A hundred years after near-biblical plagues wiped out most densely populated areas, angel-like seraphs are at odds with the Dark Powers that live deep underground in a world covered with ice.
Thorn St. Croix is a neomage, able to channel energy into spells. She makes a living polishing and carving trinkets that she infuses with harmless bits of positive magic, living in fear of being discovered and put to death by those who don’t take kindly to her talents and background. But the town where she lives has some sinister secrets. Thorn’s ex-husband, Lucas Stanhope, is kidnapped by the Dark Powers residing nearby. The blood of his grandfather was used to defeat them in their last battle against the seraphs, and by kidnapping Lucas they hope to acquire the power to start taking over the town. In order to save everyone, Thorn has to risk revealing her true self to her friends, as well as to the very alluring Thaddeus Bartholomew, who has shown up to investigate the kidnapping. The conclusion hints that Thorn is tied into the ongoing seraph/Dark Power conflict, but can’t remember why, leaving the option of more books on the table. With so many fantasies featuring heroes who spring from nowhere and are either virtually or literally orphans, it’s a pleasure to read this engaging tale about characters connected by strong bonds of friendship and family.
Mixes romance, high fantasy, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic adventure to good effect.