Review: Ink and Shadows (Ink and Shadows #1) by Rhys Ford

Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.

For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.

And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.

The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.

Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.

When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.

More. More. More. I need the next book now. STAT.

This took me a chapter to get into. Though I loved it once I got going, it was when we first met Kismet that I really fell hard for this book. The opening chapter is with the four horsemen of the apocalypse (well three of the four, Famine is out and about, starving people), War, Pestilence and of course Death. Mal (pestilence), is the newest, least experienced horseman and his thinking doesn't quite follow the traditional way (much to War's disgust!!)

Something is tearing the veil between the mortal world and beyond, meaning 'things' are able to cross between the two - things that shouldn't be able to cross over. When War and Pestilence venture into the mortal world (a place they can travel unseen to do their jobs) in order to stop a wraith, Mal ends up saving Kismet and taking him back to their home...

I love this world Rhys has brought to life. The dark and light world of fates and faith and death and destruction. Here in the mortal world, we see the reason and the effect, but not the cause. The cause are beings from behind the veil. The ones without the gift of free choice, something mortals have in abundance. It's not quite as simple as good and evil though. Necessity. Intentions. Need. Desire. They all have their part to play.

The author's writing style lends itself superbly to this genre of story. She captures characters beautifully, leaving the reader just wanting that bit more information. I loved all the characters, Mal and Kismet, as the focus of this story, were the two I was most invested in...but War and Death, I have a feeling their story is even more intriguing. What is Death so afraid of? Why doesn't War give up?

The dynamics of all four horsemen are really interesting. The interwoven fabric of the two worlds, the thinning of the veil. I have no idea where this series is going to go. There are so many possible directions, unanswered questions (though this story wraps up well)...intriguing. Addictive. Must-have-more. It's going to be that kind of series. Though not a romance in the traditional sense, the romance and love is there. It's kind of the heart of the story and the bit that leaves me wanting more the most!

A highly recommended book!

For more information, check out Goodreads.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I was going to pass on this one, but after reading your review, got to give it a go.