Book Reviews

Marked by Death (Necromancer 1) by Kaje Harper

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Ghosts/Spirits/Hauntings / Magic / Psychic Powers / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 08-January-2021

Book Blurb

Asking a necromancer for help is scary; falling for him may be downright terrifying.

Darien Green's afraid he's going insane. The voices in his head are getting louder, weirder, and more numerous. But tattoos appearing on his skin say that there might be a magical reason, something other than his own brain going around the bend. He's worked up the nerve to ask the local necromancer for help. Now he just has to survive his encounter with tall, dark, and talks-to-ghosts.

Necromancer Silas Thornwood doesn't appreciate being woken out of his bed by a stranger pounding on his door. But when that stranger turns out to be a half-frozen young man with an unexpected appeal, Silas can't turn him away. Even Grim, his cat-familiar, agrees— in a world of death and demons, protecting gorgeous, ghost-ridden Darien is Silas's next difficult job.


Book Review

“Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.” ~ Nora Roberts


In a desperate attempt by Darien Green, of ‘Marked by Death’ by Kaje Harper, to rid himself of the tormenting voices and mysteriously appearing tattoos he’s endured for months, he visits a necromancer. The man is nothing like Darien expected. He turns out to be Darien’s old friend and former next-door neighbor, Silas Thornwood.


Silas doesn’t recognize Darien right away, but can’t turn someone out in the bad weather, especially someone in his condition. Darien is in rags, half-frozen, and underfed. Silas brings him in, “puts the ghosts to sleep”, and tries to warm him up in the bathtub. When Darien comes to, he immediately recognizes Silas. But Darien doesn’t realize that Silas is the necromancer whom he has come to get help from. When Silas explains that he is the necromancer, Darien can hardly believe him. A lot has happened in the ten years since they have last seen each other. Silas can hardly believe the condition that Darien is presently in.


As they begin to catch up, Silas comes to the horrific realization that Darien’s current dilemma is in a great part, his fault. Before leaving for college, Silas recognized Darien’s potential, but since Silas was leaving, he conjured a spell to hide Darien’s abilities until the local magic guild could take over his training; through an unfortunate miscommunication, that never happened. When the spell wore off, Darien was at the mercy of the ghosts who wanted to inhabit his body and place their spirit marks on him. Understandably, Darien feels angry and betrayed. He had thought that Silas was someone he could depend on. He tries to escape, but in the process falls and injures his head. Silas feels awful about what he has done to Darien. He has no idea how he can make it up to him. He decides the best thing for Darien is to keep him close until he can get him the training he needs to protect himself.


Darien wakes up the next morning feeling bored. He looks out of the window and sees that crows are attacking something in the garden. Even though Silas has warned him not to go outside, hoping he can help, Darien does anyway. As soon as he does, he sees a man there who becons to him. Immediately, he knows he has made a mistake. He runs back inside, but it’s too late. He has invited evil in.


This is a great start to what appears to be an exciting new series. I love Silas and Darien and wasn’t surprised that Darien was more powerful even though untrained than Silas first thought. Grim, Silas’s familiar cat, makes the book, as far as I am concerned. He is sarcastic, witty, brave, loyal, and all-around amusing. Thanks, Kaje, I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 173 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-October-2020
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link