Resurrection

by Lissa Kasey

Resurrection - Lissa Kasey - Pillars of Magic: Dark Awakening
Part of the Pillars of Magic: Dark Awakening series:
  • Resurrection
Editions:Kindle: $ 4.99
Pages: 285
Paperback: $ 14.99
Size: 5.25 x 8.00 in
Pages: 350

Someone has raised his old vampire lover from the dead.

When a golem shows up on campus, Seiran searches for a way to unravel it and find its creator. But it is animated with vampire souls and the golem may not be the only one. When he realizes a necromancer is raising the undead from their slumber, Seiran finds himself face to face with a lover he thought long gone.

Gabe went to ground over a decade ago to silence the revenant gaining foothold inside of him. When he is yanked from the earth, his memory a mess of shattered fragments, he finds himself bound to a very powerful witch he doesn’t remember. And someone is trying to use his power to summon the dead.

An army of the dead awakens, and Seiran and Gabe are the only thing standing in the way of a shift in global power. Can they rise to the change or will they become the next victims?

Excerpt:

Chapter One

 

A sharp tug of death magic brought him to the surface. Not yet aware, more a hint of actual sleep as he fell into a dream about a handsome lover, he glided on the edge of the memory. For a while the images were sweet, if a little disjointed. Time made little sense as the scope of the dreams bounced from place to place.

The second tug dragged him out of the dream and forced a thump of life into his chest. His heart starting, as though it had been stopped for years, stuttering and wheezing back to life, aching in a way he couldn’t recall ever feeling. Not that he recalled much.

He gasped, but instead of air, found dirt filling his lungs. He choked and flailed, reaching for anything to clarify his awakening. The surface was close, hands grasping at nothing, released from the soil and his imprisonment. He struggled to crawl free, drowning in earth, and a rolling chaos of mixed memories.

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After reaching the top and extricating himself, he lay there, staring into the darkness, trying to put pieces into place. Spitting out dirt and sucking in musty air, he tried to understand where he was.

He’d crawled from a grave; that much was clear. But he was in some sort of stone tomb, walls thick and muffling any sounds of life from beyond. The door almost imperceivable in the pale light. Only the most delicate hint of brightness appeared around the edge of some square near the top.

A vent? The thought fell into place, giving him definitions and images, but no underlying structure. He knew what it was, the technicality of it, but not any recollection of seeing it before.

His heart beat so slowly he was tempted to crawl back into the earth, wrap it around him like a blanket, and return to sleep. Why was that a comforting thought? Did anyone enjoy being buried alive?

Though he didn’t exactly feel very alive in that moment. More a pain riddled corpse, grasping for anything solid. Was he some sort of zombie? Another word that brought definitions and images to his mind. He hoped he didn’t resemble the shambling, rotting corpses he could recall from movies. And further back, he vaguely recalled something very similar in real life, though much more horrific, yet still familiar.

He sucked in air, the feel of it cooling his throat, clean, but also heavy in his lungs. As if he hadn’t breathed in a long time. Distantly he heard an alarm. Muffled and quiet, it was some sort of beeping. Just annoying enough to make it harder to think. He lay there for a while, trying to put thoughts into place. A thousand faces and memories ran through his mind as sharp as shards of glass, broken, scattered, and missing in some places.

He couldn’t remember even the basics, his name, or the names of any of those faces. Why he’d been buried. Or how he’d been able to crawl free of the grave.

The smell of dirt, cool and earthy, eased a bit of his growing anxiety, but the hint of a scent, wafting through the vent high above, made his stomach growl. It wasn’t even a delicate sound of passing hunger. No, it roared like some ancient monster needing to feed. The growl was followed by a pulse of hunger surging through him so strongly that even his teeth hurt. He touched his lips, wincing as one of his teeth cut the edge of his lower lip. He didn’t bleed, it just throbbed with a dull ache.

Blood. That was what he smelled. What he craved. He groaned at the idea of the thick, hot liquid pouring over his tongue.

Voices approached and he listened hard to try to make out what they were saying. It was an unusual jumble of sound, with heavy accents he couldn’t understand, even while straining to hear them. What he did catch was the smell of blood and the steady beat of at least one pulsing heart. He pushed himself up, ready to crawl toward the door, needing to feed.

It opened before he could do much more than turn his head toward it. Then it closed again, leaving one man inside. This one didn’t have the steady heartbeat, his was slower. Nor did he smell as divine as whomever had been outside.

A lamp turned on, low, but still too bright for his eyes, and he flinched. Yet the man held something that made him crawl forward. The smell so good that he had a visceral need to get there, take it. Drink.

