Title: Malum Discordiae
Author: Ashlyn Drewek
Genre: Dark Academia Romance
Heat: 3 Flames
Rating: 5 Hearts
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Like all Necromancers, Cassius Corbin grew up knowing one irrevocable truth: death comes for us all. It was a lesson he learned well when his mother was murdered by fellow witches. Six years later, he is back in the town of Winslow, Massachusetts to attend Tennebrose University. But that’s not the only reason. While he’s home, he intends to track down a magical folio stolen from his family centuries ago. Once he finds it, he’ll finally be everything the witches in Winslow fear and the Corbin name will be respected once again — as long as Graeme Hewitt, the son of his family’s archenemy, stays out of his way.
As the first weather witch born in a century, the witches in Winslow demand great things from Graeme Hewitt, despite his thoughts on the matter. He’s supposed to be their future, but all Graeme can think about is the past — until the infuriating Cassius Corbin returns. In spite of the blood feud that has raged for centuries between their families, Graeme finds himself in the unfortunate situation of needing Cassius’s help. Six years ago, Graeme’s little brother also died and Graeme wants the truth about what happened that day. So who better to answer his questions than the son of the woman who murdered him?
Review: I have been putting off writing this review because I am at a loss to describe how much I loved it. I overthink too much wanting to sing its’ praises and be all eloquent about it. So much so that it paralyzed me. *shrugs*
I fell completely in love with this book. Sometimes I find that with my 5 star books I have a harder time writing reviews because I struggle to put into words everything that I loved about them. Unless they completely gut me. Emotional reads are easier for me to review because they are my favorite. You’ll get one of those tomorrow – which was also a five star read for me.
I have always been both fascinated and terrified by the occult. Did this one scare me? No, but I still loved reading it. So the overarching theme of this one really worked for me. I have been craving a good paranormal story for a while. The witchcraft and necromancy were fascinating to learn about through the characters’ eyes – even if they were fictional, it still gripped me. There were the witches, light, neutral and dark, as well as those who also practiced necromancy. And the mystery that’s woven throughout the book? Well done. It kinda kept me guessing. I thought it was one person fairly early on, then there were things that made me question someone else. In the end, my first instinct was correct, but I didn’t mind that I figured it out quickly in the slightest.
This had elements of Romeo & Juliet & The Covenant. The enemies-to-lovers trope was done so well here. These two were born into a hate-fueled history of 300 years after family members died and others were murdered. The animosity between these two was at times delicious, and heartbreakingly sad others. This is a story of love, power and betrayal; what all good love stories need.
“Say my name, Cassius,” he said right ext to my ear, twisting and stroking me in time to his cock moving in and out.
“What?” I could barely think nad he wanted me to talk?
“Say it.,” he growled, his teeth grazing the side of my next.
“I want you to acknowledge who’s fucking you right now.
“No.” In all honesty, I would have called him whatever he wanted as long as he didn’t stop, but I had to at least try and hand on to a shred of dignity.
“Fucking Say it, Cash. Whose cock is buried so deep in your ass you can’t stand it?”
“Graeme,” I blurted out, squeezing my eyes shut as my body hurtled toward release. “It’s Graeme! Fuck me, it’s Graeme.”
Graeme was everything I shouldn’t want in one giant, peculiar-eyed package.
Graeme was the softer of the two I think, his edges were not as sharp as Cassius’. I think the best enemies to lovers stories are how the realization of love is handled. Not softly or accepting at first, but more, “OH. MY. GOD! FUCK NO! WHY?!” That’s kind of what happens with Cassius I think. But it’s just as sweet when he finally accepts it too.
Was it love that made my blood come alive? Love that made the knot in my chest loosen whenever he was around? I had no fucking clue. I ‘d never loved anyone before. Not like that.
MALUM DISCORDIAE is a dark, paranormal MM romance about witches, Necromancers, and a blood feud that has lasted centuries. It is a standalone book of about 117K words.
Content Warning: This book contains references to animal cruelty, alcohol/drug use, death of children, murder, suicide, and dubious consent. Reader discretion is advised.
Now having said that as per the author’s warning, I didn’t find it as dark as it sounds. The subject matter is dark, but I didn’t find the story necessarily dark, or the romance. The world-building was great, filling in all the details about the two families rich histories that have fueled the feud over three centuries.
If I have anything contrary to say it’s that sometimes I got lost whose head I was while I was reading. It wasn’t often, but it happened occasionally. Typically when there was just dialogue without any background. Like I could always tell when the magic/necromancy was being conducted whose head I was in obviously. But just dialogue? Sometimes I had to check to reorient myself. Now, that could just be a “me” thing. I struggle with comprehension from time to time, always have, which can obviously affect that. So I’m not really going to penalize the author for that.
There’s a lot of indecision between the boys too, but also given their history, it’s understandable so it didn’t bother me.
In the end, everything about this book just worked for me. Ms. Drewek was firing on all cylinders when she wrote this one. I made myself spread it out over a couple days just so that it wouldn’t be over so quickly. I wanted to gobble it up as fast as possible.
Favorite Quotes – It’s a longer book so there’s many of them:
“I didn’t know what his powers were exactly, but I knew I had to be mindful of his hands. Hands that lit my skin on fire..”
“Why did he have to be so goddamn attractive? He was like a snake in the garden – his beauty lured you in, then a fucking viper leapt out when you least expected it.”
“Don’t touch me!”
“You want to top? That’s fine,” he said, undoing his belt and jeans as well.
“I don’t want anything to do with you.”
“That’s not what your dick says.”
“Because last night you apparently risked your life going onver there to get answers for me. And while I watched you sleep, wondering if you were going to wake up again, I didn’t see a fucking moster, Cash. I saw you.”
And there I stood – dick out, pants undone, chest heaving, watching the boy of my dreams step over the piles of books and turn the corner like he didn’t just come in and wreck my fucking world.
His kisses made me dizzy, each one like another shot of the best alcohol in the world.
“My advice? Take happiness where you can find it. Life’s too fucking short for the rest of the bullshit.”
If you like paranormal romances & witchcrafty things, I think you’ll enjoy this one. I haven’t seen anyone give it a poor rating on my feed at GoodReads yet. I highly recommend it!!
Purchase Link | Amazon
This title is part of the Kindle Unlimited library as well, so you can get it for free – But I bought it anyway. I liked it that much!!