House of Cards
Luna, Mar 2008, $14.95
There are paranormal species who share the world with humans including dragons, djinns, vampire, selkies, and gargoyles. They exist in absolute secrecy as they fear the overwhelmingly large numbers of humans whose encroachments into other habitants has led to extinction. Lawyer Margrit Knight knows of the existence of these sentient rivals having met them on an adventure (see HEART OF STONE) with Alban Korund. They both felt the intimacy between them, but Alban believes Margrit deserves a life in the human realm regardless of how she feels.
Margrit owes Janx, the dragonlord and an underworld criminal with a powerful empire, a favor. He calls it in when he asks her to watch over his second in command Malik the djinn. Alba, who is back in Margrit’s life, watches Malik during the night because during day he turns to stone. Margit observes the djinn in daylight. Having been bitten by the vampire Daisani, Margrit heals quickly. Alba knows that if she drinks a second time, she will be long lived and perhaps give her and her star-crossed lover a chance at a relationship but he is too afraid. Margrit attends a party in which she brings the head of each species together. They discuss the applicability of their laws in the twenty-first century while some want her removed or better dead especially Malik who wants nothing detouring him from his goal of supremacy; Alban risks his life to keep Margrit safe.
C.E. Murphy writes a great urban romantic mystery fantasy that contains an interesting mythos that will remind the audience of the works of Laurel K Hamilton. The protagonist is a strong willed person who does not fear dealing with the Old Races as she sees herself as a mediator helping settle disputes. Her feelings for the gargoyle feel genuine though they have a lot of issues dividing them starting with his daylight HEART OF STONE. HOUSE OF CARDS is a magical tale that readers will appreciate.