Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Release Date: November 16th, 2018
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy
My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: Loved it, new all-time favorite!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When I found myself facing down the scariest black-magic felon in the city, practically daring him to abduct me, I had to wonder exactly how I ended up here.
It all started when I accidentally landed a job as a bartender—but not at a bar. At a guild, populated by mages, sorcerers, alchemists, witches, and psychics. Good thing this lame-o human is adaptable, right?
Then my favorite guild members—three sexy, powerful, and intermittently charming mages—asked for my help. Did they want access to my encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails? Oh no. They wanted to wrap me up in a pretty ribbon and plunk me in the crosshairs of a murderous rogue to lure him out of hiding.
So that’s what we did. And that’s why I’m here. About to be kidnapped. Oh, and our grand plan for safely capturing said murderous rogue? Yeah, that completely fell apart about two minutes ago.
Why did I agree to this again?
Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.
Tori has no problem getting herself into trouble in every book in the Guild Codex series, but each one is a complete adventure—no cliffhanger endings.
MY THOUGHTS (SPOILER-FREE):
Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Annette Marie has done it again. Scratch that, Annette Marie has outdone herself. AGAIN. Now, I loved the first book in this series, Three Mages and A Margarita. But I wasn’t IN LOVE with it either. Three Mages took me for a fun ride. It was a humor-filled, fast-paced and sexy urban fantasy that I rated a solid four stars. It definitely outdid my expectations, but I still wasn’t expecting to be as obsessed with the series as I am with Annette’s other series. And then along came Dark Arts and a Daiquiri, the second book, and BAM. Out come the five star ratings. Because oh my, am I obsessed now! Why? Because Dark Arts took everything I liked in Three Mages and added MORE of it. Let me sum up:
More laugh-out-loud humor. Our main character, Tori, is hilarious! Personally, she’s my least relatable Annette Marie heroine (I’m probably more of a mix of Emi and Clio), so at first, I thought I would get frustrated with Tori’s impulsiveness and hot-headedness. But in reality, I am throughly entertained by her. I love being in Tori’s head. I love watching her experiences, and though part of me is thinking “Girl, what are you even doing?”, another part is just sitting back with some popcorn and enjoying the show, because one thing’s for sure: Tori will make you laugh. Out loud. Whether it’s her own sassy way of seeing the world or just the situations she gets herself into, the girl is a lot of fun!
More intricate worldbuilding. Three Mages introduced us to a whole new world. It explained the basic rules and set up the main players of this magical world. It was wonderful, but it was also just an introduction. The fun part about this world is that there is SO MUCH to still discover and we got to start that discovery with Dark Arts. And I do mean start, because this was just the tip of the iceberg. And I am so here for that, because I can’t wait to learn more of this world that feels so vividly real and is slowly becoming yet another one of my favorite fictional worlds out there.
More intriguing characters. You didn’t think it would stop at the aforementioned three mages, now did you? Well, to be honest, I kind of did. I mean, when you already have three amazing multi-dimensional and intriguing characters such as Aaron, Ezra and Kai, I thought that would be it. And I would have been more than happy and content with just them. So at first, when this book took a step away from my favorite three mages, I was hesitant. Really hesitant. But then Annette introduces us to The Ghost, another character who may or may not have kind of stolen the show from our mages. And while I was happy to be reunited with our mages near the end of the book (and that we had those awesome Kai moments I’ve been missing in book one), I hope our new character also sticks around. Perhaps as a potential love interest? I wouldn’t be opposed to that at all…
I loved this book. I loved it so much, I immediately re-read it a second time after finishing it. As a matter of fact, I now consider myself obsessed. Seriously, February and the release of Two Witches and a Whiskey can’t come fast enough. So if you’re looking for a new urban fantasy read, something filled with fantastical creatures, firecracker heroines, vivid and intriguing (and sexy) characters and lots and lots of humor, I strongly urge you to try The Guild Codex series. You won’t regret it.
Check out Dark Arts yourself:
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.