If you enjoy a little bit of dark humor alongside your fantasy, this is a story for your. But it deals with a particuarly mature theme that is tough for a lot of people, so make sure to check your trigger warnings.

About the Book

Behind a veil of treachery and haunted bones, a dragon curse is about to set the world ablaze…

Dragons didn’t exist until recently.

Neither did traitors, until Miriam Huckerpucker started nosing around in The Vault where she and the other undeads are holed up when they are not out in the countryside picking up haunted bones, which is what they do for an unliving.

For Miriam, who has been in the game for a while, with a refined skill set in magic spelling and swordy gymnastics and mourning classes, the hard part is not bone picking but catching homing pigeons which like all living beings don’t fancy the undead at all.

When no pigeons arrive from the undead expedition to barbarian lands, where the first known dragon’s bones lay waiting, Miriam suspects a traitor is messing about with the pigeon post.

Mustering someone who is literally dying to get a new occupation and also getting an undead dog into the bargain, her investigations unravel a sinister plot far bigger than The Vault.

My Thoughts

Apparently, I have a bad habit of half-reading blurbs/emails, whatever it is that I get about books. I mean, some people really like to go in blind, maybe that can be my excuse x. It’s not, but we’ll pretend. I liked the blurb but didn’t notice that the genre was humorous fantasy. I would have signed up faster!!

Based on the blurb, which you can read on slide three, I would have known it had some elements of dark comedy, especially with the genre, and that’s pretty much an auto-read for me. Can dark comedy go wrong? Absolutely. But when it goes right, oh boy, it is so incredibly awesome! Hmmm… now I feel a weird need to re-evaluate some things about myself. But, dark romance is super popular right now, so I’m just going to lean in here. x

Speaking of which, if you’re up for a little comedic, sweet romance a la something akin to Warm Bodies, except everyone can talk but the dog, this features more than one budding romance. The relationships, whether romantic, professional, or friendly, were extremely well structured. The strange situation in which these individuals find themselves lends toward strange relationships, and that absolutely shows. I don’t want to spoil anything, but among my favorite characters were Miriam, Crazyjones, Cirrikan, Mister Hunt, Raithea, and, of course, Tenderloin. And no, I didn’t just name the entire cast of characters.

The magical system, especially the ranking system, was super cool! I enjoyed the “hinges” and the consequences of bad behavior and when recruits tried to go somewhere they shouldn’t. The required classes were neat and helpful to world-building. I am so looking forward to the sequels!

I’m so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me on this tour!

Question of the Day

Are you a fan of undead stories? Do you have a preferred type of undead creature?

Who’s It For?

If you enjoy dark humor and fantasy, this is a great book for you. However, it deals with some very mature and intense topics, so please check the Content Warnings. To be extra careful, it deals with some triggers that sometimes can be triggering even to be read in content warnings – so if you have some of those – please be extra forewarned! Except for that – which is unfortunately a big premise in the book – this is a great read for fantasy and comedy lovers!

Content Warnings: Murder, Death, Suicide, Gore, Adult Situations, Adult Language, Fear, Dark Humour

About the Author

Everybody makes a story about themselves. Here is my take:

I started out

1) as a kid telling myself stories using my imagination, then

2) growing up to tell stories to others as a gamemaster (which I still do), then

3) getting sucked most unwilling into occult stuff (the flip side of quantum physics?), escaping that to

4) hesitantly get an education in programming, then

5) surviving dull years surrounded by the machines that go ping and keeping the weekends occupied by reading and being artful and conjuring exhaustion for the work week, then

6) saying enough is enough and submitting myself to another long streak of education, this time in art, where I started out painting (and still do) but graduated in spontaneous storytelling (or bearing witness to my imaginary worlds if you want a fancy way of saying it) then

7) start writing down these stories instead of telling them to an audience, ending up like

1) the kid I began as, telling myself stories using my imagination…

…which is the nation I prefer to be in (after doing my stint of travelling abroad) and where I go by the name of Astor Y Teller.

The rest of me can be gleaned from the books and if not, it’s not worth telling.