Carnal magic was a good introduction to The Wraith Accords series and as the synopsis states – 200 years ago, an alliance was formed between the Tuatha de Danann and Vampires in the effort to stop the extinction of the Tuatha and to give the Vampires a safe haven in Fae should they need it….. However, the alliance is crumbling; mistrust & disrespect are becoming commonplace so it is up to Isabel Santiago – Sage to the most powerful Vampire Cabal & originators of the original treaty – to head to Fae in a show of good faith and to salvage what is left of the treaty. Whilst there she meets Aed mac Goll, one of the Fianna; a warrior who has been charged with being Isabel’s personal guard. He finds his ideas about vampires are challenged through Isabel, he is drawn to her and begins to see her as something else, and her him but his loyalty is put to the test when Isabel is accused of murder and people want her dead…. So it’s up to Isabel & Aed to unravel the reason why someone would falsely accuse Isabel of this heinous crime – or risk all out war.
I really enjoyed Carnal Magic and thought it was a more mature story that appeals to an older audience with its whodunit mystery, power plays & romance. I liked the world in which we find our characters, the fact that there is a fragile alliance between the Tuatha & Vampires is very interesting a good basis for the story. The Tuatha de Danann withdrew from the world and live in a fantasy/medieval set up, filled with magic too whereas the Vampires stayed in the real world, evolving as humans have, embracing technology etc. the difference between them is telling and it seems that the Tuatha de Danann are embroiled in a lot of internal power struggles where alliances, power & status are very much prevalent and politics are weaved to fit any situation which of course always brings corruption & prejudice. It seems someone has seen fit to use the Vampire ambassador as a pawn in a power play and that is where the conflict is brought into the story. I like how this is dealt with, the danger it put Isabel in and how magic was used to put her in even more peril. I thought it fit the story well that Isabel is very level headed and can see all angles – it definitely helps her plight but I feel the secrets she uncovers throughout are only the tip of the iceberg. I have to say that I was more focussed in the relationship between Isabel & Aed – I like how they were both dominant and it became a kind of power play between them in the beginning, each vying for dominance but neither besting each other. I liked how they both opened up to each other – Isabel through accepting her feelings, she views love as a weakness and had to learn that that isn’t always the case, then Aed has to challenge his preconceptions about Vampires, having never met one but hearing lots of stories and only having those to go on, plus his loyalty to his order all play a part in his reluctance to go there with Isabel – obviously they do get it on and they really heated those pages up by bringing the dominance into the bedroom. I wanted them together and thought they had a good connection/chemistry and it was nice to see Aed give her his loyalty because it seemed like a massive thing for him to do, I’ll be interested to see where they go from here seeing as they are from opposite sides of the fence.
As with most first books, I think this was just a peek at what could come from this series, it got my interest, I like what I read and I will look out for book 2.