In this fantasy novel spanning countries and centuries, an archaeologist and a duchess discover that they’re the reincarnations of Adam and Eve—and the world’s only hope in the battle against an ancient evil.
A trip to Bolivia to seek out some ancient relics changes the life of famed, London-based archaeologist Nickolaus Piper in more ways than one. There, his beloved mentor, Tobias Alger, was murdered, but he left behind a trail of cryptic clues to explain why. As Nick tries to figure them out, a stranger bestows him with a talisman and tells him that the demons who haunt his dreams are real—and that they won’t stop torturing him until he’s destroyed. Meanwhile, Duchess Lily Drescher-DuKent is mourning the death of her mother when she, too, receives an item from a stranger in London, who warns her that demonic forces are hunting her as well. It turns out that Nick is the latest incarnation of Adam, “the Sacred Lion, God’s first son, the one prophesied to unite angels and Man with their Creator and Benefactor.” According to an ancient scroll that Nick finds in Bolivia, he must destroy his ex-wife (and minion of Satan), Lilith. As the reincarnation of Eve, Lily must help Nick fulfill his destiny, as the fate of heaven and Earth depends on it. Debut author Newman has filled her story with more action than most entire series—and this is only the first volume. The most compelling parts take place in 12th-century Jerusalem with Nick and Lily’s previous incarnations;they’re packed with visual detail, including enough disturbing, violent acts and lush banquet scenes to rival George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. However, like that fantasy opus, the cavalcade of characters, and their various identities throughout the ages, is hard to follow. In addition, some scenes grow repetitive; characters’ clothes dissolve to reveal glowing symbols on their chests multiple times, for instance. Nonetheless, fans of fantasy stories with historical or religious bents will find plenty to interest them here.
An ambitious, if somewhat overstuffed, beginning to a fantasy series.