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Review: Transfiguration – Lissa Kasey

Transfiguration - Lissa Kasey

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

Everyone underestimates the wind until it tears their world apart.

Con’s job is recovering rare books and artifacts, and learning all their secrets before handing them over to be archived. He never expected to find a little girl with an affinity to speak to the dead, and with her a strange symbol for a cult long since thought extinct.

Luca is on the verge of a change he’s feared for a long time, and he worries his lovers won’t want him anymore once his darker side is set free. With Con newly returned with a little girl in need of protection, and Sam trying to help the most powerful witch in the world solve a slew of murders, Luca feels powerless to stop the rising change.

But someone is in control of a demon and trying to capture the power of all the Pillars of Magic. Can the trio uncover the end goal before dark magic tears them all to pieces?

The Review

“You can’t always be the good guy.”

I feel a lot better knowing that this is the second book of this series – the first being “Inheritance, Pillars of Magic: Dominion Chapter.” When you plunge into Lissa Kasey’s intense, sometimes harrowing story of magic and power in modern Minnesota, it’s a little disorienting. I don’t mind that, because I sort of like being put in the position of having to figure it all out as I go. It’s a very complicated story, involving witches, vampires, fae, and at least two major magic-controlling organizations – the Dominion and the Fellowship.

At the center of this book is a triad made up of Con, Luca, and Sam. Constantine Opal is a powerful witch in a world where males with magic aren’t supposed to be powerful. Luca Hart is a dhampir – half-human son of Maxwell Hart, the most powerful vampire in the world. Sam Mueller, who is Asian, is a vampire but also has magic powers. Each of these three men (who all look young, but only Con is actually in his thirties, and worried about his aging) has an important job with the Fellowship, and they are a long-time, deeply devoted trio.

The book starts with Con out on the road, in his role as a retriever for Max Hart. He’s trying to track down a rare and important magic book, but ends up bringing home a little girl named Bella. Having never wanted kids, Con finds himself instantly protective of this little girl – abandoned, maybe abused, with the ability to see ghosts.

I can’t quite imagine what it’s like to be an ordinary human in this world, where witches and vampires seem to kill each other for all sorts of reasons all the time. The Dominion has rigidly controlled magic for centuries, and now its power is crumbling after centuries of suppression and injustice.

You really must pay close attention to the story, because not only is there a lot going on, but the interrelationships of all the characters need to be kept sorted, not to mention the addition of the mysterious witch child, who seems to have a connection with Con’s twin sister – killed by the Dominion for breaking their draconian rules as a teenager. I commend the author for handling all of this layered complication with great skill – but confess that in one of the massive battle scenes I had a hard time holding on.

I think I’d recommend reading the first book before reading this one. And, from the neatly finished ending, there is surely be a next one.

The Reviewer

Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.

Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.

By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City. 

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