Author: Holly Evans
Title: Stolen Ink
Series: Ink Born 1
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website:
I’m Dacian, a tattoo magician, and my life went from my biggest concern being finding a pretty guy to fall into bed with at the end of the week to everything falling apart around me.
There are two problems in my life.
Number one – I’m an ink magician, the thing of myths. A lot of very powerful people would love to get their hands on me, and I have no intention of letting that happen.
Number two – A tattoo thief came to my city, and the magical community has decided that I’m the guy to stop them.
Somehow, I have to catch the thief without letting my secret out of the bag, and that’s even harder than it sounds.
I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Dacian is an ink magician, a type of magic so rare that he is forced to hide what he is in order to stay out of the clutches of the government so they don't try to take advantage of his powers. He hides himself as a simple tattoo magician, bringing to life the tattoos underneath people's skin. Then Dacian learns he's not the only ink magician in town, except the other one is stealing tattoos and killing people. Stopping him is the only way to save Dacian's family, but doing so might reveal his secrets to the world.
The entire concept of the tattoo art in this book was magnificent. The idea that a tattoo is a calling from underneath a person's skin and when the tattoo is ready to be revealed a person goes to a tattoo magician to bring the animal free. One of Dacian's tattoos is a cat who is sometimes a picture under his skin and at other times is roaming around killing mice like any non-magical cat. Other tattoos instead allow a person to shapeshift. It's a very elaborate system of magic and somehow Dacian's power as an ink magician ties in.
That was the part of the story I was disappointed with. There is so much wonderful description of the world building and the various magics in that world, yet when Dacian is trying to learn how to better control his own ink magic, the only description given as to how he learned a new bit of power is that he read it in a book. I was also disappointed in the sudden time skip without explanation. The skip needed to happen in order for Dacian to gain control over his power, yet there was no depth given as to why the bad guy had suddenly stopped killing for that length of time. It felt a bit like a cop-out.
This story had some of the most unique and intricate magical systems I've read in a while and I really enjoyed learning about them, but they lacked description on a personal level. I do recommend this story because I enjoyed reading it, but I'm hoping for a little more depth into the magic types in the sequel.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.