Customer Reviews for

Breath of Angel (Angelaeon Circle Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    Unfortunately, I was very sadden by this latest book I read tit

    Unfortunately, I was very sadden by this latest book I read titled “Breath of Angel” written by, Karyn Henley. This is one of those books that as you read you are hoping it would get better and I truly wanted to be able to finish it. It began great in the first few chapters, fantasy world with dark vs light along with some human touches. Then I was lost as I continued. The characters were hard to understand and the writing didn’t seem smooth to carry me through chapter by chapter. I was so disappointed. I hate giving bad reviews on a book that someone has worked hard on, but this book wasn’t the right fit for me.

    *The opinions I have expressed are my own and I was not paid for my review, I received this book as complimentary copy from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories┬┐until now.

    A cloaked stranger enters the temple courtyard and before the young priestess, Sontress Melaia, could properly welcome the stranger he is attacked by a shape-shifter, hawk and man. Melaia desperately beats the hawk with a stick to get it away from the stranger. The hawk takes off in a cloud of smoke. But to no avail the stranger had been killed and Melaia watched as his spirit left his body to disappear into the cracks of the courtyard floor. When she attempts to remove the strangers cloak, in order to prepare his body, Melaia is shocked to find a bloodied set of wings. It appears the stranger was an ANGEL.


    This is where the story gets even more intriguing. A handsome Envoy Trevin, dispatched by their King, comes to the temple and is given a very rare harp along with the Songstress Melaia as a gift to their King. It appears she is taken from her only home and has become nothing more than chattel for her King. As she is about to be presented to the King the story reveals a blood feud that is actually between two brothers and Melaia seems to be in the very center of the battle. She escapes and finds a safe haven among a band of angels. This is where the real TRUTH is revealed, and an ancient dept is to be paid, the “breath of angel, blood of man,”a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.


    This book has really peaked my interest into Angels and the different spheres of Angels.


    I highly recommend this Christian Young Adult Fantasy.


    I rated this book a 4 out of 5. Only because it was a little out of my genre. No fault of the author.


    Disclosure
    I was provided a free copy of this book by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was in no way compensated for this review it is own opinion.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Great YA Fantasy

    I was excited when I received this book because I generally love this type of story. Fantasy. Young Adult. First in a series. This book did not disappoint. From the opening chapter, described in the publisher's synopsis, to the end the book moved at a good pace, not too slow and not too fast. There was plenty of details to build this world and it's characters for this book and future ones.

    The book opens with a map of the world and a cast of characters, which was very helpful because there are a lot of characters. The characters were easy to differentiate, though, and woven together skillfully so I rarely had to refer to the cast after I had started reading the story.

    The main character, Melaia, has a strong personality but not in a forced manner. I feel like some authors, in an attempt to create a more "feminist" story, create unbelievable character traits in their female characters. Not so with this one. She is out of her comfort zone and makes mistakes just like a real person would. She also shows courage and determination to accomplish her mission.

    The supporting characters were also well developed. One in particular had mystery and intrigue built in to his character development which made for an interesting subplot.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this story and am eagerly anticipating the release of book two, Eye of the Sword, in Spring 2012.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    Loved it!

    I was hooked from the first chapter when the young priestess, Melaia, witnesses the murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard. Legends that she has been told since childhood suddenly come to life with the discovery of angels and shape-shifters.

    Melaia finds herself caught in the middle of a feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. After being tricked into giving away a very important item to one of the brothers, Melaia discovers that she is the key to repairing the stairway. She must find a way to get the items back, save her friends, and repair the stairway.

    This is the first in a series of books. As the book ends, Melaia has not yet repaired the stairway. Eye of the Sword will be coming out in Spring 2012 and I'm very much looking forward to it.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Start to a New Young Adult Angel Series

    Melaia is a young priestess that witnesses a hawk trying to kill a stranger in the temple courtyard. After she beats the hawk away, she realizes that the wounds are so bad that the stranger dies. Upon preparing the body, Melaia learns that the stranger was an angel. That evening, as she is telling a story to the younger girls, a stranger demands that she tell the story of the Wisdom Tree.

