Stina Leicht’s OF BLUE SKIES AND PAIN is fantastic.

Of Blood and Honey was an exceptional debut in a year marked by great debuts. It’s up for all sorts of honors and things, and I agree that these honors and things are deserved. Have you read this book?

It came out last year. It’s a great book. I’ve not plugged a lot of books around here, of late, in part because I’ve been disappointed with most of what I’ve read, lately. Not so Stina’s book. When I think back over the last three months and what I’ve read and liked or not liked, I think of the advance copy I scored from Nightshade for the second book in this series, OF BLUE SKIES AND PAIN.

This whole series is reminiscent of a very good BBC Urban Fantasy Drama, with demons hiding out, working their nefarious plans and schemes, and intermingling their bloodlines with humanity. The Catholic Church, naturally, is the tip of the sword to protect humanity. If this sounds tiresome, hold up a moment, and let me explain a little more. During the times of trouble in Ireland, where being Catholic or Protestant meant you couldn’t walk down the street in some areas at risk of death. The IRA is in full swing. Liam, our luckless protagonist, is swallowed into their fold as a young man, and finds himself a driver for a crew of IRA men. The demons and the church both have it out for our main character.

You see, his father is Fey. The Church thinks Fey are all just demons. The Fey is actually just as upset about the demons as the church, if anyone bothered to ask them about it. Both the church, and the demons, have it out for Liam. He doesn’t even realize it most of his life. He doesn’t understand why he seems to transform into a powerful black wolf when he’s upset, killing everything in his path. He has a lot to learn about the world, and his enemies in the world, before he can find peace with the woman he loves.
That’s book one. There is no peace, I assure you. 
Book two is a tenuous truce between the Fey and the Church, while they try to figure out whether either side can trust the other in a losing fight with demons and Nephilim. Everything gets harder. Everything gets more violent. And, Stina’s vision is coming through, in a work that seems to step right out of the influence of good BBC serials, combining real history, with mythologies, and a fearless, unfettered way of making very likable protagonists suffer the consequences of their actions in a brutal, violent, dangerous world.
Check it out, people. You’re going to like it.

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