A Promising Start For A New Book Series? Reviewing "The Veritas Guild: Book One"

§ I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel. § 

When I interviewed Spring Horton, they talked about their new project: a mixture of fantasy and mystery called The Veritas Guild. At the time, I was reading "Children of Sinai", which also contains an organisation called Veritas, thus, when asked if I wanted to read it in exchange of an honest review, I decided that it must be destiny and said yes.

"The Veritas Guild" is the first part in a book series of the same name. In book one, we are introduced to the magical investigation team consisting of an eternal vampire, an angel, and a lycan, with the new addition a young Valkyrie. Together they start to investigate the mystery of other eternal creatures disappearing. At first, it looks like the God of Tricks might have his fingers in play, but not everything is what is seems.

The Veritas Guild: Book One - Spring Horton

After reading the first few pages, it becomes clear that Horton sharpened their writing skills over the last year. The sentences flow smoothly, and in moments when needed there are elegant or dramatic touches added. Thus, you get sucked into the story after a few pages and want to know more. This often sets the tone of the scenes, and you sense within the first lines if it is going to be bittersweet, happy or casual.

Thus, it pains me to write that this method, did not translate to the reveal and end scene of the novel. While the action elements had been there, and even the correct words were used, the pace seemed off. At first, it had been slow, giving much detail to Raziel's wings - which we've already met in advance, so adding the information here again broke the pace. And about a page later, all had been done. While "The Veritas Guild" pulled me along and placed me in each scene, it was lacking towards the end.

However, my biggest pet peeve is the relationship that develops between Loki and Raziel. In this case, develop is used rather liberally. It doesn't as much develop as it simply happens. There is hardly any build up, in fact, not 50 pages earlier Raziel is still wistfully thinking about their former lover, when Loki appears in their room and they dance ... and more. While that scene has emotion, for me, it felt rushed and had a whiff of This Sex Has Cured You - which is a personal preference, but a trope I am really not fond of.

Even so, since this is not used as part of the main plot, I would have preferred more build up to the relationship. Especially because this is part of a book series, there is time to show Loki care and give us a Raziel who still deals with old emotions as well. While the actual relationship that we are shown later on are sweet and cute, the build-up was not convincing, and felt rushed.

However, I don't want to move "The Veritas Guild" into the wrong light because those are two small-ish aspects of the whole. The novel especially shines in its diversity: Raziel is an angel, one of the few in modern literature who do not confirm to gender, and even use they/their pronouns. It is even stated that they are agender - which is a first.

Then there is Jack, it is stated that he might be trans but is never misgendered. Meanwhile, Raziel is misgendered as he but it is shown that they are very uncomfortable with this, and when asked why they don't present differently the answer is that they had to "look like something." This answer and situation is familiar to most non-binary people.

While people are more willing to write characters with other sexual orientations than straight, it is even within queer literature rare to find characters who are not cis. Even less so, when it is not part of the plot.

"The Veritas Guild" also stands out with the tone it uses. The teasing banter between Jack and Raziel is reminiscent of the banter Crowley and Aziraphale in Good Omens share. Meanwhile, the whole book has a similar tone to the Rivers of London series. These entities investigate supernatural crimes, and the book contains a touch of humour. Unlike in Rivers of London, the detectives are not human but eternal entities.

Overall, "The Veritas Guild" provides an entertaining and diverse read. It plays a lot into the concept of found family and you can feel it. Despite the praise, it has a few snags but nevertheless, I look forward to what book number two has in store!



The Veritas Guild: Book One by Spring Horton
Published2019by Divergence Productions
Series: The Veritas Guild #1
Pages:93
ASIN:B07VKFN5R8
Goodreads:Add to shelf


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9 comments :

  1. I just read the synopsis on Goodreads for this and it sounds awesome! I love paranormal/mythological aspects of books so this is right up my ally. I'll have to give it a shot!

    Casey | https://mccourtskee.com

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    1. Hope you enjoy! Let me know what you think

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  2. I love the whole vampire/werewolf/witch/paranormal angle so this book sounds perfect for me - with some reservations on the speed of the developing romance, haha. Great review, I'll be interested to see what you think of Book 2 in due course! Lisa x

    www.lisasnotebook.com

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    1. I look forward to reading book two :) Thank you for the comment ♥

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  3. I love anything with vampires in, but I can't stand relationships like the one you mention between Loki and Raziel! I need a slow burner, it feels so unrealistic otherwise. Fab review! x

    Evie x | wwww.eviejayne.co.uk

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    1. I agree with you. It was the reason why I knocked one flower off the rating because it bugged me so much. Take your time with romance if you already have it ... Thank you :)

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  4. Oooh this sounds right up my street! I am a sucker for so many aspects that this book includes.

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  5. I'm not massively into vampire stuff, but I'm really glad that this book handled their orientations and genders well. That's great! I think the relationship just happening like that would be a negative for me too but it seems to have some good points. Such a thorough review! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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