ANGELS' BANE by Ryan Kunz

ANGELS' BANE

The Empire of Heaven: Book 1

KIRKUS REVIEW

A barbaric, blood-thirsty gladiator finds himself in the center of an epic battle between omnipotent angels and their human counterparts.

Egos and legacies clash as the fate of the Holy Galactic Imperium hangs in the balance in Kunz’s thrilling space odyssey. Spinning off the biblical notion of fallen angels, Kunz’s narrative revolves around one of the fallen, Apollyon, and his desire to deprive humans of their freedom and reign supreme as their god. Emperor Wilhelm Dezhar and the Knights Rehad—humans sworn to protect the galaxy—face off against cherubs and angels at Sheraad Point, on a day that is known as “The Day of Burning Blood.” However, the mere presence of the angels incinerates the human soldiers. The author frequently toggles from the Day of Burning Blood to the present. While this flashback sheds light on historical events, the shift from present to past hinders the novel’s progression. Following the fall of the emperor at Sheraad point, the story focuses on Stark, a fierce gladiator with no recollection of his past. Kunz explores the theory that human beings need parameters and rules. In Apollyon’s eyes, he’s doing mankind a favor by subjugating them; if they were allowed their own free will, murder and mayhem would ensue. Many themes run concurrently through the novel, including good versus evil, love versus betrayal, duty versus sacrifice, religion versus free will, family ties and loyalty. While they’re sometimes stalled by stagnant dialog, the characters rate as some of the most intriguing aspects of the book: Prince Malcolm and Alex, the ever-loyal Aden, Prelate Kunry, warriors turned pirates, delirious angels and more. At the heart of the story, a philosophical question confronts each character: When adversity strikes and peril lurks, does one do what’s best for himself or his nation—even if the consequence is death?

Vivid description and nonstop action—ranging from gladiatorial combat to space battles—will leave readers watching for volume two of the series.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1466395459
Page count: 518pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:




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