for me as a reader to be interested about, for as the story progressed so to did my understanding of the world and my intrigue in the craft they describe. 

The story is one of romance, but to call it just that would be an injustice. Our protaganist has returned to his homestead and the company of a childhood friend to whom he appears smitten. But the spirit of death seems to have already claimed our main character and this mysterious ghostly spectre of a woman comes to him and holds sway over his actions. As far as a premise goes this is pretty damn good. Our main character is a necromancer of sorts though he is still going through the trails which that entails.

The story is linear and each chapter progresses with the different days for the most part. With so much going on in the first few chapters this works to keep things coherent and the consistency is nice to see as a reader. 

In the first few chapters we meet with only a few characters but everyone is well rounded and likeable. They all fit the setting well and have a clearly strong line for their development as the story progresses. Thus far my personal favorite is Ophion, who for the most part seems to understand the main character the most. The pair share a history in the same craft and while reading this gives him a lot of depth. Should his backstory be delved into further later in the book I would be delighted and if not then I very much would like to know more of this character. 

All in all this is a very well writen story, with some amazing detail and great characters. I highly recomend anyone curious to give it a read. 


An interesting, if dark, take on an old genre

Reviewed at: 6 ~ Larkspur ~ Poison

So I gave this story a try.

I've never been the sort to dive into romances, so I was initially a little worried that I'd have to slog through some overdone Twilight-esque teen cringefest. And... that never happened. Instead, what you have is the story of a young man coming to grips with his own powers; someone that puts on the appearance of being a kind protagonist, but through his actions proves that he truly isn’t. 

It’s a little strange, but right from the start there’s this feeling that the world is a whole lot bigger and more complicated than initially shown. 



Slow initially. I think the start is mostly setting up dominos for later, but there’s enough motion and action to keep things moving even as the initial world building and exposition is laid out.



Third Omniscient. Not my favourite, but pulled off well enough that I can’t find fault with it. It does give the narration a good deal of flexibility when introducing the world. Speaking of...



Developed as heck. I still have lots of questions about the world, but most of these might be answered later. We see things through the eyes of the nobility, so it’s perhaps natural that some little things are ignored. 



On the fence with this one. The characters seem damned well developed, and their voices and personalities shine through, yet I’d like to know a little more about their motivations. The main love interest is plain enough, but the main character wants to... do... something? It’s not clear yet. Still, there’s an obvious build towards something. 

Anywho. A decent read, a fresh take on not!vampires and a cool world with just a pinch of romance for the people that are into that. Give it a try!


I wish this was something I like to read...

Reviewed at: 4 ~ Larkspur ~ Fairies and Daimons

As many reviewers before me have mentioned this book is techinically very well done. The style of writing fits the narrative which leaves some archaic expressions in it which complement the topic.  

The interaction betwen the characters is very well defined and if I liked such literature whom I presume many enjoy I would strive to follow this book to wherever it may lead. 

Sadly as with jazz I can appreciate the effort but don't really enjoy it if I put a blunt analogy. 


TJ Reynolds

Stylish and well Polished Fiction

Reviewed at: 5 ~ Larkspur ~ Murder

Really enjoyed how much time and effort this author put into completing and cleaning up this draft. Rhythm and flow of wording was excellent. Also, the formatting and elements of style they added made the fiction seem already published. Well done.