4.5 stars rounded UP
WARNINGS: dubcon, tortures, graphic violence
I received copy of this book from the author through DBML program in exchange for an honest review.
The blurb piqued my interest and more so when a friend recommended this to me. So when there was a chance to read the book, I grabbed it. And boy was I in for a treat! Granted, historical though the story might be, it was not my usual choice of reading; but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story.
Fidelity was the guardian angel Lieutenant Gareth De’Aubyn worshiped since his days as Knight of Faith, the Crusaders. When Gareth turned his back on his brethren and chose to serve people as a priest, he unwittingly caused his angel to fall from Empyrean, turned into demon of Regret called Fidelys and be unwilling plaything of the Sunderer in the Abyss. When a group of assassins attacked Father Gareth’s flock, his cry for help was heard by the Sunderer; Malaketh sent Fydelis to make a bargain – Gareth’s soul for saving his flock’s lives. Gareth also had to collect tarnished souls for the Sunderer as payment for the lives saved, with Fidelys accompanying him through the journey.
Despite the character being a demon, I loved Fidelys from the start. First I felt for his agony enduring brutal tortures in the hand of Malaketh. He’s an unusual demon, a complicated mix of good, bad, strong and fragile at the same time. Gareth was too perfect a human; he could even cope with his attraction and lust over Fedelys. They made a balance combination.
Some of the dubcon scenes were a tad too graphic to my taste. On the other hand, they fed on my sympathies to the fallen angel. The plot borrowed the Crusades and their campaign in the middle ages but altered it into a new one with unholy ambitions, tainted souls and dark magic. And this was not exactly a good versus bad fight, as Gareth was actually on missions under the Sunderer order. Admittedly, the question I had all through reading was: where was the Creator during all this upheaval. I shouldn’t have worry though: He was there. *winks*
Romantically wise, this story may not have the “everybody happy” ending, least not in a conventional way. But the twist and turn of the story and Fidelys and Gareth’s building emotional closeness made more impact because of it. And surprisingly, terribly monstrous as Malaketh was, I wish there were a bit more glimpse of him in this book. There remained some questions concerning the Sunderer for me. But overall I so enjoyed this book – thus the rounded up rating! 😀