I’ll admit, I’m not head over heels in love with the cover, even though it makes a whole lot of sense. And for the story, well, read my review to see what I think of it.
A Feast of Phantoms (Lingua Magika, #1) by Kat Ross released in February in the Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk genre.
THE JOB It was supposed to be simple. Help Marshal Sebastian Hardin escort his prisoner one stop on the railway to Charter Oak. Just one stop. But when that prisoner is a savant who talks to ghosts, even the simplest plans have a way of falling apart.
THE LAW Sheriff’s Deputy Ruth Cortez always does the right thing. Lucky Boy is a company town, dependent on the rich and powerful Carnarvon family. Besides which, the charismatic Sebastian Hardin isn’t an easy man to say no to. When his transport derails in the middle of the prairie, Ruth begins a relentless manhunt that leads straight into the dark heart of the Carnarvon empire.
THE FUGITIVE Lee Merriweather favors sharp suits and fast trains – especially when he’s stealing them. At the ripe old age of 18, he’s managed to become the most wanted criminal in three territories. Lee can’t resist playing cat and mouse with a small-town deputy, but what starts as a game becomes deadly serious.
THE FIXER Sebastian Hardin is the Carnarvons’ right hand, loyal to the death and willing to keep any secret to protect the family. They want Lee alive, but with the young savant’s disturbing abilities it won’t be an easy proposition. Whoever catches Lee gets the keys to the kingdom and the Carnarvons aren’t the only ones hunting him down. Sebastian has enough problems without falling for Deputy Cortez – but you can’t always choose who you love.
THE PHANTOMS They terrorized the settlers until Calindra Carnarvon learned to speak their language. Her empire relies on controlling their telekinetic powers, but Lee Merriweather could destroy it all. And not even Lee suspects the shocking truth of the phantoms’ real nature.
Lingua Magika is Kat’s latest series, a fast-paced Western steampunk fantasy with a dash of romance and adventure! A Feast of Phantoms is Book #1, with at least two more to follow.
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I’m a Kat Ross’ fan. Can’t help it, and she earned it with every book of hers I read. Even with this one that, at first, left me a bit, well, confused.
Let’s start with the characters.
I liked Ruth, but I couldn’t really live this adventure through her. Maybe it’s because she was so young, or maybe because I was so engrossed by this new world I was stepping into (a world I knew, because it’s set in the Old West, but I didn’t know, because the author gave it some major re-designing). Still, I enjoyed looking at what Ruth was doing, and she could be easily one of my favorite heroines. Come to think of it, this Author’s heroines are all my favorites. They can be young, they can be somehow naïve, or, like in this case, so very good. But man, they are as ballsy and smart as they come.
Sebastian. I liked him. I liked his loyalty, and I’m very curious to see if this trait will be tested and how hard. And in case this loyalty turns out to be ill-given, I want to see how he reacts. Like Ruth did, I thought Sebastian was a lot older, and in my mind I pictured Clark Gable. I’ll keep that image, anyway.
Doc was, hands down, one of my favorite characters. I wonder if there’s more to it/him than what we are being told up to now, and what its/his role will be. It/he had a big part in the story already, and I want to see if there’s an evolution within him/it or not.
The Carnarvons are creepy. There’s so much more about them we need to know and runs below the surface. But yeah, creepy is what came to mind. Is Ava really good? I don’t trust her.
Lee Merriweather. We’ll have to see about him. He’s supposed to be the bad guy, and sure he’s not good. But. If I learned something about Kat Ross’ stories is, no surprise is ever big enough. You always get one that’s bigger than what you thought you were gonna get. So, I hold my judgement.
All the characters’ traits are well defined, and for now they are all acting accordingly to who they are.
Romance is nearly non-existent in this first part of the story. I do think Lee has a crush on Ruth, and I wouldn’t have known Sebastian has feelings for her if it wasn’t for the synopsis. He is the kind of man who keeps his cards close. On the other hand, I know she’s crushing on him. Darn it, but maybe I am too, a little (Gabriel is still my #1 though).
The way I lived this book is, it’s a preparation (which is what gave me this sense of confusion. I guess it’s what Kat wanted). The author is setting the stage for what’s to come and all the things we’ll discover. Everything is hinted – what the family really is and does, the phantoms, the characters’ relationship. No answer is given, or not all the way through. Those answers only write more question marks, I’m afraid. But by now I know the people, I know the game, and I know the landscape where the game will be played.
It’s not, and it’s not meant to be, a story (note: I’m talking about a story, not a book) you’ll gulp down and digest in one go. You’ll need all the books the Author has in her quill (or keyboard). You’re entering a new reality, a new adventure, and you have to trust Kat she’s going to take us places, and she’s going to give us answers. At the right time.
This review is part of a Tour. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2020/02/07/tour-sign-up-the-prisoner-of-carnarvon-by-kat-ross/).
AUTHOR BIO:Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.
Giveaway:Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
- The new ebook Boxed Set of the first five Gaslamp Gothic books