My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: Marrow Charm
Author: Kristin Jacques
Format: eBook (NetGalley)
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Categories: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult, Horror,
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
‘In his pursuit of the occult, the Third Reich opened the Gate to a realm of magic and brought the world to ruin. The Gate was eventually closed, but They were already in our world and They were hungry.’
-The Lost History, Library of Avergard
Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.
Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.
The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.
And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.
Thank you to The Parliament House and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.
I requested this book on NetGalley because of the cover, I love it. I guess I’m in a very dark mood lately with the change in seasons coming. The blurb sounded fascinating, and I love the words around the title, “as above, so below”. I have to say that intrigued me. By the way, I am NOT a horror fan usual, but I love this book.
The book blurb begins with some lost history of Avergard, but I forgot about the blurb when I started reading and I don’t remember anything about the Third Reich being mentioned in the story, unless I just missed it? 🤔 What did catch my attention was the writing. This is a beautifully told story, the words seeming effortless to describe this detailed world of the Above and Below. But let me just say, this is a dark tale.
The world in Marrow Charm is divided into the Above and the Below. Azure, or Azzy, has always lived below. And ohhhh boy did I not want to live there with her. Azzy grew up hearing about the monsters that live Above. But…as above, so below. There are scary things below! I was terrified for her life! And mine…even though I didn’t live there. 😂 Now I was trying to figure how to categorize this book…fantasy? But it seemed post-apocalyptic as well, so it is an interesting mix of both I suppose.
The world building is detailed and there was always something new to learn up until the last chapters when we actually get to Avergard. For most of the story we navigate the Below and Above with Azzy, as she tries to find her brother Armin. The separate journeys of Azzy and Armin in this book is harrowing, painful, suspenseful, and heart-breaking. But it’s not only Azzy and Armin trying to find their way, we meet secondary characters along the way that make this tale feel so rich with personalities, danger, mistrust, and hope.
Did I already mention this is dark? There is violence. There is a lot of blood, and despair and but I believed in Azzy. That girl is a survivor with powers we don’t fully understand yet. She is so determined to find her brother and I have to hope she will. And speaking of powers, this is a world of magic, especially in the Above where it seems valued in Avergard. Below, having skills like being an apothecary was very important. I loved learning about Brixby and his skill as an apothecary.
The story is emotional due to the relationship between Azzy and Armin. You can feel the love between them as siblings and I just pray Azzy can reunite with Armin. I just want it all to work out in the end for these characters I fell in love with. Is there a romance? A slight infusion of it with Azzy and a journey companion she meets. I hope to see where that storyline goes.
The story ends in the city of Avergard and once more I feel like there will be a lot to learn about this city. There is so much to uncover in this world of Marrow Charm, it seems to be unending, which I love. I love the layers I got to dig into with this story. I can’t wait to read the next book!
There are witches, shape shifters, high lords that rule with fear and we will most definitely learn more about them in the sequel. The thing I need in the sequel is to know the history of The Gate. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and went looking to see where I could find a hardcopy or paperback for my shelf but so far I only see it in ebook form? It’s an amazing book and I look forward to reading more from this author.