Reviewed by Si Ning Yeoh for Readers' FavoriteFour out of Five Stars
Joshua Grasso's The Count of Living Death (The Chronicles of Hildigrim Blackbeard) is a suspenseful tale of magic, intrigue, and love set against the backdrop of a grim medieval world. Count Leopold of Cinquefoil lives the good life of wealth and privilege, but a single moment of impulsive curiosity threatens to undo it all. To defeat the terrible evil that threatens to escape into the world, Leopold has no choice but to call in the feared Conjurer-Magician, Hildigrim Blackbeard, for help. Blackbeard's task will not be made easy, however, by the involvement of Mary, Leopold's headstrong and passionate love interest, as well as of Ivan, Leopold's tragic and bitter step-brother. Secrets will be uncovered, tricks will be played, and betrayals will be committed as Leopold and his companions race against time to outwit their enemies and survive against all odds.
Joshua Grasso's The Count of Living Death is a brilliantly fast-paced story which throws readers immediately into the thick of the action. Many a time had I barely drawn a breath of relief as Leopold escaped from some danger only to sigh in despair as he fell into the clutches of yet another enemy. The gripping tension of the plot is nicely tempered by the satirical humor in Grasso's writing style. I loved the snappy dialogue and wry observations the characters made throughout the book. I anticipate seeing more of this world in future sequels, particularly if they involve more of Blackbeard and Ivan, whose colorful personalities often eclipsed the more cliched characters of Leopold and Mary. All in all, I highly recommend this as a great read.