Series: The Malykant Mysteries #1
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Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt's Justice. No mercy. No quarter.
Out in the mists of the Bone Forest lies the body of Lady Navdina Rostikova. Wealthy, beautiful and well-liked, she was at the forefront of high society in the city of Ekamet. But somebody wanted her dead. Who wielded the poisoned knife that slew her ladyship? Konrad must discover the killer - and quickly, for The Malykt is not a patient god.
Aided by a pair of ghostly familiars, Konrad begins to investigate the truth about Navdina's life. But matters grow dangerously complicated when his identity is discovered, and the hunter finds himself hunted.
And there's a beautiful, interfering apothecary who insists on getting in his way...
This 26,000 word novella (approx. 100 print pages) is the first story in the Malykant Mysteries series.
So this was extremely short, but absolutely delightful. There was a melancholy tone to English’s writing that ensnared me rather quickly. Given that and the fact the main character acts on behalf of Death is pretty nifty. This reads primarily as a mystery with a nice dose of fantasy. I found the balance wonderful.
The world is slowly revealed. I like how things evolve very naturally. There was no long winded backstory, but we received wonderful hints that there is more to our main character and world than what we were provided.
Konrad’s ability with the ethereal plane, his two ghostly type servants, and his connection with the God of Death make him a fun character to follow. Except for one short chapter, we’re in his PoV. It kept me close to him and his quiet personality, creating a nice connection to him rather quickly. We’ve just gotten a glimpse into Konrad’s life—which is part servant to the God of Death and part aristocrat, a combination I enjoyed—and there is a promise of much more to come in future books. I must say, I’m already hooked and plan on reading the next book very soon. Since they are short, it makes them great reads to fit in between my longer ones, something light to whisk me away from reality for a short time.
The main female character is another delight. She’s not afraid and challenges Konrad’s secrecy. She gets herself in a world of trouble and I was happy to see her try to work her way out of it instead of tumbling into a ball of tears. I actually found her to be extremely interesting. There’s a quirkiness to her that adds some good depth to her character.
I would have liked a bit more description on some of the sensations Konrad was feeling. Some scenes seemed a bit glossed over in that aspect. Otherwise, I had a good picture in my head and was along for the ride. I read it in one evening. Once I got a quarter way into it, there was no chance I was putting it down. Things moved at a wonderful speed. Since we’re learning about Konrad, the God of Death, and the city with each scene, it made them more important and held my attention. Again, the benefit of not doing back story.
For me, the writing was fluid and kept me in my beloved reading trance. While I don’t think it was earth-shattering, it certainly held my interest and was smooth enough that I didn’t get hung up on verbiage or the prose. My only complaint is one I had a book or two ago: single quotations vs double. It’s just taxing on my eyes. However, this is the third book I’ve read like this, so I guess I just need to get over it.
So overall, I recommend this book. Especially if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read.