“I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it.” – Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals
“I wonder which will get you killed faster–your loyalty or your stubbornness?”
Penryn is 17, her mother is schizophrenic, her father is gone, and her 7 year old sister, Paige, is paralyzed from the waist down. If her responsibilities weren’t great enough, the world has ended and angels have decided it’s capital-A apocalypse time.
The book begins with Penryn moving her family to a safer part of town; her mother has been off her meds for days, and her sweet-hearted sister is slow-going in her manual wheelchair. Feeding her family and dodging angels and human gangs is all she has time for, so she surprises even herself when she comes to the aid of an angel who’s being attacked by his own kind, his wings severed.
That angel is Raffe, and with Penryn’s help he survives. But one of the attacking angels steals Paige, and Penryn realizes that Raffe is very probably her only chance of ever seeing her sister again. The two of them strike up an uneasy alliance; he needs his wings restored, she wants her family reunited. They set out together, and the rest is not history, but a really fun, original urban fantasy.
**Major spoilers after the synopsis!**
If you’re familiar with the creation story for Middle Earth, you remember that the Valar, the demigods who helped sing the world into existence, have their own servants called Maiar. Gandalf was a Maia of the Vala Manwe. Sort of like his emissary, right hand, executor of his will, etc. Well, this story is about a war between two beings that remind me of Valar, being waged on the ground by a couple of Maiar, with an unknowing female pawn suspended in the middle. Heh, I guess that doesn’t necessarily make it less complicated.
Basically, Erin is a healer who insists on learning to fight, becoming the champion of her people. Her grandmother, the Lady, is a Servant of the Bright Heart who has seen the coming end of the eons-long war they’ve waged against the Servant of the Dark Heart, who is the evil lord Stephanos. Erin takes the fight to Stephanos himself, ushering in the end her grandmother foresaw and wept over, but the battle she wages is not the one she’s trained for and it involves something else entirely.
The Hardcover Lover’s Soundtrack Saturday is a book blog meme after my own heart. I know I love a book and it’s really reached me if I think about it while I’m going about my day, especially when I’m listening to music. I’m sure you’ve experienced it, too. You’re settling in to do the dishes (insert mindless domestic drudgery) or driving, turn on some music, and next thing you know you’re transported to Velaris on Starfall, and Feyre and Rhysand are dancing, and obvisouly it’s what the songwriter intended because it’s just too perfect. 🙂