Review: Sinister Magic (Death Before Dragons #1) by Lindsay Buroker

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Sinister Magic Book Cover Sinister Magic
Death Before Dragons #1
Lindsay Buroker
Urban Fantasy
February 28, 2020
Kindle Unlimited - Bought


I’m Val Thorvald, and I’m an assassin.

When magical bad guys hurt people, I take care of them. Permanently.

This doesn’t make me popular with the rest of the magical community—as you can tell from the numerous break-ins and assassination attempts I’ve endured over the years. But thanks to my half-elven blood, a powerful sword named Chopper, and a telepathic tiger with an attitude, I’ve always been able to handle my problems with aplomb. Maybe some cursing and swearing, too, but definitely aplomb.

That changes when my boss is afflicted with a mysterious disease, a government agent starts investigating me, and a godforsaken dragon shows up in the middle of my latest job.

I’ve taken down vampires, zombies, and ogres, but dragons are way, way more powerful. And it doesn’t look like this one is going to like me.

Worse than that, he wants to use his magic to compel me to do his bidding, as if I’m some weak-minded minion.

That’s not going to happen. I’d die before being some dragon’s slave.

But if I can’t figure out a way to avoid him, save my boss, and get rid of the government spook, I’m screwed. Or dead. Or screwed and dead. And that’s never comfortable.


Sinister Magic is book one in a brand new urban fantasy series, Death Before Dragons, by Lindsay Buroker.

What an AWSOME Urban Fantasy. It reminded me a little of Kate Daniels series, yet completely different. It’s got an older snarky heroine, a fun tiger side-kick, and a patronizing dragon.

Val our heroine is a half-elven bounty hunter. It’s her job to go after the vile and weird creatures. She’s a contractor for the government and working for the them; well it involves an entirely different kind of nasty.

Zavyrd or Lord Zavyrd as he wants to be called is sent to Earth, a plant he despises, to clean it up of all the riff raft that have fled justice. His job is to bring them home for rehabilitation.

Val soon finds herself crossing paths with a this self-important dragon shifter who just begs our heroine to poke and get a rise out of him at every opportunity. Val and Zavryd, don’t get along and Zavyrd insists that Val is his bait.

We are also treated to Val’s friend, familiar, side-kick, bodyguard, and service animal, the magical silver tiger Sindari. He warns Val not to aggravate the dragon, but she can’t help herself in the face of such a smug and superior being.

Let me first mention that cover. It’s eye-catching and pulled me in. I also want to say that this is my first taste of Lindsay Buroker. I had know idea what I was getting into, but man did she hook me. I actually read Sinister Magic in Kindle Unlimited and I just knew after finishing, that I’d read it again, so I ended up buying the book and all the rest in the series.

I had a blast with this first novel. I loved that our heroine is in her 40’s, has life experience, and still can kicking-ass. Her magical cat, Sindari, is such a fun character and Zavyrd, our dragon shifter, is perfectly arrogant. I loved Val, Sindari, and Zavyrd.

Sinister Magic is packed full of action and adventure. It’s one wild ride from beginning to end. We are treated to unique characters. A plot that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The world building is well done and Val’s backstory was perfect.

I can’t wait to see what’s next. If you love Urban Fantasy, then this one is for you. It’s got it all.

Rated: 5 Stars

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I'm an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, animal & book lover. I'm the owner, reviewer & mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy & my favorite shifters are dragons.

10 comments on “Review: Sinister Magic (Death Before Dragons #1) by Lindsay Buroker

  1. Sounds great! I put it on my list. Thanks for the Chirp tip also.

    • Your welcome on the Chirp tip. Glad to help add to the TBR. Happy Reading!

  2. I just read a review of a recently released title in this series and I was convinced to take a look at the series. Now with your glowing review, I’m definitely going to pick it up. Thanks!

    • I hope you enjoy! I’ve been devouring the books. It’s great UF. If you want the audio for a limited time Chirp has it on sale for $0.99c.

  3. Hot dang. Added to my wishlist. You know I love UF.

    • This is a fun UF series. The first book is $0.99c for limited time in audio at Chirp. Haven’t listened, but I loved reading. I’ve been devouring the books. Hope you enjoy and happy to add to your TBR.

  4. OH this sounds really good! I will definitely have to put this on the list. If I could just get caught up! Eek!

    • Happy to help add to the TBR. I’ve been devouring this series. It’s a great Urban Fantasy series. Hope you enjoy. ^_^

  5. You sold me. I must try this latest series, too. She sounds like a fun and exciting heroine.

    • I’ve been devouring the books. I really enjoy Val and her Tiger side-kick. Val kicks-ass and reminds of Kate from Kate Daniels series. They are in audio too. I hope you enjoy!