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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Book Review: Veiled Magic by Deborah Blake

Veiled Magic
by Deborah Blake

280 pages
November 17th 2015
Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Police officer and Witch Donata Santori spends her days interrogating dead witnesses by summoning their spectral forms. Normally the job is little more than taking statements and filing reports. But when she’s called in on the case of a murdered art restorer, she finds herself suddenly in possession of a mystical portrait that both the human and paranormal communities would kill to get their hands on.

Unable to take on the forces hunting her alone, Donata seeks help from two unlikely and attractive allies: a reluctant shape-changer and a half-dragon art forger. But as the three of them hurry to uncover the truth about the powerful painting, Donata realizes that she’s caught in the middle of not one but two wars—one for possession of the painting’s secrets and one for possession of her heart.

Donata Santori is a pure-bred witch in the employ of the police department. As a Witness Retrieval Specialist, Donata speaks to the dead witnesses of crime as a means of incriminating perpetrators. Her "conversations" with the dead are recorded and entered as evidence to be used in court. But when an art theft goes murderously wrong, Donota is thrust into a very dangerous paranormal mystery. With an inherent sense of right and wrong, Donata sets out to neutralize the mysticism surrounding the potentially explosive Pentacle Pentimento, the secret under-layer of an otherwise underwhelming Romantic-era painting. And so, Donata finds herself in possession of the painting and on the run from different, very dangerous, ruling factions.

I adored Veiled Magic and am thrilled to have found this new series. As a series opener, Veiled Magic is set to be on par with great series like Downside Ghosts, Rylee Adamson, and Charley Davidson. Donata is a funny, smart, and resourceful heroine. She has sex-appeal without being needy or reliant on her male counterpart. She’s complemented by a cast of rich, intriguing characters including half-dragon art forger Peter Casaventi, berserker on the brink Magnus Torvald, and Ricky, the dutiful Kobold. Each brings a refreshing, entertaining touch to the book and, though different, each is equally likeable.

This book is non-stop action and intrigue. While a love-triangle has emerged between Donata, Peter, and Magnus, it’s certainly not at the forefront, nor is it at all resolved. This will provide explosive fuel for future series installments and I eagerly anticipate the unfolding drama. I enjoyed the fact that sometimes Donata is smarter and more resourceful than the men around her. At times, there’s a power imbalance in favour of Donata, which gives the developing love stories a fresh and interesting vibe. I loved this book’s conclusion; while not neatly packaged, it is immensely satisfying.

Deborah Blake is an expert story-teller. The plot is excellent with a healthy dose of suspense and intrigue. As an art history enthusiast, this tale was beyond appealing. Blake’s characters are full, multidimensional beings capable of true and meaningful introspection. They show transition and growth throughout the story. Blake is also an adept wordsmith who applies a rich and varied vocabulary. And, any author who appropriately references Machiavelli is a thinker exploring all the angles.

Five enthusiastic sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About this Author:
Author of seven non-fiction books from Llewellyn. Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice (2007), Everyday Witch A to Z (2008), The Goddess is in the Details (2009), Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (2010) Witchcraft on a Shoestring (2010), Everyday Witch Book of Rituals, and The Witch's Broom. I am also the author of the Baba Yaga series from Berkley Romance, including Wickedly Magical (novella), Wickedly Dangerous, and Wickedly Wonderful.
When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 100 year old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magickal and mundane.


  1. Holy crap. Have I mentioned recently how much I adore you? Thanks so much for starting my year out with this great review!

    1. No problem! Thanks for checking it out. Great books earn great reviews :)

  2. I have recently discovered her Baba Yaga books, which I really like. This one is on my wishlist as well. Are you sure this is the first in a new series? Because that would be awesome!

  3. I haven't read the Baba Yaga books, but stumbled upon the series during my research for this series.

    Yes, it is my understanding that this is the first book in a series. I almost always go for 'book one' reviewing opportunities. And let me restate, it's definitely worth a read. I can't wait for book two.

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  5. Dang! I love her Baba Yaga ones and had this one on my review pile but it slipped by me. Better late than never though, right?! lol I'll have to try and squeeze it in this coming week :D Glad it was a hit!