Ebony Gate

Tor. (The Phoenix Hoard, Bk. 1). Jul. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9781250837431. $28.99. FANTASY
As a member of one of the eight powerful magical families of the world, Emiko Soong might have been hindered by her lack of magic. However, she is the Blade of the Soong Clan and earned her moniker as the Butcher of Beijing through the blood of too many innocents. Setting aside her role and living in San Francisco, Emiko becomes an antiques dealer and tries to put the past behind her. When a family blood-debt is called in by a shinigami—a god of death—Emiko finds that her deadly skills are needed to keep an army of ghosts from invading the world. If Emiko cannot recover the Ebony Gate, then her own soul will be used to seal the gate to the underworld. Hints at family secrets and a possible relationship will have readers looking for the next book.
VERDICT The contemporary setting and unusual magical system create an intriguing beginning to this series from Vee and Bebelle, who also write the “Seattle Slayers” series together. Put this book in the hands of fans of Fonda Lee’s “Green Bone Saga.”
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