Friday, July 05, 2013

Mini-Review: And Blue Skies from Pain by Stina Leicht

I’m always terrible at picking a best of pretty much anything, but if I had to pick the best book that I read in 2012, it was Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht (My Review, Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon). Therefore, it should be no surprise that its sequel, And Blue Skies from Pain (Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon), was a very high priority for me to read. I feel that these books are powerful examples of what urban fantasy can and should be – a mix of old and new, history and contemporary, mythic and modern. Her tales of a war between the Catholic Church, Fallen Angels, and Irish Fey set against the backdrop of The Troubles in Northern Ireland is a great balance.
The powerful tragedy of Liam’s life and continued struggles with who he is drives And Blue Skies from Pain. The conflict Liam has with those in his life comes to forefront – his only real friend and partner, a priest who betrayed him the past, his long absent father and his clan of Fey warriors, his dead wife, and those who seek to use or kill him. Leicht’s books are more tragic than anything else – victories feel pyrrhic rather than victorious, and a melancholic hopelessness seems to dominate through Liam. In this Leicht’s writing feels more real and less formulaic as it distinguishes itself from the rest of urban fantasy.
However, I must point out that I am an American reading these, an American who has not ever been to Northern Ireland and only has the vaguest idea of what The Troubles were truly like. So, I think that this criticism/deconstruction of Leicht’s The Fey and The Fallen series (so far) is a valuable perspective. And while it is highly critical of Leicht’s writing, I found that it didn’t impact my enjoyment of the series at all, even though I read And Blue Skies from Pain after I had read that deconstruction.
While I can’t claim that And Blue Skies from Pain had the same impact that Of Blood and Honey did, it is a powerful sequel in its own right. Unfortunately, the exact fate of the series is a bit uncertain with all the happenings around Night Shade Books, but I’m confident that there will be a conclusion, and it will be a conclusion that I very much look forward to reading.


Anonymous said...

I have both of the books in the series and still haven't read them, in spite of hearing almost nothing bad about them.

Julius bright said...

i must read these books. thanks for this post!


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