Book Reviews

A Touch of Fever (Arcane Hearts 1) by Nazri Noor

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Magic / Mythological Creatures / Wizards & Witches / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller / Horror
Reviewed by Kristin F. on 01-October-2021

Book Blurb

What do you do when you can’t cast spells? You make your own magic.

Jackson Pryde was never great at wielding magic. Instead, he works as an artificer, crafting enchanted devices in the Black Market, a shadowy bazaar of wonders. But Xander Wright, the mouthy, pretentious mage next door, hates all the hammering in Jackson’s workshop.


When a chance assignment forces them to team up, they discover a terrifying predicament. Something is driving members of the magical community into murderous rages. Jackson and Xander must combine might and magic to find the source of the Fever and stop it. Can they put aside their differences long enough to end the Fever, or will they succumb to its bloodthirsty curse?


Book Review

This was a light and fun read that kept me happily entertained for a weekend. I’m already partial to the urban fantasy/paranormal genre, and this story had an enjoyable spin on magic existing in the real world with an interesting premise and varied cast of characters. While the concept of the Black Market - a market and community that exist aside from the real world - isn’t new, the idea that it moves and connects with different cities around the world totally tickled my fancy. The worldbuilding continued with Jack knowing where the magical creatures lived in location and how he connected with each.


The story is told from Jack’s point of view, and this is where I stumbled a bit. The advice in fiction writing is to show, not tell, and Jack did a lot of telling to the point of repetition, which bounced me out of the story a bit. Jack’s personality bounded from down-to-Earth practicality, to posturing pompous jock, to sensitive and caring guy, to insecure boy – rather all over the place – which made it difficult to pinpoint his age. I had him for anywhere between eighteen and twenty-eight and I like characters to be a bit more defined. 


And speaking of characters, the supporting characters were nicely varied with some unique attributes: a snarky griffon who liked rotisserie chicken; Reza, a fashion designer with some very cool talent, Preston the artificer turned baker and a candle stick maker! Alexsander – Xander – the friend to enemy to lover was probably the most well-rounded supporting character aka love interest. I confess to liking Xander better than Jack. 


The overall plot is a combination of standard fantasy quest that morphs into a mystery at the end. Astute readers will easily see the bridge between quest and mystery, but the joy is in watching the group of friends, especially Jack and Xander, figure it out. There is more I *could* say about the Guilds, the enforcers, and the world of artificers, but it’s better if read sans spoilers. This was a new-to-me author and I would read the next book in the series just to see where things go next. 



DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book was provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 252 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 10-September-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
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