Review: Geist (Book of the Order #1) by Philippa Ballantine

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Geist Book Cover Geist
Book of the Order #1
Philippa Ballantine
High Fantasy - Urban Fantasy - Science Fiction - Steampunk
August 28th 2018


The undead are here and only the Deacons stand in their way.

The Order of the Deacons, stand as protectors of the Empire, guardians against ghost possession, sentinels warding off the malevolent haunting of the geists.

Sorcha Faris, the most powerful deacon of the Order, finds herself thrust into an unwanted partnership with a total novice, Merrick Chambers. That’s bad enough, but when they are dispatched to an isolated village to counter a surge of violent geist activity, they find their fate bound with Raed Rossin. Shapeshifter and Pretender to the Imperial throne he bears a terrible curse which endangers them all.

As they investigate, the strange settlement is reveled to be haunted by a undead creature more predatory and horrifying than any encountered before. Together they quest to uncover the mystery of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history intent on striking at the heart of the Empire.

Can three powerful and troubled people discover a way to work together to save the citizens and themselves?


Geist is book one in the Book of the Order by Philippa Ballantine. 

This book is appealing and also a bit hard to understand and get into. The world is a cross of old world, steampunk, and fantasy. Not much steampunk, but their are mentions of airships that run on geist, spirits and ghosts magic and time clocks, but for the most part it’s like mid-evil time period. 

Ms. Ballantine jumps right in with introducing us to words we don’t full understand, yet, and a historical type society structure. She has created an elaborate world, rich in details with its own unique mythology. Due to this, the book is not quick nor easy to read. I had trouble with the story and staying interested at the start, the “get to know you” phase, but eventually things pick up and we are pulled into a web of deceit and mortal danger. 

Our three leads; Sorcha, Merrick, and Raed are all battling inner demons and personal issues. They all end up in an isolated village together where they find something more dangerous and powerful than expected. The trio each see things in their own unique way, which brings a full range of views to the situation’s. The lies and manipulation force them to see that they have all been played and what happens in the end will have you feeling for them. Life is not easy and the choices we make are not always easy. 

I’m not sure if I’ll read on, but I am intrigued and curious about what might happen next. Even though they fight back the big bad, it’s clear that it’s not over. 

Rated: 3.5 Stars

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February 28, 2020 5:40 am

I read this series back when it came out and I HIGHLY encourage you to continue. The first book is hard to follow, but it gets better now that you know the world a bit. It’s “hard core fantasy” so if that’s not your thing, it will remain such. But overall, I really enjoyed the series.

Tanya @Rantings of a Reading Addict
February 27, 2020 6:01 am

I have such a hard time with high fantasy because the world building is so intense and I get hung up on words I don’t understand. I think that is why I stick more to urban fantasy. I struggle sometimes with the Dragon Kin series too, but luckily I’ve got past most of it. I’ll be interested to see if you continue.

Sophia Rose
February 26, 2020 11:57 am

I love the description of the world and setting and that they all have stuff to face down.

Mary Kirkland
February 26, 2020 8:53 am

This sounds interesting but I love that cover.

Kat Valentine
Kat Valentine
February 26, 2020 8:23 am

Fabulous review Angela!!💞💋😉

sherry fundin
February 26, 2020 8:19 am

i love/hate the get to know the characters and world phase of a novel. that can make it a slow start, but when it’s a series that can be expected. i see that you are still curious, so i am too…on whether or not you continue the series
sherry @ fundinmental

Anne - Books of My Heart
February 26, 2020 8:18 am

The first book in a series like this is often a bit confusing because some things are just getting set up. It sounds like it might be a good series once it gets going. Great review!

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