He swallowed hard, throat dry, his thirst begging to be quenched.

The man said something, but he couldn’t understand it at all. He couldn’t feel any fear from the man, more irritation, but the man held out a cup. And that cup was everything he wanted in that moment.

It was hard to hold, his hands—fingers stiff and unyielding—didn’t want to move. The man actually pressed the cup to his lips, tipping it to let the heat slide into his mouth.

It was heaven. Everything narrowed to the liquid fire of that cup. The delicate flavor of chilis and chocolate hidden beneath the copper bite of blood. He couldn’t remember how he knew what any of that was. Only that the warmth of it trickled down his parched throat, slowly awakening nerves, filling his body with growing sensation, and added aches. He hurt all over. Every part of him an echo of pain, as though he’d slept a thousand years and the joints and muscles were being forced to move, stretch, and function.

Then the cup was empty.

He cursed, tipping it, hoping for more. It barely touched the hunger; only began to awaken his senses. Not enough to clarify anything. Or give him much strength at all, though when the man took the cup away, he tried to fight it. But the man was stronger and set the cup aside before sitting down on the stone lip of the crypt beside the light.

It wasn’t so terribly bright anymore, in fact, it didn’t illuminate much about the man. Only that he was young, with dark hair and eyes, dressed in jeans and a leather jacket. All items that were boxes checked on a list of things that only partially made sense in his head. Words becoming images or vice versa, without an understanding or memory as to how or where.

He put his head back on the dirt and sucked in air as the heat of the blood trickled through him, a slow drip of living energy. Barely enough to touch each nerve.

“Boss says you’ll need more blood,” the man said. “But since my guy was the closest non-vampire supe, you’ll have to manage on that tiny bit till we get you out of here. I don’t share well outside our ménage.” The man’s words began to make sense, an almost secondary recognition, that the language he was hearing wasn’t his first, but still something that had been learned. “You in there? Boss said it could take a bit to sort through the mess. And you’ve been down a long time. Glad you showed up back here instead of at the house. That could have been bad.” The man sat with his hands in his lap, still enough that if he hadn’t been speaking, he wouldn’t seem to have been moving at all.

“Gabe?”

The name startled him. That too, felt visceral, his. A piece locking into place, his mind grasping it. He was Gabe. Had been Gabe for a very long time. Of that he was certain, though everything else was still a jumble. Almost overwhelming were the memories that rolled with the name. More faces, names, events, snippets of broken bits of his past, emotions dancing with an intensity that almost made him pass out.

Gabe teetered on the edge of darkness for a few minutes. There was too much. Too much everything, but not enough clarification.

“Luca tastes great, right?” The man said. “But it will be your only taste. If anyone else had been closer I wouldn’t have shared. He’s mine.” The last bit was said with a deadly edge. “We get a bit possessive. He likes me getting all caveman. Says it makes me hotter and he loves being thrown on the bed, or against a wall, so I can screw his brains out.” The man trailed off, staring into the distance. A voice crackled into his ear from an… earpiece. Something else Gabe wasn’t sure how he recognized.

“Car is ready. Does he need a box?”

The man stared down at Gabe, expression mostly blank, but he reached up to push a button and said, “No. He’s mostly mobile. How much blood does a vampire need when they come back? I don’t need much.”

“If it’s not from his Focus, he’ll need a lot. And he was down a lot longer than you ever have been.”

“Ronnie is not going to be feeding him any time soon,” the man said.

“No…” the headset crackled a slow response. “We’ll get him to Max. Get him fed and back on his feet. See where his head is before exposing him to the witch.”

“I’m not worried about the witch,” the man said. “Give me a minute to get him moving.”

“Sam, be careful. He’s weak, but that doesn’t mean he’s not lethal.”

The man, Sam, let out a sarcastic laugh. “I’d be thrilled to put him back in the ground.”

“Not forgiven?” The voice crackled through the line. “He might not even remember.”

“Too bad for him then. He’s got a lot of bullshit to make up for. And I still fucking feel our bond. How is that possible when he cut me off?” Now he sounded mad, though he still didn’t move from the ledge.

“Those sorts of bonds are never completely gone. Not until true death. It’s similar to a past lover and how you always remember bits of them, good and bad.”

“Ain’t loving this shit,” Sam said. “Fuck, things were going well. Why now?”

“Some things will always be a mystery.”

Sam stopped chatting with the voice in the earpiece and stared down at Gabe. Gabe sucked in air, his chest aching as the slow beat of his heart steadied, though his hunger was barely eased. He felt more in control, though very disoriented and tired.

