There's a reason that we refer to being in love as being enchanted. ~ Opening of Charming
Charming by Elliott James
Charming by Elliott James
Fantasy (Urban); 390 pgs
John Charming isn't your average Prince...
He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbow to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is — until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt.
That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn't change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar... Right?
Urban fantasy is one of my not-so-guilty pleasures, and I was eager to dive into Charming after it won my May TBR List Poll. It isn't a fairy tale--so if you are expecting anything related to Cinderella, you will be disappointed. There are minor references to the fairy tale, along with others, but that's as close as it comes.
John Charming comes from a long line of Knights, similar to that of the Knights of Templar. Their job is to keep magic in the shadows, away from those who know nothing about it. Known as monster hunters, witch-finders, and dragon slayers, they are a force to be reckoned with. John becomes one of the hunted through no fault of his own, however, and is forced to go on the run. He makes a new life for himself in a small town, working as a bartender in a local pub.
Then Sig, a tall blonde woman who is obviously not human, walks into the pub followed by a vampire, and John realizes it might be time to move on. Sig has other ideas though, and soon John finds himself joining her and her friends in investigating why so many people are going missing. He promises himself he'll stay just long enough to get the job done.
John isn't quick to trust anyone, which is understandable given his past. I liked him right away and would want him on my side in a fight. He is extremely resourceful and not at all full of himself. He is clearly grappling with his past, who he is and who--or what--he is becoming. It makes him question himself and everything he's learned over the years. I also really liked Sig's character. Strong and good in a fight, she holds her own well.
The author clearly has a sense of humor, and, as a result, the narrator, John Charming does too. Charming is high in action, fast-paced, and was an entertaining book to read. The world author Elliott James has created may have some familiar features, but it also has many of its own. There is a bit of romance, and a definite mystery to make this urban fantasy novel a fun read. I found myself reading it in every free moment I had one Sunday, and finished it that same night. I look forward to reading more in this series.
To learn more about Elliott James and his work, please visit the author's website. He can also be found on Goodreads and Twitter.
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