Not only does New Zealands residents have to worry about fighting the war over seas for England but also the war in their own lands - the loss of their own protectors, the seraphim and their hosts. Three people are drawn together when what appears as a serial killer first with the many Awakened soldiers that are caught off guard in their home land, thrilled to be home, then takes children, who are first children and could host seraph. Faith goes in search of her missing cousin. Lily has lost her mother, and the name of her seraph before completely awakening. Jack, home from the war where his seraph awakened, struggles with the curse he lives with and the isolation he feels from the loss of his loved ones. All three are drawn together over years as they are drawn for personal reasons to the troubles and murders.
Wow. Philippa Ballantine has awakened a rarely heard legend in the vibrant world of New Zealand. Drawing to the forefront a seraphim and magic, in first generations born into the land, that many Urban Fantasy fans will fall for. A serial killer is on the lose and seraphim and their hosts are not safe. Fresh and traces of old blended together for our enjoyment.
Seraphim are the magic in the oldest child of a New Zealand child. They always want to please their hosts so the temptation of the power they offer is easily accessed, and can be dangerous with feeling the power they have. Many feel the seraph are a curse as usually the hosts don't live to middle age, let alone old. The constant connection driving the host mad. Yet there are many who enjoy having the friend to never feel alone. The seraph awakened by severe pain and trauma to the host.
In the Prelude we meet Jack, three years prior to the story starting, while in the war in Turkey. We witness his awakening and how he has survived when so many are lost. I really like that we are introduced to the magics of being an Awakened from page one. Into the story we meet Lily and witness her awakening, and this is when the mystery takes off.
This story also brings to life the wars fought, for the country and personal. We are set us in a time that many loved ones are lost due to war, personal reasons with those lost at war, and the deadly fever that has spread through the land. So many battles to fight here. These all affect the characters and the world they are living in.
There was a mystery to the magic the seraph gave their host from early on. I was curious of it along with drawn into the lives of Faith, Jack, and Lily and those around them. I found I was hoping and wanting them all to meet up again, loving the time they spend together. There is chemistry between them each time they are together, bringing action and emotions to a heightening. I love them all for different reasons.
There are breaks in the story by years, but each section is a story of what has happened to bring us to a point in each characters lives. They are almost like short stories with arcs and endings, yet we know there is something not finished yet. In the end, we get our answers.
The story is set in New Zealand, an old yet new and exciting world. As much as it's described in all it's glory, it feels like home to me. The legend Philippa draws on is new and exciting. Pip briefly touches on a few dark topics. We are aware of it happening, and pull through it. Amazing talent with words on Pip's behalf for leaving the hints of what's happening without drawing us through the actual events.
I can't wait for more of this world and creation Philippa has brought to life for us.