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Larkspur, or A Necromancer's Romance (Larkspur Series vol. 1; Clandestina) Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 42 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 764 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J7H9JIG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #701,576 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dark Fantasy, even DF Romance, can cover a multitude of dubious landscapes, but Larkspur proved a frisson of delight with its twisted reflection of the Age of Enlightenment.

Despite the quasi-European aristocratic setting of grand house, footmen and gardens by moonlight, the author does not attempt to weigh the story with description. Instead she uses deft touches to ignite readers’ own internal picture-scapes thus creating visual backdrops unique to each reader. For a new writer this shows an exceptionally mature grasp of the alchemy of story-telling. The choice of formal speech patterns and internal narrative fits impeccably with the setting and the strict hierarchy where a signalling fan spoke as loudly as an averted eye, and where no unwed lady walked without a chaperone.

And yet the lady is without a chaperone – part trusting to familial connections, part spurred by unseen Mama for an above-station marriage – and the innocent steps into a gilded chamber where the knowledge of healing is openly exalted and the mastery of the soul’s journey beyond death pursued with the dark cravings of an addict.

VM Jaskiernia has created her world so well that the fey, the allusions to other realms with unique attributes, sits as easily as Pluta, the familiar that cleanses ‘misdeeds’, and the ephemeral Lady of Death, and I truly felt for the quivering girl in her nightgown and the torn suitor who delivers her up.

If no 2 in the series, ‘Delphinium’, had been available I would have shunned the next on my TBR list and devoured it. Alas I had to make do with joining the author’s mailing list so I don’t miss its launch date. I suggest you do, too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a short sample, crinkled my nose and though "nah". Then the positive reviews made me change my mind; I chose to give it a try.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised. The magic system is intriguing, an I can see this concept expanding into something a lot bigger. I don't regret giving it a try.

However, I do have a problem with the prose style used. I cannot stand it. I understand that this is a subjective thing, but it had such an impact on my reading experience that I cannot ignore it in my review.

Sometimes I had to re-read sentences several times before I could take in their meaning. I'm not sure if this is due to my lack of understanding of this type of old-fashioned language (English is not my first language) or whether it is due to lack of editing - I did spot a few spelling errors as well.

Had the story been longer, I would not have finished it because of the prose, but because it was so short and the plot was interesting, I pushed through it. I would have given it a 4 star in spite of my distaste and struggle with the language, but when I also found the end rather unsatisfying on top of that I had to settle with 3.

The point is that if you like this kind of prose, I recommend the book. Heck, I recommend it even to people like me, who cannot stand it. It is short enough to push through it, and I did enjoy the plot. I'm actually kinda bummed out about me not liking the writing style, as I am interested in reading more. It just simply is not for me. Oh, well. I'm sure this story will bring enjoyment to many readers.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good short story, really enjoyed it despite not usually being a romance fan. Did feel like just an opening part of a full book though.

The magic system is cool and the characters seem interesting will definitely read others in the series
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8e57a714) out of 5 stars 53 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e402a5c) out of 5 stars Larkspur Series Volume 1; Clandestina 9 May 2014
By Jutzie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Larkspur: A Necromancer’s Romance by V.M. Jaskiernia
Larkspur Series Volume 1; Clandestina
Pierre Salvador, duc de Piques is the son of a Fae. He was left with the royal family when his father and sister returned to their own plane. He is practicing in the dark magics, and becoming stronger at it. When he returns home after finishing his schooling, a ball is thrown in his honor of his twenty-fourth birthday. Pierre is surprised that an old childhood friend arrives, and he finds the fondness he had for her many years ago, is still there.

Lady Elizabeth Anne, Lizzy as Pierre affectionately calls her, is pleased to see her old friend. When he falls ill at the ball, she stays in Clandestina to help him, rather than returning home with her mother. She knows a thing or two about magic and necrocraeft, although she doesn’t seem to know how deeply Pierre is involved in it.

This book is the first volume in the series and it does end with the reader knowing more will come, maybe a tiny cliffhanger, not too bad. This story is fantasy romance with a bit of a dark side. Pierre is a duc and about to learn to run a duchy, but the magics seems to be his first love. Once the story gets past the first introductions it flowed very easily. This was not my usual type of story and I was surprised to find that I did enjoy it and wasn’t ready for it to end. I’ll be looking forward to Volume 2, Delphinium.
**Received book from author for a fair and honest review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e402a74) out of 5 stars as I don't particularly like romance novels and I'm not the target audience 27 Jan. 2015
By J.R. Karlsson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Note: I have re-read the revised edition at the author's request.

Larkspur is the first self-published work I've ever re-read. The reason for doing so is due to a number of changes to the text that have clearly improved matters from my previous read.

