Cover Image: His Dark Magic

His Dark Magic

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Member Reviews

I read His Dark Magic in one sitting. Excellent weaving of magic into day to day life. I found the insta love a bit predictable but Chloe and Devlin become the best power couple.
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I would like to thank Kensington Publishing Corporation and Netgalley for this partnership.

I was immediately attracted by the cover of this book, you can see the pretty Chloe with her face in the sky above a forest.

She is a young witch in search of redemption, the Nordic Circle assembly wants to test her to test her skills and her heart.

She made a tragic mistake and became a pariah for her family. She is a medical student and wants to combine witchcraft and studies to heal all those she hurts and repair her wrongs.

She's going to enlist in a strange circle and wake Merlin up. And his demon shadow will find its way into the human world.

A book read in one go so much I hooked on the story so addictive, captivating and full of suspense and twists and turns and with endearing characters. Looking forward to reading on.
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This is my first book from this author, and I was blown away by the first half the story. The setting details are incredible, and the characters are engaging and well-rounded. A fabulous story-line and great chemistry, but there were some parts that seemed rushed or missing toward the end. The pacing was uneven, but otherwise, a great story!
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His Dark Magic was a bit innocuous.  Esden did at times capture me in this dark magical world.  Yet, the first half of the book felt muted, but then had my full attention as it came to an end.  This book has all the right vibes.  There's a sense of concealment bathed in magic that adds to the overall feel of the story. I felt the story had many great moments that were never followed up and fell flat.  This is the first story in the series which can give issue to the overall impression when creating new worlds.  Chloe and Devlin have potential as well as the story.  I would consider reading more in the Northern Circle Coven.
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Amazing second series from Esden. I was wowed by the dark magic and the intricate relationships. Can't wait for book two!
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HIS DARK MAGIC was an amazing reimagining of Merlin with beautiful paranormal, wiccan, and romantic twists. I couldn't put this book down!
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Chloe Winslow wants a fresh start in Vermont, an opportunity to be the version of herself she knows she can be, all while studying medicine in hopes of righting the wrongs of her past. As a witch who is unaware of her true strength, Chloe is invited to the mysterious Northern Circle Coven, with their high priestess offering her the chance to harness her powers. Chloe finds herself crushing on fellow coven member, Devlin, with her lust for him and her desire to learn glossing over her common sense. When the coven attempts to awaken Merlin himself they find that not every member's motive is for good and Chloe must trust blindly and put her faith behind her untrained power to discern good from evil.

The foggy Vermont shores are meant to be an escape for Chloe, a place for her to learn how she can combine her power and medicine, but it soon becomes a fight to not drown in the dark magic that calls to her as the coven unearths the shade of Merlin. A classic new adult character, Chloe easily allows her emotions to get the better of her, allowing the story to be a mix of romance and gothic witch drama. She discovers that trust, while easy to give at first, can be tested too many times, and that power can be intoxicating even when thought to be used for good. I enjoyed Chloe's naivety and felt it really allowed the story to progress with significant character development. I was intrigued by her past and her future hopes, especially as she joined the coven and fell for the promise of power. Her romance with Devlin, though brief in their interactions, happens very quickly, which really highlighted Chloe's youthfulness. However, she builds a strong friendship with another local witch and I loved them as friends, their dialogue was so fresh and entertaining. 

His Dark Magic was the perfect story to introduce a new series, especially with the format of the Northern Circle Coven series where each is told from the perspective of different characters. While the setting, general character personalities, and the overarching plot line of light versus dark magic is obvious, there was little detail given on the rest. I wanted to understand the characters and their ties to the coven more, in fact I wanted to understand the coven more in general. We aren't given enough information and while the characters are fiercely protective of it we don't understand why. On top of that, we aren't given motives behind why some of the characters have chosen to go dark. It's a very large part of this first novel and I think it could have been explained further. I am, however, looking forward to exploring the dark versus light side of the characters in the future novels, especially now that lines have been drawn and characters have chosen sides.

