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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Calixta: The Vanquishers of Alhambra is an epic fantasy novel written by Omayra Vélez. Madame Calixta Harlow Carlyle is the youngest brothel owner in the port city of Talbert. She manages the Shining Star, an establishment that exclusively offers the services of Exotics, exquisitely trained women who have mastered the art of seduction. When Calixta gets killed trying to save her friend from her abusive husband, she finds herself waking up in the Box-Exchange Train Station, where the Virtues shower her with gifts and send her back to her old life as a Vanquisher to protect the mages from the Evil One's minions. Jadro, a follower of the Evil One, summons his demon orcs to pursue Calixta and her friends. While Calixta finds an unexpected ally in Vanquisher Lord Ashton Dreyden, Jadro expands his influence over the lands.
Infusing plenty of action, romance, and humor, author Omayra Vélez crafts an imaginative world of demon orcs, mages, and heroic warriors that will transport you to a land bustling with magic. The plot moves quickly, with twists and turns that you never see coming. The intricacy of the plot with attention to detail in the worldbuilding makes for a highly immersive reading experience. I found the characters colorful and full of quirks, with diverse personalities that set them apart. Calixta, Miomi, and Dreyden were my personal favorites amongst the bunch. I particularly enjoyed the back and forth between Calixta and Dreyden. If you consider yourself a fan of sprawling epic fantasy books, check out Calixta: The Vanquishers of Alhambra.