Title: Damned Souls and a Sangria (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #8)
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Release Date: October 2nd, 2020
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
NEW ALL TIME FAVORITE!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Once upon a time, I was your average spunky redhead with the lamest employment history ever, a shaky relationship with my only family member, and no idea what I was doing with my life.
Now, I’m a pseudo mythic with the best bartending job in the world, the most amazing (and hot) best friends I never knew I needed, and a guild of misfit magic-users who’ve become my extended family.
And I’m about to lose it all.
In my desperation to save Ezra, I stumbled into a web of ruthless deception—and seriously pissed off a sleeping hydra. Now its every murderous head is turned toward me and my guild, and I don’t know how to stop it. I’m not sure I can.
I’m not sure anyone can.
But if we don’t, we’re all doomed—Ezra, Aaron, Kai, and my beloved guild.
THE GUILD CODEX
Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)
Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)
Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)
Demon Magic and a Martini (#4)
The Alchemist and an Amaretto (#5)
Druid Vices and a Vodka (#6)
Lost Talismans and a Tequila (#7)
Damned Souls and a Sangria (#8)
Taming Demons for Beginners (#1)
Slaying Monsters for the Feeble (#2)
Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped (#3)
Delivering Evil for Experts (#4)
Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors (#1)
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.
“Vh’renith vē thāit.”
The unfamiliar words rasped from his throat. “Never forget.”
“Victory or death. I’ll remember.”
I can’t believe we’re at the end of this journey that was started over two years ago. I remember starting off this series a little hesitant, even despite my love for everything else I read by Annette Marie before that. Before starting Three Mages, I remember a tiny voice in the back of my head that said: “Uh, urban fantasy? Fiery readhead? Three cocky guys? Episodic series instead of overarching plot? Am I sure I will like this, because it doesn’t really sound like my cup of tea…?”
And yet, two years later, here we are. Having now finished the series, I can safely say this is one of my favorite series of all-time. I adore every moment in it, and it has been an absolutely brilliant, funny, heart wrenching and heartwarming ride from start to finish. Every single new book in the series surpassed the previous one and my ratings couldn’t follow since I already rated them a full 5 stars from early on. I have come to love this world and its characters so much and I’m not gonna lie – finishing this final book came with some waterworks. Though on the bright side: even if Tori’s story is now finished, there is still more to discover in this world and more characters to fall in love with and I am ready for all of it.
How do I even begin to review this finale? (Side note: I am writing this review just half an hour after finishing the book, so my thoughts are still a bit in the waterworks phase. But hey, raw and unabridged reviews are the best, right?)
Finales are tricky. They have a lot of pressure on them. They need to be well-paced and balance intense action, high stakes and conclusions to character arcs beautifully. It’s not often that a finale manages to hit all the marks. And yet, this finale did just that. This final installment in Tori’s story was epic, edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting brilliance. I finished it in two sittings (would have been one if I didn’t need sleep but alas, I do) and my last thought before falling asleep and first thought after waking up was about the story. So here’s why this finale was so epic, as concise as possible to avoid spoilers:
The edge-of-your-seat tension. Look, shit hit the fan. And the pace is so fast that the twists and turns and shocks keep coming and I was just a gasping mess that was fearing and rooting and screaming for the safety of my beloved characters.
The characters, main and secondary alike. If there is one thing that has come back in all my reviews to date, it is how much I love these characters. Most importantly, Tori and her three mages and their bond. If all four of them are together, the scenes just have an extra oomph as their friendship chemistry is one of the best I’ve ever read. And this finale delivered on that end. But not just on them. There were other characters that had some spotlight and I rooted for them all. Though some character appearances had me screaming even more than any other and all I can say is “Wow” and “Thank you” for those scenes because again, PERFECTION!
The romance. Obviously I’m not going into details here because that would veer into major spoiler territory, but this conclusion was satisfying, emotional, and quite honestly, sexy as hell.
So yeah, come find me when you read the book because I WANT TO RAVE AND RAVE but spoilers keep me from doing it in this review.
Though I’m sad to see this series come to an end, I am now also even more excited for Robin’s finale, more Warped and the newly announced (ahh, so excited!) Unveiled series!
So read this series. You won’t regret it. It won me over quickly and made me fall in total love with its world, its characters, its friendship, its magic, its action and its humor and I’m absolutely certain it can do the same to you!
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.
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The end of a long series is always bittersweet but I’m glad you loved it so much!
It’s totally bittersweet, but we’ve also been spoiled that we got an 8-book series in just 2 years’ time (instead of 8 years or more haha) so I’m definitely happy too 🙂
Lindsey!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssss. I agree with EVERYTHING! I was so happy to read this book, read your review and FINALLY have someone to fangirl with! Gah! I’m basically revamping my blog slowly JUST BECAUSE I need to rave about this more. 🙂
OMG DI, I can’t believe it’s over already, it feels like this series has been a part of my life for so long and yet it’s only been two years! SO happy you enjoyed this finale too and ah I’m so happy I got to fangirl about this series with you! 🙂 You’re revamping your blog? Ah that’s great news, I missed you around the blogosphere for sure <3