Let's get things straight right off the bat: Larkspur is a romance novel in a fantasy setting, not a fantasy novel with a romance.

The above makes it very difficult to review, as I don't particularly like romance novels and I'm not the target audience. Especially when it comes to supernatural romance novels.

In all honesty I'd be doing a disservice to those reading this review if I failed to mention that it's very short indeed, more of a short story or novella.

The story centers around the relationship between Duke Pierre Salvador, an interesting conglomeration of both French and Spanish nomenclature, and Lady Elizabeth Anne, the smitten young lady that blushes at every comment from our Duke.

The decision to use cræft instead of craft seems rather redundant, but there are no other obvious sins in that department so it's entirely forgiveable. If a person goes to a fantasy book and is irritated by such things they're going to have a bad time.

Larkspur appears to reside in the early Victorian era, albeit with a distinctly French twist. This is a welcome change of pace from author's propensity to set things in a copy of Tolkien's world or Howard's world.

The interesting part of the story was the inclusion of Mora, the Lady of Death. She's not exactly the grim reaper herself, but has a pact of sorts with our Duke and his necromantic ways.

The problems with the text arise due to its length. There's simply not enough space to deliver the background and flesh out the intriguing magic system that Jaskiernia has constructed. I felt myself pulled into the world but just as quickly let go as the author was forced to continue developing the plot. To her credit, Jaskiernia has since gone back and fleshed things out a little, so there are allusions to more things happening in the world than previously written.

There's a real turn-of-the-century Gothic vibe to the text that calls to mind the likes of Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood, which is to be commended given the genre. It certainly helps it stand out from the hordes of supernatural romance that Amazon is coated in.

The plot itself is solid, the characters are interesting if not entirely fleshed out due to length of the text. At times the dialogue made me wince, mainly at the various overtures of the budding love between Elizabeth and Pierre, but not so much that I'd set the book down. On my second read I found the interactions less troublesome, and the author may have straightened things out a bit in this latest draft.

It's a likeable story, and pleasant for what it is. Most certainly not something I'd read usually, but a welcome change of pace all the same. If there were more supernatural romances written in this fashion the world would be a better place. It's unfortunate that with the surge of paranormal that works like Larkspur are going to be branded with the label.

With its price tag and short length I could understand some readers baulking, but consider my rating a high three stars rather than a low three. The only reason I can't give this a four is because it feels like an introduction into a series. It left me wanting, and Delphinium will stand a much better chance of garnering my recommendation depending on how it deals with the fleshing out of the series.

Jaskiernia shows promise and has continued to improve this work. I shall be buying and reading the follow-up and fully expect that promise to be delivered.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e402f54) out of 5 stars A beautiful quick read. 6 April 2014
By Ali - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is as beautiful as the flower it is named after.
Larkspur is a simple, beautiful, and slightly twisted love story. My imagination came to life with the images that Jaskiernia created. The author has a way with words that I am excited to see expanded upon in the sequel.
My only criticism is that it is so short. I want to keep reading and falling in love with these characters. I just have to wait for the sequel to come out, I guess.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e402f18) out of 5 stars Fresh and alluring! 18 April 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Prior to reading this, I wasn't really sure what to expect. The cover isn't something that would normally catch my eye, and I'm not very familiar with historical fiction. However, the necromancy concept is one I frequently enjoy exploring, so I decided to give this one a go. As you can see, it worked out well :)

I've read a lot of paranormal romance, and I have a heart for gothic fantasy, but I've never read something quite like this before. If you are looking for something original, Larkspur will not disappoint. The key to great fiction is tension, suspense, mystery, and well-drawn characters--all of which Larkspur provides in spades. I like my fiction dark, and V.M. Jaskiernia knows how to deliver. Her approach to necromancy was fresh and alluring, the story was fluid, and I was full immersed in the world V.M. created from the first page.

I will definitely consider reading more of her work.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e14d474) out of 5 stars An entertaining story, pleasant to read, kept me interested until the end! 27 Mar. 2014
By Yggdrazzil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Larkspur: A story of Clandestina (The Courting of Life and Death) gives the reader a peek into a Victorian world with kings, queens, princes and dukes where magic is considered to have both legal and illegal uses. In this setting we see the protagonist balance nurturing a romantic interest in a childhood friend, with dealing with the last trials of a rite to acquire power over an illegal form of magic. The story, while short, is elegantly written and gives you enough information to grasp what is going while keeping you curious enough to see what happens on the next page. It's not a very deep story, the ending fell a little short to me. I think more could have been done with the building blocks upon which the ending was built yet it did not diminish my pleasure in reading this story.

As it's the first (short-)story published by this author, I mostly consider it a showcase of a promising authors writing skills and it has made me interested in how he or she will handle a longer story with more depth.

- Easy to read
- Short

- Lack of depth
- Short
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