(I thank Netgalley and 47North for sending me the ARC in exchange for my honest review)
Some books you know you’re going to love, just after having read the first sentence! That was the case with « The Serpent », which was an excellent read, and an excellent first book in The Immortal Dealers’ series.
I love urban fantasy and was quite peeved to see, some years ago, the genre withering, absorbed by the bitlitt one (vampire, sex, blood, and… more sex). So I’m always very pleased and excited to begin a good new series, inventive and clever, where sex and dominant kinds of relationship aren’t the fundamentals of the story.
I found only one weak point book in the book: the romance which, if sincere and credible, without instalove or heavy inappropriate sighs and sexe stuff, didn’t touch me very much. As its development is discrete during the book, I didn’t mind it at all but it could maybe have been for complex? (for one point, I believe that a romance between a young person and one who looks young but is very old should be nearly impossible, and treated as such by the author. But then, it’s not a romance and the two protagonists are loveable).
I could have read it in one sitting if I’ve had the time! The main character is endearing and, very importantly for a fantasy story, keeps her priorities straight. She never conveniently forgets what would be crucial for a person in her situation in real life. This fact is no detail for me and made for a very satisfying read.
The magic is very cool! The main idea is brilliant and original (it was for me anyway) with precise rules cleverly used for a maximum of interest and unexpected development. I loved that magic was not to be learned in books but by practicing it, using one’s instinct and creativity. The animals’ part in the magic was great too, quite fun and surprising, and Ernie’s relationship with err… not a fluffy bunny was just great! (yes; better than the one with the love interest, now you mention it ^-^)
The end of the book ends nicely, opening for a second book I’ll be happy to read!