Monday, 19 December 2016

Book Review: Ancient Magic by Linsey Hall (Dragon's Gift #1)

I’m good at two things: finding treasure and killing demons. Lying low is a close third—but not because I want to be good at hiding. I have to be. I’m a FireSoul, one of the unlucky few to inherit a piece of the dragon’s soul. Being born with the dragon’s covetousness should be a sweet gig - I have the power to find and steal any type of treasure, including the powers of other supernaturals.

But it doesn’t come without a price - stealing powers requires that I kill, and others would destroy me if they discover what I am. In a world full of magic, hiding my species is the only way to survive. Finding magical artifacts is the only way to pay the bills. It’s a dangerous job when you can barely use your magic, but that’s one of the things I like about it.

When Aidan Merrick, the most powerful shifter in the city, hired me to find an ancient scroll, I didn’t want to take the job. His immense amount of power reminds me of too much of murky memories from a past I can’t remember. But I don’t have a choice. The scroll reveals what I am. And if anyone finds out, I’m dead.

My Review: 
Three young women wake up in a field with amnesia, running away from something. Declaring themselves sisters and uncovering their powers, they suspect they are Fire Souls, connected to dragons and can steal the powers of others by killing them. Now ten years later it appears that their secret is in danger, their lives written on asupernatural scroll, and Cass is willing to do anything to destroy it and save her family.

I liked the prologue, meeting the girls when they first discovered that they had power. Nix the conjurer, Del the transporter and Cass the mirror mage who can copy others magic and use it, with little control of it. The girls set up a business stealing magical items for clients and Cass tries not to use her power, worried that her control issues will alert the wrong people. When a demon knows what she is and Aiden, a powerful supernatural asks her to steal the scroll for him, Cass is in a panic about what the scroll says and who else knows about them. Now Aiden and Cass have to work together to find the scroll while Cass plots how to hide her power and get the scroll away from her partner without him reading it.

I liked Cass. She is tough but her soft spot is her family and she will do everything she can to protect them. I liked her dragon side emerging in her desire to hoard treasure she finds on her travels, hiding it in a secret place in her home and feeling safe and happy when she is with her collection. She is afraid of her powers and won't use them unless in very life threatening situations as she fears attracting attention, and she can't practice her control for the same reason. Her sisters are both good fun and I liked seeing more of them toward the end of the book as the main focus is on Aiden and the quest. I also liked the side characters Claire and Connor, who appear a few times.

One of the reasons that I hesitated in reading this book was the fear of romance, which I try to avoid most of the time. There is a bit of the instaluv in the immediate attraction that Cass feels to Aiden but I was able to put that to one side as they are too busy on the quest to really explore their attraction, other than in words and feelings. The romance element sort of hangs in the air above them but it isn't the dominant storyline so it didn't actually bother me. It also helps when I like both characters and Aiden is not a rude, macho moron, which makes a pleasant change, so I liked him as an MC. 

The plot itself is a sort of Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider type story with demons so they have to negotiate a few challenges to find where the scroll is in a race against the demons who are also searching for it. I liked the interesting uses of magic, power and shapeshifting on the quest which made the plot interesting. It has a good mix of action and conversation and decent characters that were nicely developed. I liked the way the author told the story and I am interested enough to read further in the series to see what happens next.

Read October 2016.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png


  1. Sounds like a solid read and the cover really does catch my eye. I'll have to see what you think about the next one and then maybe I will give them a go!

    1. The story was certainly solid and I liked the characters. When that happens I don't mind romance being added to the story. It's why I can enjoy Patricia Briggs and Kelley Armstrong, but don't like where romance dominates everything else. There also appears to be another series focused on her sister so I assume a third series for the third sister will follow. I'm interested enough to check them out!