Smoke and Summons- Book Review

Smoke & Summons

Author: Charlie N. Holmberg

Series: Numina Trilogy, #1

Publishing Date: February 1st, 2019

Publisher: 47North

Smoke and Summons is the first book in a new trilogy by author Charlie N. Holmberg. Best known for “The Paper Magician” series, Holmberg is back writing about another unique kind of magic. 


Setting the scene

Dresberg, a filthy, industrial city with a criminal underbelly. It’s citizens, good, hard-working people, living their lives following the teachings of The Celestial. But beneath the streets, it’s a different story… Meet Sandis, an eighteen-year-old orphan held captive by infamous gang leader Kazan, ruling the underworld with help from the occult.

Sandis and her fellow captives are vessels. Slaves, their bodies possessed on command, by spirits from another dimension. With the tattoo of the spirit’s name on her back, all Kazan need do is speak the words and Ireth is summoned.

High above the streets of Dresberg, Rone jumps between the rooftops. Moving throughout the city undetected, a well-known thief for hire. But Rone has magic on his side, in his pocket sits an amarinth. Everyone believes they are a myth, but Rone knows the truth. With the amarinth in his possession, for 60 seconds a day, he can become immortal. A pretty handy thing to have when you are leaping out of buildings to escape after stealing from society’s wealthiest denizens.

With wiping out anyone dealing in the occult the police’s top priority, Sandis’ very existence could get her killed. But is staying captive in Kazan’s dungeon any better?

Rone has stolen from the wrong person and now he is paying the price.

Two unlikely strangers get tangled together in a fast-paced adventure that’ll leave you wanting more.

book cover and advert

My Thoughts

I really like Sandis as a character, she gives you hope. Despite being kept underground, forced to turn into a creature to kill people, she has this inner strength that keeps her going. She is ready to try to take charge of her life. She’s young and naive but she has this fight in her, drawing from a perceived sense of strength that she gets from Ireth, she wants to be free.

Rone is a risk-taker, but who wouldn’t be if they had a magical artefact to save their life? He has this caring side though, he may be a thief but he isn’t greedy. He just wants to care and provide for those he loves, in the only way he can.

I am a real fan of Charlie’s work. I absolutely loved The Paper Magician series. All of her stories look at magic in a different light than other authors. As an avid fantasy reader, I have read books about all different kinds of magic. But without fail, Charlie’s books always add a refreshing twist and new ideas.

Smoke and Summons feels like a deviation from her normal writing style, it’s darker.  But I like it. Smoke and Summons is a great start to the trilogy. There are multiple scenarios going through my head as to where the next book is going to take me, I cannot wait for it to be released. Luckily I don’t have to wait too long! With a release date of 16th April 2019 for Myths & Mortals and the third and final instalment coming 17th September 2019, it appears 2019 is the year of the numina!


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