His Dark Magic is a stunning fantasy and paranormal release from Pat Esden that introduces a new series that I am very much looking forward to reading. It reminded me of the books I used to read about witches in the early '00's that I enjoyed so much. I enjoyed the characters, the overarching theme of good and evil, the friendships, and I loved the contemporary setting that the coven managed to somehow still fit into. I recommend His Dark Magic to fans of new adult paranormal/fantasy reads.

ARC provided.
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j'ai adoré le contexte dans lequel l'autrice nous plonge, j'ai trouvé que les personnages étaient hyper attachants et je n'ai pu que dévorer les pages pour en savoir davantage. Je ne me suis pas ennuyée une seule seconde, au contraire j'ai eu tendance à stresser avec eux et on ne peut qu'espérer qu'ils trouvent les solutions pour s'en sortir et pour protéger ceux qu'ils aiment. Je n'avais pas du tout vu venir certains rebondissements et je dois dire que j'en suis restée parfois sur les fesses. Le final nous apporte autant de réponses que de questions et je suis curieuse de lire la suite !
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His Dark Magic follows Chloe, a witch from a well-connected family who is a medical student in Vermont. A terrible incident from her past has led her to pursue a career in medicine, where she hopes to combine her magical talent with her scientific work to heal otherwise unhealable conditions. The local coven, the Northern Circle, takes notice of her ability and asks her to join. At first, Chloe isn’t very interested in joining - the Northern Circle has had a rough past, and its reputation is discouraging. 

However, her immediate attraction to the coven’s high priest Devlin, as well as the coven’s desire to enhance medical practices with magic, end up changing her mind. But when the coven’s high priestess starts a ritual to bring back Merlin, things for the coven quickly change.

 It feels like Esden couldn’t decide between an urban fantasy/adventure book or a romance, so she smashed the two together. His Dark Magic has a great urban fantasy action book in it, or a great romance about a witch coven with some naughty magical touching during the sex scenes. But together they fall flat, and at the end, we get an HFN with a huge question mark at the end instead of an HEA.

It’s something I’ve noticed happening more frequently in paranormal romance - either both the paranormal and romance parts of it are unrealized, or one side dominates the other. The concept of the Northern Circle series seems very cool. I am here for more stories about queer positive witches and warlocks trying to make the world better. But Esden’s representation of the coven and some of its minorities is very surface level. Devlin, the high priest of the coven, has almost no characteristics that make him an appealing romantic hero. He has a dog, so that’s exciting. And an orange BMW, which is less impressive. And that’s pretty much it. None of the characters are very developed except for Chloe and Keshari, Chloe’s friend.

Chloe’s motivations are compelling, and I enjoyed that her attraction to Devlin is physical more than emotional, but she’s a dull character. Her real draw to the coven is the possibility of healing a child who was injured while she was babysitting him. Who wouldn’t want to utilize a power like magic to fix their past? Even with that motivating Chloe and the story, it ended up leaving me uninterested in whether she succeeded or not. Once the drama around summoning Merlin starts, all other motivations and issues fall away. The side characters, such as Keshari and a fellow coven member Em are way more exciting but get less page time. Keshari is a magic user whose family is from the Tibetan Plateau region and has a similar background as Chloe (parents disapprove of her, interested in using her magic for practical applications, has a cool magical keychain). And maybe it’s my angry biracial heart, but I couldn’t help but wonder why the story wasn’t about her. Keshari is regulated to the ethnic side character, someone who is always there to help out but ends up becoming cannon fodder during the big fight. You could tell the same story that’s in this book, but switch Chloe to the best friend role, and the narrative wouldn’t be impacted at all. 

All this being said, I’d probably still check out the second book. I’m a sucker for paranormals about witches, and there aren’t as many coming out as I want there to be. The next book is about Em, one of the side characters that was more interesting than Chloe, and I think her story could be more captivating overall. I mean, she can talk to ghosts. How cool is that?! But if Esden keeps relegating non-white characters to the side, I won’t continue.

