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Review of The Ivanov Diamond by Charlotte E. English

Review of The Ivanov Diamond by Charlotte E. EnglishThe Ivanov Diamond by Charlotte E. English
Series: The Malykant Mysteries #2
on 2012-06-14
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 84

Author WebsiteAmazoniBooksBarnes&Noble

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.

Konrad is called to the death scene of a simple baker, and he can’t understand why. According to appearances, Pietr Orlov’s death was a natural one. Except there’s one problem: there’s no sign of his ghost. When two more bodies turn up with missing souls, Konrad knows he’s got a strange case on his hands.

But what could possibly connect the deaths of a baker, a manservant and a rich merchant’s wife? With the city police busy with the theft of a great diamond, Konrad must rely on the help of his one true friend to solve the case.

But when he begins to see links between the three murders and the theft of the diamond, he realises this case is more serious than he thought. With time running out, he must find the perpetrator and exact his vengeance - before a still worse crime is committed.

For me, this book took the slightest step back from the first one. If I would’ve started with this book, I wouldn’t have been so eager to pick up the second. Why? Well . . .

Unlike the first one, there was a bit of info dumping. Throughout. While I can swallow it in the beginning, when it crept up later on it bothered me. Now, this info dumping was simply a reminder of certain facts we learned in book one. Honestly, some of it was said a few times, so it was reiterated info dumping with no real reason. The facts weren’t that hard to remember. Shame. It weighed down the story quite a bit, for me.

Also lacking was a sense of Konrad’s mystery. We (Konrad and the reader) were the only ones who knew who he was, and in the second book it feels like his secret isn’t that big of a secret. It’s lost some of its power. In doing so, it’s taken away that darker side to Konrad that I so loved in the first book. He’s lightened up.

In the first book, we had a nice level of fear for Konrad’s safety. He was being followed, and it heaped on piles of investment for me. With this book, I never, ever, felt like Konrad was in trouble. Because of this lack of suspense, I wasn’t as invested in him.

Lastly, I felt the writing lost a bit of the edge I liked in the first book. This felt a bit more happy. I don’t mind happy. I guess I was drawn in so much with English’s melancholy notes in the first book that I expected it in this one. Book two just feels lighter.

Now, on to what I still enjoyed. I loved reading about the spirit world and Konrad’s role in it. It does a nice job of adding that fantasy element that can ensnare me pretty quickly into a story. I’m sad we didn’t see more of Konrad’s serpents in this book. I really did enjoy them in the last book.

New to this book was a bit more banter between Konrad and Nanda. While it did add to the lighter tone, I enjoyed reading it and watching their relationship grow a bit. It made the ending more impactful, though I would have liked to spend a bit more time with Konrad in the end, which, sadly, felt rushed.

Overall, the story was still a mystery at its core with spoonfuls of fantasy. Despite my complaints, I’ll continue on because I’m curious about Konrad and Nanda’s past, I love the spirits and Malykt, and I just enjoy the little escapes the series is providing me.

About Charlotte E. English

I was born in Lincoln, an ancient city in (just about) the north of England. I lived for many years among the numerous historic buildings and Roman remains of Lindum Colonia, as it was once known. I’ve also lived out in the East Anglian countryside in farmhouses that crumbled a little more by the hour, and gave off the impression of being soundly haunted.

I’ve loved reading since I was a young child. In fact, it’s fair to say that I spent most of my teenage years living in books. When a person spends that much time dreaming in text, taking up writing is the only logical onward step. I like to write fantasy fiction the most, because it gives me all the scope I could wish for to exercise my powerful (and overindulged) imagination. I also love historical fiction – I can probably thank those years in Lincoln for that.

I live in North Holland these days, among the windmills and the cheese farms and the clear waterways. For the past couple of years I’ve dedicated most of my time to writing professionally, and I have a growing list of published titles as a result. Please check out my books page for more details.

On this blog I write about books quite a lot. I also write periodically about my other hobbies, which include baking and cooking, sewing, walking, text-based games and playing with my two crazy cats.

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