The Serpent // Sarah Fine Smashes It, Who Knew Card Magic Could Be So Good?

01 August 2018

71. The Serpent
Published: 24th July 2018

Source: Netgalley/Pure Textuality PR

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

My Rating:
One woman is in a world of otherworldly trouble—and she’s going to have to bet her life to save humankind.

Ernestine “Ernie” Terwilliger has put her dreams aside to look after her eccentric mother. Case in point: saving her from a mysterious stranger who’s just stormed the terrified woman’s antique store wearing a rattlesnake tattoo, leveling threats, and brandishing the weirdest deck of cards Ernie’s ever seen.

When Ernie grabs some of the cards and runs, she’s launched into a world she never knew existed—one her mother may know more about than she’s revealing. With a handful of stolen cards, Ernie has just been made an unwilling player in a game of good versus evil. But she’s not even playing with a full deck, and its original owner is more than happy to kill to get his cards back.

Suddenly Ernie’s matching wits and plays with the supernatural Immortal Dealers, who can raise empires, damn souls, and shape the world’s destiny. It’s up to Ernie to defeat the most brutal member of their order. And if her roguish new ally isn’t bluffing, he can help. The mystery is all in the cards, and to save her life—and humanity—Ernie had better learn how to deal.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

So, who knew Sarah Fine had a new book coming out? I didn’t until Nick told me, she is brilliant at giving me the heads up for new releases. I’ve read a few different Sarah Fine books, they are fun and I always like the romance. I mean, I liked Sarah Fine back when I was reading the Guards of the Shadowlands books and I have liked the stuff she’s come out with lately (and I know there are two series of hers I’ve still not finished!) so I was excited for The Serpent coming out.

I was completely right to be excited. This first book in The Immortal Dealers books was amazing. Her books aren’t ground-breaking but they almost always suck me in and keep me happy reading. I don’t know why I don’t talk about Sarah Fine’s books more because I love them. I may just have to start reading them all again because I know I need to finish the Reliquary books and I’ve only read one Servants of Fate books and that’s a shame.

This time around it’s a duology (I think) whilst she usually has trilogies, but that just means more fun in fewer books, I’m cool with that because I’m more likely to finish them then. The Immortal Dealer books are original, I don’t think I’ve seen a magic system revolving around cards since Cardcaptor, and I don’t even remember what that was about! It was unique and very well thought out, it was impressive, really. It’s often difficult to create a unique and interesting magic system so I definitely appreciated that in this. I do wish there was further explanation to the magic system, though, but considering Ernie is learning about the cards right along with us it makes sense why there wasn’t further explanation to it all. Fingers crossed the next book explains further, especially as there was going to be an interesting development between Ernie and the sexy mystery stranger, Gabe, who helps her out. I am down for that.

That’s the other part which worked for me was the characters. I was a little wary going in, Ernie didn't seem like a character I would like at first. She's sporty and driven (in some ways) and her biggest thing is dealing with her mother who needs mothering. I quickly learnt Ernie has the typical humour I come to expect from Fine heroines and quickly grew to like her. She was fun and made me smile. She was funny, with a dry sense of humour and I just liked her. I admit, her sportiness and practicality made me wary at first, but we soon got past that. And there is Gabe, the guide to the Immortal Dealers for Ernie, he was a real charmer. I admit Sarah Fine’s books can seem a little formulaic if I broke it down to the bare bones, but I don’t even care. Gabe is the old hand at all things and the bad boy with the backstory and I loved it. I adored him and his Irish accent and his cute little things to make sure Ernie’s ok without revealing too much. The two of them were adorable together and I’ll have no one bad mouth them.

I really enjoyed this book, a one-day binge read is always a good sign for a book and that’s exactly what I did. I will be buying myself my own copy soon enough and I predict some rereading of Sarah Fine because I like her books and I can’t believe I forgot that fact!

Promo Graphic - The Serpent by Sarah Fine - 4


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GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Sarah Fine.  Giveaway ends 8/4/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.
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