In Old London, where paranormal races co-exist with ordinary humans, criminal verdicts delivered by the all-seeing Heralds of Justice are infallible. After a man is declared guilty of murder and sentenced to death, his daughter turns to private investigator Yannia Wilde to do the impossible and prove the Heralds wrong.
Yannia has escaped a restrictive life in the Wild Folk conclave where she was raised, but her origins mark her as an outsider in the city. Those origins lend her the sensory abilities of all of nature. Yet Yannia is lonely and struggling to adapt to life in the city. The case could be the break she needs. She enlists the help of her only friend, a Bird Shaman named Karrion, and together they accept the challenge of proving a guilty man innocent.
So begins a breathless race against time and against all conceivable odds. Can Yannia and Karrion save a man who has been judged infallibly guilty?
Paperback released 8th November 2018 by Louise Walters Books
Available to buy here or at your local bookshop.
I would class this book as Paranormal Crime meets Urban fantasy, not genres I typically read from but after being sent this and reading the blurb I felt intrigued, especially by the Wild Folk element. As a nature lover myself I think there’s a part of me that always feels a wild affinity with the outdoors, even when the human world tries to tame us, so I felt a rapport with the main character, female protagonist Yannia. I am so pleased I chose to give this book a try as it was thrilling, gripping, vibrant and ingenious.
Yannia is haunted by memories of her upbringing in the Wild Folk conclave, where her choices were limited and her suffering unbearable. Torn between a painful past with her own kind and living as an outsider, she tries to survive as a private investigator in the city, but finds something more important along her journey.
Yannia is hired for a seemingly impossible job, to find an unquestionable judgment to be false. The judgement in question is a guilty verdict of murder passed by the infallible Heralds; otherworldly beings who know all truths and serve judgement over all humans and magical folk, this is how they live in a relatively tolerant coexistence. Time is against her and her newly appointed apprentice (and only friend) Karrion to find out the truth, but they soon find that so much is at stake on this dangerous quest.
I admired the bravery and innovation of Yannia and her magic, along with the banter with loyal Karrion; this was an unusual but equally brilliant partnership that provides the backbone of a compelling series that I am looking forward to reading more of. Similarly, the characters of Wisheart and Lady Bergamon were delightful and I hope will feature more in the following books.
With the phenomenal descriptions of the enhanced senses that Yannia borrows thanks to her magic, you can picture the scenes and characters vividly. There was also some of the most accurate descriptions of decomposition/crime scene analysis that I have read in a book (gruesome in parts, but death isn’t like it looks in Silent Witness). The themes of loyalty, loss, honour and duty run throughout the plot, which keeps you guessing and provides an exhilarating conclusion.
Many thanks to Louise Walters and the author for sending me a copy of this book to review in my own words.