“I’m a vampire,” he said, his voice little more than a raspy whisper. Not a zombie, but still undead, tied to the grave and death. The boxes in his head checked as he filled them with what he knew about vampires. The lists were long, but had a lot of holes. More missing pieces.

“I was disappointed, too. It’s not all the phenomenal cosmic power that romance novels lead us to believe,” Sam said. “But here we are.”

Gabe tried to sort through his thoughts to clarify. “I went to ground.”

“Yes,” Sam agreed. “Better late than never, I guess. How much do you remember?”

That was a loaded question. “Too much? And not enough? Nothing fits together.”

Sam let out a long sigh. “You look like shit. All zombie-like. But your eyes aren’t red. They’re black, meaning you need blood, and the revenant is close. If we put you in a car, will you attack anyone who’s not a vampire?”

“I don’t know,” Gabe answered honestly. He felt as if his control was in place, but he knew that the hunger was intense enough to take over. “Maybe not?”

Sam reached for the button again. “Bring the box.”

Box?

“Once I open the door, I’ll need you to get in the box,” Sam instructed. “We will add grave dirt to it.” He waved his hands at the contents of the tomb. “I think you came back here because it’s where your grave dirt is. I know Ronnie added most of it from your apartment after he moved everything out. I’m glad you woke here. Waking up in the witch’s backyard would have meant war, I think. Especially with the kids there…”

Kids? Witch? “Vampires aren’t allowed to touch witches,” Gabe whispered, feeling something tug at his memory. The glimpse of a face, there and gone. Too fast to catch much of it.

Sam laughed. “Yeah? Maybe in the old days. I haven’t seen that in a book anywhere, and Max insisted I memorize that shit. I’ve read them all. Maybe something from your sire?”

The woman’s face popped up in his mind, clear, but with no name. The emotions, however, were potent, as Gabe felt himself lurch upward as if to attack. He stopped himself only inches from grabbing Sam, though Sam hadn’t moved at all. The thought of her made him homicidal. Good to know.

“That’s a trigger, yeah?” Sam asked after a moment.

Gabe cycled through a handful of memories attached to that face. “She was a monster.”

“Who said you couldn’t touch a witch?”

“Yes.”

“Funny. Since you’re married to one.”

Married? Gabe grasped at the thought, again the flicker of a face, but not enough to really see it. “I don’t remember.”

“Ronnie will love that. Play dumb. He might forgive you sooner. Or put you back in the ground.”

“Forgive me. What did I do?” A thousand things echoed through his head all at once. The noise becoming too loud. Too many things. Deaths even. Monstrous acts. He caved in on himself, rolling up into a ball and trembling in the wake of too many memories trying to find a place in his mind.

Before he knew it, he was in a box, the scent of dirt surrounding him, and the lid slid closed as Sam stood over him. “This is seriously bad timing.”

Gabe wanted to ask questions, but the top closed and he felt sleep drag him down. The comfort of the small place, dirt and darkness, letting him chase back some of the scattered memories. He let it all flit away for a while, resting with the memory of a dark-haired stranger who’d been his first kiss.

Curious how clear that was. That moment, though obviously a different place and time. Gabe felt the box moving and the pull of his grave letting him go as he was carried away from it. Even with the dirt in the box, mixed with soil from the grave, he knew the distance meant something. A strain on his control, rising hunger, but total exhaustion.

He tried to follow the memory of the dark-haired man. Older than him, but only by a few years. Gabe sat on the edge of those thoughts, similar to a faint dream, watching the man grow and go off to battle, and finally watching him die.

That ached, similar to a wound to his chest, deep and piercing. Raw. He cringed away from it, trying to relax and ease the feeling, though he was lost in the sensation of dying all over again.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Amy M on Amazon wrote:

Oh my word….Seiran and Gabe broke my heart into little tiny pieces but then put them back together again with their last couple of scenes in this book. Sigh…these characters have so much potential and I adore every page! Gabe is struggling to get reacquainted and recover his memories, while Seiran is worried about losing him all over again. Lissa Kasey is such a phenomenal author and I have yet to read a book that didn’t suck me in and make me devour it in almost one sitting. I can’t wait to see how this new series is going to unfold. Their world is changing and they have to dart and change with it! I also loved the kids in this book.

