‘A lonely girl in a necromancy-hating world trying to avoid a good-old fashioned stake burning whilst also avoiding her sexy fae stalker? Just a walk in the park for funeral director and closet ghost magnet, Victoria Cage.’
Surviving the near-genocide of her kind, Victoria Cage is one of the world’s few remaining necromancers. To stay alive, she hides in plain sight by running the funeral home that’s been in her family for generations.
When a murder victim reanimates on her embalming table, Victoria—‘Tori’—has two choices: ignore the spirit’s plea for help or try to catch the killer.
Drawn into a mystery involving child trafficking, a dark court fairy named Blackthorn, and a mysterious half-brother with a twisted sense of humor, Tori soon finds she’s knee-deep in a cocktail of blood magic, death power, and fae meddling.
With things getting messier by the minute, Tori realizes that this time things are different, and solving someone’s unfinished business might change everything for her, including the powers she’s still learning to master.
But when a spirit comes knocking, what’s a necromancer going to do? She opens the door to a whole new world, of course, self-preservation be damned.
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Garden of Lilies is the first book in the Victoria Cage Necromancer series. It is both exciting and heart wrenching while keeping the reader completely entranced in the story. Tori is a funeral director and more importantly a Necromancer. In this world, being a Necromancer is a death sentence. I would call this book a magical dystopian, but I’m not sure that’s a real genre lol.
In a world turned gray by death and despair, Tori is just trying to live her life and be the best person she can be without giving away her forbidden secret. You can see how she struggles with the decisions she must make regarding her powers and whether or not to help the ghost of a child who met a horrifying end. The things this child went through are disturbing and heartbreaking.
I’ve not read many books involving child trafficking for obvious reasons. I think it is a very touchy subject that both authors and readers may avoid in order to protect their hearts. It’s a horrible practice and if it’s not written with just the right touch can damage someone’s spirit. In my opinion, Constant tackled this topic in a way that is as respectful as possible to victims and I don’t feel damaged by reading it. I think she did a phenomenal job in portraying events in a way that was concise and relatable without being overly graphic. Not to say I didn’t still feel horrible for the victim, I totally did, but I didn’t feel like she used unnecessary imagery to get the point across.
The further this story goes, the more convoluted Tori’s life gets. Most of the people in her life feel like old friends. I can see why she has them around. They are realistic and relatable. Jim was probably my favorite. I do like Tori’s sense of humor also. It’s dark but not depressing.
One of the many things I loved about this story is how Tori is described as appearing. She isn’t the stereotypical gorgeous heroine with flowing locks of golden (or raven) hair. She isn’t in amazing shape. She has the same insecurities that many of us have. She has curves that she doesn’t quite love but has come to terms with. Even the cover of this book shows a woman who isn’t necessarily the epitome of societal perfection. I think she’s beautiful myself, but that’s just me. I like the reality of this imperfect perfect character. It makes her likable and adds to her personality. She is incredibly humble and I love that about her.
The story itself is well written and creative. Eli Constant consistently warps the ideas we usually have about supernatural creatures and gives them their own unique characteristics that I would never have guessed.
Overall, despite the sadness I felt over the topic and certain events within the story, I think Garden of Lilies is very well written, moves at a quick but smooth pace and kept my attention from the first few pages. I am looking forward to the other stories in this series and can’t wait to see what happens in the next one.