Goodreads: 4.34/5 ⭐
Me: 4.5/5 ⭐
Aelina Isaacs’ Phantom & Rook: When an Immortal Falls in Love with a Witch was such a palate cleanser of a read, and easily bingeable. But don’t get me wrong, a LOT happens in this book.
There’s a hedge witch and an immortal who find each other after many years (though one of them doesn’t realize it), a wonderfully vibrant cast of supporting characters, and a mysterious game that’s causing chaos throughout the city.
I have to admit, this one kept me guessing. But, once I gave up on trying to figure out what the story was about, I finally realized it: Phantom & Rook is not about heroes fighting tangible villains, but inner ones. It’s about finding love and family again after being adrift for a very long time. Wrapped in a fantasy world filled with magic and mystery is a story about people who have experienced real world pain and suffering, and who must overcome it in order to finally find happiness.
I did wish there was a bit more backstory in this case, as there were mentions of several previous events that I would have liked to experience first hand with the characters. That said, it helped that there wasn’t a lot of it because the pace wasn’t interrupted. I’m very happy to see that there is already a short story out (When Witches Sing) because I really enjoyed my time in Levena. I would also love future stories that explore more of Arlo and Thatch’s pasts, so we can learn more about what made them the individuals they are today.
In all, I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a warm hug after a heavy read, or a heavy day.