Seraphs by Faith Hunter

seraphs.jpgSeraphs starts off not long after the events in Bloodring unfold, leaving Thorn St. Croix exposed as a mage hiding for the last ten years in the typical post-apocalyptic town of Mineral City, where mages are hated as much as they are feared.

For the most part, Seraphs was even more enjoyable than the first. The pace is fast, expecting readers to have the first book fresh in their mind, and not slowing down much to let you catch up. Almost immediately, Thorn is brought before the town elders to face a series of charges which could leave her branded, imprisoned, killed or worse. After reading the first book, I was still left wondering why everyone hated mages so much. After all, there are far scarier and more powerful creatures out there- what’s so wrong with the mages? Luckily, in Seraphs, mage history is explained in more detail, from the mage and non-mage point of view.

Thorn and the people of Mineral City are faced with the constant threat from creatures of Darkness: Succubae, Inccubi, dragonets, fallen seraphs, demon spawn, daywalkers, and more. What I find so interesting about the world Ms. Hunter has created is the full cast of vastly different characters. From the hateful, Orthodox mage hater to the four headed cherub and her Wheels (which I couldn’t really even begin to describe), there are many many different characters in this book and each is richly drawn, unique and often, strangely fascinating.

The Seraphs are, unsurprisingly, one of the best aspects of this book. As a reader, we get a sense of the same sort of curiosity and awe that the average person in this book feels for the mysterious Seraphs. Like Bloodring, the Seraphs are occasionally mentioned, but don’t really make much of an appearance until the end. Thorn’s favorite(and mine), Raziel, makes his entrance at the very end, and it’s pretty exciting. But his part in the book was also a little disappointing too- it was too short.

Seraphs was non-stop action, and a very quick read. The only real problem I had was the ending. The entire book was building toward Thorn’s return to the mountains, but by the time she decided to go back, there was only sixty pages left. And by the time she actually made it into the mountains, there was approximately only forty pages remaining. There was so much action, and so many battles, and deaths and near deaths, and revelations in these last few pages, and it could easily have used twice the page time. As I kept getting closer to the end, I constantly worried that Ms. Hunter was going to cut off the book in the middle of the fight, leaving us with a cliffhanger.

The rushed ending also made it a little difficult to keep up with the action. Several times, I had to go back and re-read a passage because I was having a difficult time imagining the characters or visualizing what was happening. But even the rushed ending and occasional difficulty picturing something couldn’t stop me from breathlessly turning each page and losing sleep to stay up late to find out how Thorn was going to survive the end of the book. Seraphs is intriguing, entertaining and an exciting follow up to to Bloodring, and I definitely recommend it.

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~ by loonigrrl on May 11, 2007.

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