Review: And Blue Skies From Pain By Stina Leicht

March 4, 2012 Review 0 ★★★★

image Title: And Blue Skies From Pain
Author: Stina Leicht
Series: The Fey and the Fallen #2
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Excerpt: No
Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Kristina

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (March 6, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1597803472
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597803472

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Sexual Content:

Reference to sex


Rating:


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Description

It’s November of 1977: The punk rock movement is a year old and the brutal thirty-year war referred to as “The Troubles” is escalating. According to Irish tradition, the month of November is a time for remembrance of the dead. Liam Kelly, in particular, wishes it were otherwise. Born a Catholic in Londonderry/Derry, Northern Ireland, Liam, a former wheelman for the Provisional IRA, is only half mortal. His father is Bran, a puca – a shape-shifting, ghostlike creature – and a member of the ancient Fianna. Liam must dodge both the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who want him for the car bombing that killed Constable Haddock, and the Provisional IRA, who want him for the deaths of ?amon Walsh and several others found ripped apart in a burned down farmhouse in Armagh. Fortunately for Liam, both the Ulster Constabulary and the Provisional IRA think he’s dead. On the other hand, the Militis Dei – a group of Roman Catholic priest-assassins, whose sole purpose is to dispose of fallen angels and demons found living on this earth – is very aware that Liam is alive, and very aware of his preternatural parentage. With the help of his unlikely ally Father Murray – a Militis Dei operative who has known Liam since childhood – he must convince the Church that he and his fey brethren aren’t demonic in origin, and aren’t allied with The Fallen.

Review

AND BLUE SKIES FROM PAIN, the second book in Stina Leicht’s The Fey and The Fallen series is beautifully written and brings a supernatural undertone to a violent era in 1970’s Ireland. I was curious about how the paranormal aspects would fit in with such a complex and tumultuous point in history. What I found interesting was the parallels of politics and conflict brought about by mistrust and ingrained prejudices among the Catholic Church with the Fey (which they consider to be demons) and the Protestant and Catholic conflicts in Ireland. Throughout the book the slightest misstep could spell war for the Fey and the Church which masterfully matched the underlying pressures felt by people in Ireland.

Caught in the middle of these brewing issues is the half-mortal/ex-Provisional IRA fighter Liam Kelley. Liam is put through the physical and mental ringer as he faces prison-like isolation, degrading medical tests to prove that he is human, and maintaining a low profile from the IRA who want him dead. Liam was a flawed and conflicted character in part due to his violent past and the tragic loss of his family, but it made him feel all the more real–and sympathetic–to me.

Mixed in with the politics and violence we see some of the punk culture that was around in the 70s (the title is even a part of a Pink Floyd song) The punk subculture was an expression of anarchism, anger, rebellion against authority, and nihilistic views of life. The music and culture was hard and gritty which fits nicely into the background of AND BLUE SKIES WITH PAIN’s setting in Ireland.

I loved Stina Leicht’s world-building and how she so seamlessly mixed the supernatural with actual history.  I found this amazing as the Fey storyline could have so easily come off as a jarring contrast. I actually feel more familiar with this time period in Ireland’s history now having read this book and it’s made me want to learn more. AND BLUE SKIES FROM PAIN is a gritty and complex story that had me thinking about it long after I put the book down.

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