Ina is an exiled Chaos Mage, disgraced after a particularly vocal outburst in the King’s Court. She is sent to the Black Forest (not the German one), where she befriends the forest guardian, Leshy. She lives there, not happy, but not unhappy either, in peaceful solitude, with her cat Boruta, for company. That is, until ten years into her sentence, the local villagers bring a grievously wounded solider to her hut, clearly expecting her to heal him.
The soldier’s untimely arrival at her home is the catalyst for a series of events which will change Ina’s peaceful life in the forest. She returns to the city and the court, and becomes the centre of a nefarious plot which would have dire consequences for the many, varied people and races that live in Cornovii.
There’s something comforting reading an autumnal tale, imagining the crisp air and the scents which are carried on misty mornings. And, Autumn Chaos is no exception. It is a tale that incorporates magic and an intricate, complicated plot. There’s everything you could wish for in a fantasy novel; inhabitants of separate species, varied magic users who specialise in different disciplines, an intimation of intrigue, boisterous battles and a romping romance.
Autumn Chaos isn’t just an epic feast of fantasy tropes, however. In this novel, we see Ina grow from the reckless young woman who accidentally caused a frog to mutate into an acid spitting monster from the short story prequal A Little Accident. She has developed a deep moral compass, which is what ultimately causes her to heal Mar (the half dead soldier dumped on her doorstep) and his subordinate, Ren – even if the spell she uses is almost taboo in their society because of the deep, lasting bond it creates between the spell caster and the subject. She manages to rein in her wild, chaotic temper and hold her tongue when she finds herself in situations where she would have previously let loose a torrent of foul language and curses. It’s a remarkable, and yet, utterly believable character arc, and one which shows the heart and soul of Olena Nikitin’s genuine love and affection for their character.
Seated deeply in Slavic mythology and with dashes of some Western lore, Autumn Chaos is a brilliant blend of magic, mayhem and mead. The writing pair behind the nom de plume, Olga and Mark, have successfully merged their own, native folk-lore into a brilliant, humorous romp. With it’s release slated for the beginning of September, this is honestly the most perfect read for a chilly autumnal evening, curled up in front of the fire.
Autumn Chaos is due for release on September 1st on Amazon. It is also available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited. You can pre-order (or purchase a copy) by clicking on the name of the book.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Autumn Chaos as an ARC directly from Olga and Mark, in exchange for an honest review. I also received some wonderful gifts, including one of the most beautiful book marks I have ever seen. In no way did they ask for a positive review – the book merited that on it’s own.