New Release Review: Circle of Death by Keri Arthur

Circle of DeathNew Release Review: Circle of Death by Keri Arthur
Book 2 in Damask Circle series
Release date: February 25, 2014
Originally published: June, 2002
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book provided by NetGalley and Random House Bantam Dell

Synopsis from NetGalley: In one vicious night, Kirby Brown’s world is torn apart. Her best friend is dead, killed by a madman who is now after Kirby, and she has no idea why. When the police prove incapable of protecting Kirby, she has no choice but to trust a mysterious stranger. And while she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him, she fears the strange abilities he wields.

An investigator for the Damask Circle, Doyle Fitzgerald, has come to Melbourne, Australia, to hunt down a killer. What he doesn’t expect to find is a cadre of witches capable of controlling the elements, a sorceress determined to take that power for herself, and a broken woman who is more than she seems. Doyle is certain that the reason behind the bloodshed lies in Kirby’s past—a past she has no wish to remember. Because Doyle isn’t the only one with magic in his soul: Kirby’s special gifts have the strength to destroy the world.

AH’s Review – 3 Skulls – B-

“Death had come calling on a windblown wintry evening. It smashed past the deadbolts lining the front door, and grabbed the living with unparalleled glee, sucking the life from them until there was nothing left but husks. Then it tore the remains apart, as if determined to erase any evidence of humanity.”

That certainly caught my attention and I was hooked. Circle of Death is the second book in Keri Arthur’s Damask Circle series. If the book sounds familiar, it’s because it was previously published in 2002. The series is being re-released with the third book Circle of Desire coming out in April. I’m glad that I had the chance to add a new paranormal romance series to my never-ending list of fun escape reads.

Circle of Death is set in present day Australia. It starts off with a horribly brutal murder and features some rather frightening and bloodthirsty shifter creatures called manerei. The manerei are after our heroine Kirby Brown as well as some of her friends from her days at an orphanage. The dapper Doyle Fitzgerald is dispatched by the Damask Circle to find and protect Kirby.

In the spirit of paranormal romance, Doyle is attracted quite early on to the lovely Kirby even though they need to stay a step ahead of the manerei and the power-hungry witch that hunts Kirby and the other girls. Doyle is an interesting character: a thief in his previous life, he has been with the Damask Circle for 12 years. Oh, and get this – he’s a shifter, too. A black panther shifter – just awesome. Kirby suffers from trust issues and as more of her background is revealed, understandably so.

The romance in the story felt a little rushed. I can understand that being chased by things with sharp teeth and claws would heighten emotions, but I still felt that Doyle fell for Kirby a little bit too fast. Once these two finally get a chance to be together, they are hot!

I do like the originality of this series. The magic is intriguing and the variety of paranormal creatures keeps the series interesting. I love the idea of the Damask Circle, a group of paranormal creatures who police their own kind.

While Circle of Death did not wow me like the previous book, I am still going to continue reading the series. I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Arthur’s books in the future.

Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Series Reading Order:

  1. Circle of Fire
  2. Circle of Death
  3. Circle of Desire

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Bantam Dell for a review copy of this book.


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