“You look different, Father,” Liam said, squinting as
if studying the priest. “If I didn’t know any better,
I’d say you’ve taken to listening to The Sex Pistols.”
– And Blue Skies from Pain by Stina Leicht
For those of you yet to discover this extraordinary series, Of Blood and Honey began in the powder keg that was 1971 Derry in Northern Ireland and followed Liam Kelly, an ill-fated young man full of rage – and questions about his mysterious father, whom he never met. His mother had Liam when she was young and unmarried – rumors are the man was a Protestant – but now she is married with kids of her own, Liam is not exactly loved by his stepfather.
The supernatural undertones in Of Blood and Honey were tantalizing obscure but in And Blue Skies from Pain, Leicht increases the focus on those elements and places Liam – who now knows that he is half púca (shapeshifting Fey) and half mortal – directly in the middle of a possible peace agreement between the Fey and the Catholic Church, who believe the Fey and their ilk are soulless demons and should be killed without question. While being “tested” by Church scientists and being forcibly recruited by old criminal associates, Liam struggles to come to grips with who he is and his very unique place between two worlds. Still grieving over the death of his wife – who died almost two years earlier – Liam becomes haunted by unwanted ghosts and thinks that he may be going insane.
But as numerous people – dead and alive – try to kill Liam, he experiences some life-changing revelations amidst the chaos…
And the great thing about this series? Leicht hasn’t even begun to explore its depths – the first two novels are essentially the foundation to what could be one of the most original and well-written urban fantasy sagas to ever hit the shelves.
Readers seeking steamy supernatural encounters, comedic sidekicks, and snarky humor will not find it here: but what they will find is a powerfully moving and intoxicatingly entertaining series replete with memorable characters – and a killer soundtrack.
Paul Goat Allen has been a full-time book reviewer specializing in genre fiction for the last two decades and has written thousands of reviews for companies like Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.
Keep up with all of my blogs – as well as all of Barnes & Noble’s exclusive reviews, authors interviews, videos, promotions, and more – by following @BNBuzz on Twitter!