Phantom and Rook: When an Immortal Falls in Love with a Witch Book 1 Author Aelina Isaacs

Book Review

5 out of 5 stars!

"Try to catch me, and the Game will end." - Scarlet Illusionist


Or so that was how the pasts Game resulted in being ended abruptly. . . But now with approach of fall, the festivals, and the new Game the rules have changed. Who's behind this Game full of puzzles and the incentive to explore the brilliant city of Levena? The Game has also been going on for many, many years. . . Why do they suddenly wish to be unmasked now?


Arlo Rook is ready to become a member of society again. It's time to stand up on his own two feet but what if he fails again? Past ghosts cling to him as he tries to take hold of his future and not rely too heavily on anyone. This Game will be the best one yet and he hopes to enjoy it to the fullest and finally catch the Illusionist!


Thatch Phantom's finally returned to the ever-changing city of Levena. Being gone for so long has resulted in changes and new advancements he has to get used to. The Game will be so much fun this year and he's so happy to be present for it! Now if only he can convince Arlo, the man he literally ran into, to show him around the festival! The mark on his hip seems to light up and itch whenever he's near the male witch. Can someone like Thatch really have a soulmate?


"Soulmates are bullshit, and I'm not someone anyone wants to be tethered to." - Arlo


This line killed me because I could completely relate to Arlo! People frowning on mental illness, warped "conditioning", and people venting at you. . . Feeling the loneliness and that you're truly a monster no one would ever love. Arlo's story hit me hard because I understand so much about it. Right down to him hesitating about relying on his friends. Even if they offer to help him! Waiting for that other shoe to drop is a very hard mindset to break.


Arlo's past is ladened with mental illness and sadness. You can see his healing journey through this story, and I absolutely loved it! Also, the struggles and obstacles presented to him and how he overcame them. I wanted to hug the male witch and tell him it gets better, and he is worthy of everything plus so much more!


Thatch was another person I wanted to hug! His past is laced with sadness as well and being what he is has brought him to the conclusion that he will always be alone. Never being able to have what others have. . . Keeping his distance is best until he just keeps running into Arlo, quite literally. The two being like giant magnets that can't help but merge together when nearby one another.


I loved the mystery behind Thatch and how it evolved into several people wanting to help out a certain character in unlocking all the mysteries revolving around the man. Thatch has a unique side effect that happens with him and because of it things get a little tricky. . . 


"Some dragons hoard treasure, but this one hordes orphans, and she protects them just as fiercely as any hunk of gold or shiny gem." - Arlo


There are MANY races within the beautiful city of Levena. One being Draconian and I apologize if this is a spoiler but one such Draconian runs an orphanage that some of the cast originated from. I absolutely loved her character and how she's patient and loves everyone. Regardless of their age, being the mother figure, everyone wants and will come back to. I loved Arlo's description of her and her taste in hoarding. Though she takes very good care of every single one of her wards!


This story was so beautifully written, and I got lost within the descriptions of the town. Being able to see the vibrancy of the words as they were brought to life for me. Not to mention the amazing artwork done for this book and little scenes from within the pages! Just I am very excited to read more books from within this world that has so much magic in it. There's a HEA but with openings and hints of more things to come for this cast of Misfits.


Aelina spoils us with the start of the book! There's a short glossary with definitions to some of the words you will find within the book along with a lengthy list and brief descriptions of the different races. There's also MAPS, plural I might add. That show everything and where we are and then a detailed map of Levena itself!


Aelina also stated it perfectly when they called this trope idiots to lovers with the SLOW burn action. The duo POVs prove just that with the two silly, handsome fools! You will get frustrated on several occasions as well as heartbroken because of the emotions surrounding things. There are dark pasts on both sides and mentions of what happened. Thatch has an intense one that I've seen before in other reads. There are some details, but this book is not gory, or horror based. This read has the lightheartedness to balance out the angst and sadness.


This book does talk about mental illness, wanting to commit suicide, and some other heavy topics. There's some violence and mention of blood. We also get to see panic attacks on the page, what it feels like to be an Empath and experience heavy emotions. I loved the scene were someone gets a tattoo on the page, makes me really want to get my first tattoo as soon as I can! The cast does like to smoke herbs and it is seen on the page. I also really loved the found family aspect and how it doesn't matter if you are related by blood. More than not the best families are the ones you openly choose and who choose you back!


This book also contains language as you can guess from some of the quotes above! I enjoyed the take on soulmates and marks as well as magic! There was one scene where someone gets called a "wolf boy", had me dying and wondering if the genre of the book just changed! You will just have to read the book to get the humor of it all. Along with all the sass! Oh, I want to keep gushing, but I will give too much away.


There's MM action and this read represents all sides of the LGBTQ+ spectrum! I loved viewing different dynamics and healthy ones at that! No one caring what you are or are not and everyone being so open. It feels like you came home when you read this book. Honestly, my bags are packed and after I post this review I am gone for Levena. I'm positive one of my many freckles is a Soulmark or maybe I have several? Is that a thing? I have to go find out!


Ugh! I could keep going on about this book! Enjoy this read with a grumpy/sunshine duo as they try to get over their idiocy! Hang on for the ride and don't forget to give the author some stars!


Phantom and Rook: When An Immortal Falls In Love With A Witch (Adventures in Levena Book 1) - Kindle edition by Isaacs, Aelina. Romance Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.


Phantom and Rook (Adventures in Levena, #1) by Aelina Isaacs | eBook | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)


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If you are like me and couldn't get enough of Felix and Silas' characters, here are some short stories by Aelina about the two. BUT read "Phantom and Rook" first!


Witchtober – Glitter | Aelina Isaacs


Witchtober – Thorns | Aelina Isaacs

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