Enter into Neth Space and you will find thoughts and reviews of books and other media that fit the general definition of speculative fiction. This includes the various genres and sub-genres of fantasy, science fiction, epic fantasy, high fantasy, hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, new weird, magical realism, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, slipstream, horror, alternative history, SF noir, etc. Thoughts are my own, I'm certainly not a professional, just an avid reader avoiding his day job.
Friday, July 05, 2013
Mini-Review: And Blue Skies from Pain by Stina Leicht
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.
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.
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.