In Nix’s (Let Sleeping Dragons Lie, 2018, etc.) latest, a cruel and power-hungry angelic mage, set on reuniting with her Archangel lover, sets her sights on four very special teens.
In this fantasy world, humans use icons to call on angelic assistance for tasks ranging from trivial to life altering. Almost 140 years ago, Liliath, a renowned icon maker and preternaturally skilled angelic mage, unleashed the Ash Blood plague, which transformed its victims into horrific beastlings, upon Ystara. Now she has awakened and seeks to use four young men and women to meet her goal: Agnez Descaray, a cadet in the Queen’s Musketeers; budding doctor Simeon MacNeel; Cardinal’s clerk Henri Dupallidin; and Dorotea Imsel, a uniquely talented icon maker. The friendships they forge may be the key to stopping Liliath. Nix’s complex system of angelic magic, and the toll it takes, is fascinating, and he weaves an exciting adventure full of intrigue and action while portraying women in power in a refreshingly casual way. Agnez, full of swagger, biting wit, and an often troublesome eagerness to duel at every opportunity, is a joy, and the obsessed Liliath is heedless of the death and destruction she brings about. Liliath, Simon, Agnez, and Dorotea, along with many of the most powerful characters, have brown or black skin, Henri is pale, and there is a wide variety of skin tones throughout the cast.
An original and gripping adventure. (hierarchy of angels, maps) (Fantasy. 14-18)