_WhatJenReads_ on Amazon wrote:

Resurrection incorporates about as many urban fantasy elements as it possibly can. If you’re looking for a story that manages to pack in witches, vampires, fae, golems, and romance all in one cohesive plot, this is the book (and series) for you. Lissa Kasey pulls no stops on just how much fantasy and action she can incorporate into one book; with all the twists and turns in the action, I’m pretty sure the pages couldn’t hold anymore. Kasey also packs a lot of action and plot advancement into this one story. Between golems, finding the source of some powerful dark magic, Gabe reappearing in Sei’s life, Dominion fallout, and discovering hidden secrets, Seiran has a lot to deal with. And when you add in the romance factor from his old lover coming back after over a decade away? It’s a wonder everyone makes it through the plot with their sanity in check.

Lissa Kasey’s writing is easy to get lost in, and even easier to enjoy. All of Kasey’s character types and plot devices should be familiar to any fantasy/urban fantasy reader, but Kasey weaves them into a unique world that will pull the reader in. I think my only complaint while reading Resurrection is just how tied into the PIllars of Magic: Dominion series this book is. As the first book in the spin-off series, I wasn’t expecting so many references to things that happened off the page in the original Pillars of Magic books. I almost hesitate to call this a true spin-off series, as it seems more like a continuation of the Dominion series rather than stories separate from the Dominion plots. With all the character overlap, and with so many references to the past (some of them were explained later in the book, but some references to past events were left untouched), I would have a hard time recommending Resurrection to anyone who hasn’t already read the Pillars of Magic: Dominion series. This may be the first book in a spin-off series, but there are too many references that readers would need to know from the original series to fully appreciate everything that is said and done in Resurrection. I definitely recommend Resurrection, but I also recommend reading all the Pillars of Magic: Dominion titles before starting in on the Pillars of Magic: Dark Awakening spin-off series.

Jay on Joyfully Jay wrote:

It’s been well over a decade since vampire Gabe Santini went to ground. Now he has awakened with no idea who he is, what happened that caused him to step back from the world, and how long he has been gone. He quickly learns he has a partner, witch Sieran Rou, and that something terrible happened many years before.

When Gabe went to ground, Seiran never expected it to last almost 13 years, leaving Seiran alone with young children and trying to put his life back together on his own. He is still furious at Gabe for keeping so many secrets, for letting himself get so out of control and never sharing any of it with Seiran when he could have helped. Instead, things ultimately got so bad that the world almost fell apart. Seiran has spent the past years raising the kids and working for the Dominion as the head of Magical Investigations. As always, despite Seiran being the Pillar of Earth and one of the most powerful witches in the world, most of the Dominion continues to dismiss him because he is a male witch.

Now, Seiran has a new case investigating a golem being used by some students at the local university. Seiran knows the magic is way too powerful for the golem to actually have been created by these young witches, so he is determined to uncover who is behind it all. As Seiran digs deeper, it becomes clear that the golem is the tip of the iceberg. Someone has animated the golem with vampire souls and is trying to summon the dead. Gabe is determined to stand by Seiran’s side, to prove to him that he will not repeat his past mistakes. And with Gabe’s death magic combined with Seiran’s almost god-like abilities, the two have a strength to take on almost anything. But with those that should be protecting them looking to paint Seiran as the enemy, and untold horrors awakening, it will take all they can do to stop the attacks and make it out alive.

Resurrection is the first book in Lissa Kasey’s Pillars of Magic: Dark Awakening series arc. This is the second Pillars of Magic arc, following the conclusion of Pillars of Magic: Dominion. The Dominion arc was a series of five books that finished back in 2019 and that is set about 13 years prior to the start of Resurrection. The books take place in the same world, with the same characters, and while there is a considerable time jump, the stories are very much connected. Kasey does a nice job reacquainting readers with the characters, world, and plot threads here, which I found helpful given the time between this book and Absolution, which ended the Dominion arc. So patient readers who are ok with not understanding everything right away could probably jump in here. But expect some disorientation, especially as the book opens with Gabe awakening and confused about what is going on. I really love this series, and if this story sounds appealing, I would encourage you to start from the beginning with Inheritance.

Ok, so on to this story. I loved how we open up in Gabe’s head as he is coming back to himself after so many years gone to ground. Gabe has no memory of who he is, what happened in his past, or anyone around him, including Seiran. His memories come back as he regains strength and reconnects with his vampire progeny, but his disorientation serves as a nice set up to catch the readers up with what has been going on over the past 13 years. He and Seiran have a lot to work through, as Seiran is still hurt and angry about Gabe’s lack of communication about all that was going on so many years ago. Gabe let things get so far out of hand that when things fell apart, they did so spectacularly, resulting in him leaving Seiran alone for more than a decade. So it takes a while for the men to sort through their past, but there is never any question that the men are meant for one another and will come out of this together. In fact, we see that the new openness between them allows both men to access their power in new ways, and to combine their strength and their connection. Gabe and Seiran still have things to work through, but we see them make major progress here and it is clear that they will fiercely protect one another with their lives.

