Sunday, June 5, 2011

of Blood and Honey

Written By: Stina Leicht
Copyright: 2011
Publisher:  Night Shade Books
Pages 293
Cover Art By: Min Yum

This will be my fifth book in Quest The First.
Quest The First : Read at least 5 books that fit somewhere within the Once Upon a Time criteria. They might all be fantasy, or folklore, or fairy tales, or mythology…or your five books might be a combination from the four genres

I shall start out by saying that I purchased this book for several reasons. 
One, the cover. The dog with the red glowing eyes and the shadow of a man...who could resist? Also the blood droplets and bloody hand print on the back...Ok, so I thought it was cool...geek
Then of course I read the summary on the back. Fallen angels..check
 Fey...check Unknown father, got a little mystery there....check Sounds like my kind of book :D
Last but not least was the fact that I had been to the book store many times and always found myself coming back to it. It drew me I took the plunge

The story begins with Liam in his early teens. November 13, 1971. Chapters are always headed with location and date, which I enjoyed. Anyway, as I was saying,  the young Liam begins this story with a gun to his head. He had gone to see the riot at Aggro Corner, and was detained by the BAs (British Army). Unwilling to disclose the names of the rioters, Liam finds himself imprisoned in Long Kesh. 
Before he is taken however, he looks up to see a mysterious man in a cap the color of dried blood, teeth filed to points and eyes that glowed red, watching and smiling at him.

The story then switches to Kathleen Kelly, Liams mother. She is a whirlwind of confused emotion. Worry for her son, guilt about her past, (and her present for that matter) and fear of what the future holds for Liam. Kathleen has never told Liam about his father and has always kept them apart. She is very...human in her feelings, and as a mother, relatable. (I've known people quite like her)

Father Murray is the family priest. He has always kept close to Liam and known the "truth" about him since he was born. The good Father is a bit of a mystery, and his true motivations are eventually revealed. Sometimes the best of intentions can lead to the most despicable of deeds.

The story continues with Liam in and out of unfortunate, often desperate situations. There are respites, (although few) when he does have some happiness in his life. In the end all of the questions are answers, the mystery's revealed and theres still an opportunity to continue Liams' story.

The way I see it: This was NOT what I expected, although that's not to say it was a bad thing. I expected this story to be more Fey/Fallen Celtic folklore war....and it wasn't. It dealt a lot with factual historical events and the effects they had on peoples lives. I loved Liam, and the fact that there was no big silver for very...Irish (fault me if you must, but we're not an, it's all sunshine and roses kinda people)

The bad, the bad, and the ugly: Harrrrsh much! Liams' story is not for the faint hearted. For me at least, its saving grace is that it doesn't go into too much detail when horrendous events do take place.

Love it or Leave it: Hmmmm, you know I had to think about that. It's certainly not what I expected, and generally not "my" kind of book, but overall I have to give it a love it. I found myself coming back to it again and again, just as I did in the book store. Also, and I quote, " sponge", I simply had to research the events and dates, and guess what? I learned a lot. 
I love it when that happens!!

Oh, one last note. The songs that were mentioned, (and there were quite a few)  soooo brought me back. Yes, I was a mere youngin at the time, but I've always loved music :D


Cath said... Best Blogger Tips

I assume this book is partly about The Troubles in Northern Ireland? Having lived through that, albeit in England not Ireland, I tend to avoid books about it as some things, for me anyway, are too awful to relive. Which is possibly a shame because like you I like to learn things from books, or to read something which leads me to investigate further. That cover *is* amazing though and probably would have drawn me in too.

I wonder if you might like Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd which my friend, Jenny, has reviewed here:

animewookie said... Best Blogger Tips

Cath: Yes it is. There are books with topics that I tend to stay away from as well, I know exactly what you mean.

I know right!!! Gotta love the cover :D

I read your friends review. I never would have thought it, but yes...I think I would like that book. I'm a creature of habit, It's good for me to expand my TY

Carl V. said... Best Blogger Tips

I can see why the cover pulled you in, it is one of the best I've seen on a Night Shade Books publication. I'm not sure if I'd like this one or not. It sounds interesting and yet is not necessarily grabbing me.

animewookie said... Best Blogger Tips

I almost feel that it would have been better to leave out what aspects of fantasy there were in the book. I think It would have done well as straight historical fiction you know.

Carl V. said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, sometimes those genre melds just don't work as effectively as they could.