Smoke and Ritual Book Cover Smoke and Ritual
Beautiful Dark Beasts, Book 1
Melissa Sercia
Mataphysical, Fantasy, Suspense, Shifters, Vampires
City Owl Press
May 5, 2020

The voices haunt her…

Their whispers taunt her with a war she never wanted…

But Arya Frost has more to contend with than the cryptic voices disturbing her sleep.

Protected inside the haven of Sanctum after losing both her parents in the Blood War a decade ago, Arya is different from other witches. She’s the only witch without a coven.

Or so she thinks. 

As her powers accelerate, so do the revelations about her true lineage.

Destined to become the Aether—a witch who can control all four elements—the Elemental covens want her magic, power she didn’t even know she had.

And when the sexy and mysterious god, Chaos shows up, Arya’s place in the world is put even more at risk.

But learning who and what she is, and how to wield her power only tips the surface of the battle raging inside her. She’ll have to find a way to awaken her magic, deal with her growing attraction to Chaos, all while being thrust into the middle of a magical feud that has been building for centuries.

The Blood War might be over, but the war between witches is just beginning.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Arya Frost lost her parents when she was eleven years old and was sent to Sanctum, a safe harbor for witches and other creatures. As a witch she is without a coven since her mother made her promise to never go near the Sylph, coven of her birth. Arya has always felt lost, never fitting in and her only two friends are another witch Sapphire and a lupi wolf Diego. She has kept a secret even from those she feels the closest to, she has wings and is a Sylph witch and when the god Chaos comes to Sanctum her world as she knows it will be forever changed.

Another war is on the horizon and only the Aether, the witch who alone can control all four elements, wind, water, wind, and earth can save everyone and that witch is Arya. A witch who couldn’t make a simple potion is now the one everyone is counting on to save them. She needs to release her ancestors from purgatory but first her magic has to be awakened and that will require a journey to other covens who may or may not be willing to help. She also has to survive her Aunt Echo’s determination to put an end to her and it will take her friends, Chaos and a dhampir Seven to keep her safe and help her awaken her magic.

When Sanctum is attacked by harpies there is no time to waste, Arya must become the Aether and has to overcome the doubt and fear that she has. With Seven’s magic ship, a ship able to travel at super speeds they go on an adventure that could turn out good or very, very bad. It is during their travels that Chaos and Arya’s relationship changes, but he is a god and she is a witch and it seems that was exactly what created all the problems that the witches are facing.

It is not often that I give five stars to a book with a cliffhanger, in fact it happens rarely. I usually read reviews for the sole purpose of discovering whether a book is a cliffhanger and if it is I usually pass it up, but in this case, by the time I did read the reviews I was too hooked. Unlike some cliffhangers this one has a satisfactory ending and just leaves you knowing that a new danger is coming, a new adventure for Arya to face, an adventure I look forward to reading and hopefully sooner rather than later.

I highly recommend this book and even if you, like me, hate cliffhangers don’t miss this book it has everything, sex, romance, betrayal, violence, magic, lots of magic and a story where you watch a young woman who always questioned who she was discover the truth, a truth she never expected and one she has to learn to accept.