“The Dark Ones” by Gaja Kos

A fantasy/paranormal romance featuring Slavic characters who are the good guys was an exciting find for me, and I was also drawn by the setting of Ljubljana.  The author depicts the Slavic background and setting matter-of-factly, which is a welcome change from the “exoticification” of Slavdom in most Western literature, although readers who don’t speak a Slavic language might want a bit more context for words like Psoglav and srcek.  The storyline and language is in many ways pretty generic, but the main character, Rose, has some refreshing aspects to her that make her a welcome addition to the genre: e.g., she is apparently bisexual, something the author presents and the other characters accept as completely natural and ordinary.  In general, the female characters are clever and strong, and take the lead both in investigating the situation and fighting the bad guys.  Readers looking for a paranormal romance with an unusual setting and strong female leads will find a lot to like here.

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