Author: Lia Black
Publisher: VineDark/ BlackHouse Press
Cover Artist: Unknown
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/01/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, M/M Romance, Paranormal
How far can a man go in the name of faith?
Father Gareth De’Aubyn is a man tormented by his past and ready to sell his future to save the souls of his flock. He’s traded his Crusader’s armor for a cassock, and now ministers to the very people his army sent fleeing for their lives. When his church is attacked by unknown assassins, Gareth is mortally wounded, and with his dying breath, he calls out to the Creator for help.
But his god does not answer.
Instead, a demon heeds his call, cajoling him to promise his soul to the Sunderer, god of the underworld, for a chance to set everything right.
Fydelis was once an angel. Gareth’s Guardian Angel. But his love for Gareth caused him to fall from the heavens, and the Angel of Fidelity has become the demonic aspect of Regret. He is now the unwilling plaything of the Sunderer, the darkest of all dark gods. Seeing his Crusader again—a man he thought had abandoned him— is more cruelty than he can take. Fydelis, now a stranger to Gareth, is sent to the mortal world to make the dying priest an offer he can’t refuse, and in return, Gareth is tasked with the collection of some very stubborn souls.
Together, they begin a journey that will test everything they thought they knew about faith, love, and fidelity.
Content warnings: Graphic violence, fantasy-based theosophical overtones, dub-con, rape, heavy on the dark at times, snarky banter, hot and sweet m/m sex.
I loved Lia Black’s Worthy, and when I saw this new offering I wanted to read it too. I read the warnings and ventured forth. I must mention that the warnings did not lie, but you must put emphasis on the graphic violence, dub-con, and rape and not let the hot and sweet m/m sex bit lure you into a false sense of security. There is hot and oh so sweet sex, but it comes later after much pain. It is worth it, so worth it, but it is brutal getting there.
Fydelis is tortured by his master in horrific ways, but this is not the focal point of the story. The point is the faithfulness of Gareth, his fidelity, to his god and his guardian. The play between good and evil is ever present. Even in service to evil Gareth does deeds of good, and in seeking help for good he commits his soul to evil.
The world is sort of like ours, with talks of holy crusaders and a good god and a devil like Sunderer. In fact I thought it was just a paranormal version of our world, but the theology is subtly different. Ms Black did an amazing job of putting me right in the story. The world was vivid and real.
I loved the relationship between Fydelis and Gareth. The back and forth and the feelings between them were so real, so transcendent.
There are heartbreaking moments, and moments that I almost couldn’t bear to read, but the end was so beautiful I cried. If you can stomach the violence and the dark, the reward is great for this is truly a love story.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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