Stories like Darkling by Brooklyn Ray, which I mentioned in my Spooky Reads article, are great examples of what you can do with a romance centered around a coven. If you also enjoy stories about witch covens and aren’t looking for anything that’s going to blow your socks off, His Dark Magic is worth skimming. But hold out for something better.
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Chloe is trying to start her life over away from the demons of her past. She works hard at school to one day become a doctor and and be capable to right her wrongs. When she receives an unexpected invitation to join the local coven, she has her doubts- made worse by the rumors surrounding the coven. But when she learns to coven's goal to master healing with magic, there is no way she can't join. Unfortunately, not everything is as it first seemed. 

I loved Pat's previous books, The Dark Heart series, so when I saw that she had a new paranormal romance series featuring witches coming out I had to get my grabby hands on it. It also doesn't hurt that the cover is absolutely gorgeous! I can honestly say I have never read a witch book like this before, with the type of magic and powers being used, making this stand out from anything else. And yes, while there is some romance and a few sexual encounters, I felt like the book was more a supernatural mystery with a few romantic undertones than a romance (which I appreciate). I do love me a good, twisty plot and that is what Pat delivers.

This is just the start of what appears to be a complex and dangerous series, where mysteries are left unsolved, making the reader desperate for more. We get to see the start of what potential the young coven has, and I for one would love to see what will happen next. I highly recommend this read for any fan of supernatural or witch books, prepare to be on the edge of your seat the entire book!.

I reviewed a complementary copy of this title. Come hang out with me at https://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/
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Chloe and Devlin have a great chemistry and this author definitely knows how to write to keep readers interested.  I love books  that have magic and  surprises in them. This book was such a fast a great read for me thank you for the chance to read and write about it.
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His Dark Magic is quite a suspenseful and intriguing read. From the beginning I was curious about Chloe's past and the draw of the Northern Circle. The chemistry between her and Devlin was immediate yet I was on the fence about if things were really as they appeared. Their story definitely took some unexpected twists and turns that kept me guessing and by the end I wasn't sure how everything would play out. With a great blend of romance, suspense, intrigue, interesting characters and a steady, fast pace His Dark Magic is a great start to the Northern Circle Coven series.
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I really liked a lot of the characters in His Dark Magic, but there was something holding me back from loving them. Chloe seemed tentative and even though she is taking a chance with joining them, she is fearful of her choice. It turns out her gut feelings were right, but I did rather wish she’d just owned that decision from the start. The surrounding characters, including her love interest Devlin were interesting and I wanted to know a lot more about them, however, the author chose to only give depth to Chloe’s character leaving the others feeling rather 2-D. 

I liked the idea of this book more than I actually liked the book. My feelings were pretty ambivalent which is too bad because it had so much promise! 

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest!
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I couldn't get into this book I tried so many times I only got about half way through. Its not for me

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance read
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His Dark Magic has some absolutely excellent world building with wonderfully descriptive settings. That combined with magic and a bit of darkness should've made this one perfect for me. In spite of that, I felt like the first half of this book was spent just waiting for things to really get started, then the second half rushes to conclusion. The story does have good bones, and the blurb promises quite the tale. Yet, despite all that, we get other woman drama. The author does have talent, but this story had a ton of potential that just wasn't realized. Instead of the thrilling story it could've been, it's just like so many others with nothing new to wow the reader. I realize that this is just the start of the series, but as it stands, I'm on the fence about whether I'll move forward with it.
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Chloe went to her altar in her window and lit a candle and started to chant. There was a sense of forbidding in the air, a whisper and a chill a witch like her could not ignore. Someone else with powers was near. They were thinking about her- at least that is what her intuition murmured. Chloe went to the top of the stairs outside of her small apartment Than she heard sounds like someone had leaned into the front door. Than something was put through the mail slot followed by a hum of magic. Chloe went down the rest of the stairs and scene a narrow envelope inside the door with her name on it. It wasn’t really an envelope but a handmade paper folded and sealed with gold sealing wax with the letter N surrounded by a circle. Chloe had not seen any true witches or magic here. She had left her parents and was going to college in Vermont and than planned on medical school after that. She then ran outside and caught up to man and his magic purred around him. Clearly the man was extraordinarily gifted. On her requested he opened the paper- she didn’t want to chance some weird spell to befall her- he told Chloe it was an invitation from the Northern Circle coven. Chloe said she had not heard of them when asked by the man. The man told her the invitation was to a party. A meet and greet. To see if the coven would fit her and her it and there would be other newbies there. He also said the coven was dedicated to finding ways to access ancient knowledge through out of body travel, retro cognition…. The coven believed there were cures to modern diseases and conditions that have been lost in time. Chloe went back to her apartment and sat down and did a little spying of her own to the woman who sent the invitation. The life changing possibilities they offered were immense. She would always be part of her parents but joining the second coven of witches who wouldn’t judge her for her past mistakes. Maybe the chance to discover a potion or a spell to reverse the harm she had caused five years ago.  The man who had delivered the invitation was Devlin and there is an attraction between Chloe and him. 
 Even though Chloe was warned by family and friends she joined the Northern Circle coven.She was leered by the promise of magic to help her atone for her mistakes.  Once a part of the coven she finds the magic darker than she had expected. 
I enjoyed this book a lot. I really enjoyed the mystery, danger, and intrigue of this book. I got annoyed with Chloe at times. I did like Chloe's friends outside of her new coven. I liked the plot and loved the fast pace. I loved the characters and the twists and turns of this book and I recommend it.
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Thank you to Lyrical Press and Netgalley for a copy of the eARC in exchange for a fair review.


