I love well done enemies to lovers romance. Bonus points if it’s scifi or fantasy. The Sorceress Transcendent is fantasy. It’s a quick read, with a nice blend of action and domestic comfort.
Varius and Theira have fought on opposite sides of an ever lasting war for years. Varius was a general and Theira a sorceress, second only in power to the autocratic Sorcerer Ascendant. They have studied each other on the battlefield, almost flirting through tactics. Now, pushed too far by the empire he served, Varius has deserted and is looking for shelter with Theira. He is almost certain that she has saved his life before and that they have something between them, but she might kill him.
Theira is living alone in a house in the woods. She maneuvered the Sorcerer Ascendant into allowing her to retire. When Varius shows up, bleeding on her doorstep, they have an opportunity to get to know each other without soldiers and a tactics between them. Both war-weary, they make choices to trust each other.
Casey Blair has been on my radar for more than a year, but even though I own three of the books in her Tea Princess Chronicles, I haven’t actually read her books. A novella in a new fantasy world seemed like a great entry point, and I was correct. She packs a lot into a hundred pages. While I would have happily spent 400 pages with Varius and Theira making soup and liberating cities, I didn’t feel like anything was missing. I don’t know if this is a stand alone or the start of something new, but I really liked it.
CW: injuries, discussions of past battles, poisoning in past, magical and non-magical battles, military attacking own civilians, on page murder.
I received this as an advance reader copy from the author through NetGalley. My opinions are my own, freely and honestly given.