This story is definitely a transition book between the two series arcs, giving us a chance to close out the focus from Dominion and move into a new chapter for these characters. The case of the golem ties together nicely with this larger theme, as what starts out looking like some college boys trying to skip class by sending a golem in their place instead turns into the first sign of something much bigger afoot. As always, Kasey’s world building here is great, and the combination of the supernatural with the various politics of the world comes together well in the story. There is danger and intrigue and excitement, and the usual backstabbing Seiran seems to face at every turn. But he has his people behind him and I love the found family that are fiercely protective of one another. While the main focus here is on Gabe and Seiran, we do see the full ensemble cast, and Sam plays a particularly large side role. The investigation uncovers things that lead to a new chapter for this whole group and I am really excited about what Kasey has set up here. It is a great way to take this series and move it forward in a slightly new direction and bring a whole host of new opportunities.

I am a big fan of this series and am thrilled to see that Kasey is expanded things into this new arc. I love these characters and can’t wait to see what is in store for them going forward. If you enjoy magic, urban fantasy, and great found family elements, definitely give these books a try.

Jen on Goodreads wrote:

Resurrection by Lissa Kasey is the first book in her Pillars of Magic: Dominion spin-off series, forebodingly titled Pillars of Magic: Dark Awakening. In Resurrection, readers follow Seiran Rou, the head of the Department of Magical Investigations at the Dominion, as he deals with a whole lot of stuff going down. First, there’s a powerful golem running around and Sei intends to put it to rest without hurting any of the souls tied to it. But before he can do that, Sei’s vampire lover, Gabe, is reawakened after thirteen years in the ground. Neither Gabe nor Sei have any clue who - or what - pulled Gabe from his slumber, but there’s too much magic in the air (golems, necromancy, and dark magic, oh my!) for Gabe’s reawakening to be a coincidence. As secrets and lies start revealing themselves, as the Dominion goes too far, Sei will have to trust in old friends and call on his ties to the vampire and fae communities if he hopes to save his family, his lover, the magical community, and even the human race from the impending destruction coming for them. With an old love by his side and a new strength flowing within him, Seiran Rou has a whole new adventure ahead of him.

Resurrection incorporates about as many urban fantasy elements as it possibly can. If you’re looking for a story that manages to pack in witches, vampires, fae, golems, and romance all in one cohesive plot, this is the book (and series) for you. Lissa Kasey pulls no stops on just how much fantasy and action she can incorporate into one book; with all the twists and turns in the action, I’m pretty sure the pages couldn’t hold anymore. Kasey also packs a lot of action and plot advancement into this one story. Between golems, finding the source of some powerful dark magic, Gabe reappearing in Sei’s life, Dominion fallout, and discovering hidden secrets, Seiran has a lot to deal with. And when you add in the romance factor from his old lover coming back after over a decade away? It’s a wonder everyone makes it through the plot with their sanity in check.

Lissa Kasey’s writing is easy to get lost in, and even easier to enjoy. All of Kasey’s character types and plot devices should be familiar to any fantasy/urban fantasy reader, but Kasey weaves them into a unique world that will pull the reader in. I think my only complaint while reading Resurrection is just how tied into the PIllars of Magic: Dominion series this book is. As the first book in the spin-off series, I wasn’t expecting so many references to things that happened off the page in the original Pillars of Magic books. I almost hesitate to call this a true spin-off series, as it seems more like a continuation of the Dominion series rather than stories separate from the Dominion plots. With all the character overlap, and with so many references to the past (some of them were explained later in the book, but some references to past events were left untouched), I would have a hard time recommending Resurrection to anyone who hasn’t already read the Pillars of Magic: Dominion series. This may be the first book in a spin-off series, but there are too many references that readers would need to know from the original series to fully appreciate everything that is said and done in Resurrection. I definitely recommend Resurrection, but I also recommend reading all the Pillars of Magic: Dominion titles before starting in on the Pillars of Magic: Dark Awakening spin-off series.

Thank you to the author and Gay Romance Reviews for providing an advanced reader copy of Resurrection in exchange for an honest review.


About the Author

Lissa Kasey is more than just romance. Her specialty is in-depth characters, detailed world building, and twisting plots to keep you clinging to your book reader. All stories have a side of romance, emotionally messed up protagonists and feature LGBTQA+ spectrum characters facing real world problems no matter how fictional the story.


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