Chloe has recently moved to Vermont to go to school, and she is surprised by an early morning visit with a magical invitation. Chloe is excited at the prospect of redeeming herself and joining a new coven. Plus it doesn't hurt that Devon is sexy and interesting.


Soon Chloe finds herself caught up in a relationship with Devon and trying to fit in within the Northern Circle, when she finds out that they want to awaken Merlin, even though she isn't sure it is a great idea she goes along with it. However, Chloe keeps getting mysterious warnings and soon she doubts the Circle's motives and Devon's as well.


Can she help stop what she has unleashed upon the world? Is Devon who she thought he is? Will Chloe be able to redeem herself or will she give into the darkness?


I must admit I have read some of the author's other books so even though I don't normally read this genre I thought why not. I wasn't disappointed, this was a good book. I know that doesn't seem like high praise, but considering I set aside more books than I don't in this genre the fact that I read it all the way through should tell you a lot. I thought it was interesting world, I liked the magic and I really liked Chloe and her friend! I thought the friendship was one of the best parts of the story.


I liked Devon and Chloe, and thought he really came through in the end. I am excited to see where the story goes, I wonder if it will focus on two different characters in the next book or if it will still be Chloe.
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His Dark Magic by Pat Esden is the first book of the Northern Circle Coven series. This series is a romantic paranormal fantasy with characters in the new adult age range.

Chloe Winslow is a young witch that is approached with the offer of joining the Northern Circle Coven. After a traumatic event in her past Chloe is lured into all of what the coven seems to be offering along with being attracted to one of it’s members.

Despite numerous warnings from family and friends Chloe finds herself going through the coven’s initiation and joining their group. Once inside though Chloe finds that the magic she was intrigued by is much darker than she ever expected.

His Dark Magic was a solid series opener in this particular genre. There was a good mix of romance and story to blend together. However, for me I didn’t think this one was overly new or original in the content. I know I’ve read many times how one is drawn into dark magic and conjuring up something more sinister than imagined so while it was a decent story in the end I thought this one was just alright at three stars.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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A very good start for a new paranormal series! This book was entertaining and engaging and I had to end it as fast as I could as I was engrossed in the story.
The characters are well written even if the heroine sometimes grates on my nerves.
The plot is fast paced, full of twist and turns, and it never bores you.
I look forward to reading the next instalment in this series.
Recommended!
Many thanks Kensington Books and Netgalley for this ARC
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I have enjoyed other books written by Pat and this one is being added to that list.  This held my interest with the story line and suspense.  I couldn't figure out who to trust and even Chloe has her secrets to keep.  She was a frustrating character at times when I could hear myself asking why she did something when I would have done it differently.  There is romance, magic, and danger.  All a great mix for the start of a new series.
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