    The Wisdom Tree is the stairway to the heavens that the angels traveled on along with the souls of the departed humans. A brother goes in search of it to find a gift for his father. In the end he takes the seeds from the fruit of the tree and eats then becoming immortal then destroys the Wisdom Tree. His brother and daughter also eat the seeds. No there is an eternal battle between the brothers, one wants to rule the world and the other wants to resort the Wisdom Tree.

    The story is real and now the first son is after three harps that can restore the Wisdom Tree when joined together. After being sent to play for the dieing king, Melaia is thrust into the battle. She meets handsome Trevor whom she has unknown feeling for, but can she trust him or anyone else she meets during this journey.

    Melaia was an orphan left at the temple so she doesn't know who her parents are. She learns that there is more to herself than just being a simple priestess. But she doesn't really want to follow that path; she just wants to be left alone to her temple. I feel for her since she has been so sheltered that she doesn't understand how the rest of the world works, mainly with whom to trust.

    Melaia was very impulsive and was always rushing into danger headfirst. I did like this book and would recommend it to those that like paranormal/angel young adult stories. It is a series and does end with plenty of room for sequels.

    I received this from the Amazon Vine program to review.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hard to put down

    Angels have always been a mystery to us, and in this new series, angels are both the protectors and the deceivers. Author Karyn Henley takes readers into a world full of magic and secrets by telling the tale of one girl who has to beat all odds in order to discover who she is. It all starts with Melaia, who is a chantress in the city called Navia. A chantress has the ability to help souls such as, when someone is passing away, a chantress can play their harp and perhaps save the soul by placing it back into their body, or calm the soul as they head toward the light. Melaia witnesses a brutal murder of a young stranger by a hawk. Only later does she discover that the slayed stranger was actually an angel, and the hawk was actually a man who was involved long ago with destroying The Wisdom Tree. The Wisdom Tree is the place where angels could go back and forth between Earth and Heaven, and when the tree was destroyed, many angels were left behind - both good (Angelaeon) and bad (Malevolent). An angel named Dreia was standing guard at the Wisdom Tree, but because of two brothers - one who was truly in love with her but had to pay a 'debt' to the angels - she was locked in a family battle. What the chantress doesn't know is that she, herself, is involved with the whole legend. Life changes for Melaia as she's sent to play her harp for the melancholy King of Redcliff. It is a beautiful harp, made of material never seen around their lands anymore. And.there are three of them. Whoever possesses these three powerful instruments can rule or ruin the land. As Melaia journeys to Redcliff, she is guarded and escorted by the kingsman, Trevin. Feelings begin to form between the two of them, but are soon broken as she finds him betraying her. Why the betrayal? Trevin works for the hawk man who was the slayer of the angel. In time, Melaia must figure out who is good and who is bad as she tries to discover a way to recreate the Angelaeon's pathway. Mystery twirls around the chantress as she does her best to understand truth and faith, and to discover where she came from, who she really is, and where her heart should be. This first book in the series is an excellent piece of fantasy fiction, offering non-stop suspense and new.very illuminating characters. Every chapter seems to end with some new secret that begs the reader to continue with Melaia on her quest. Quill Says: Bring on the angels! Readers will find this fantasy hard to put down as they experience the wonders of the angelic world.

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  • Posted July 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Well-written and hard to put down

    A young chantress, an angel, a harp, and an ugly feud - elements that will hook you from the beginning of this book. Melaia simply wants to serve, to one day take her place in the temple. But, her plans are changed when a man is killed in the courtyard and she is summoned to the Overlord. As her life changes, Melaia finds herself in the midst of a troubling feud. The fact that the feud isn't between mortals disturbs her. How can she survive? What is the meaning of Benasin's harp? What is the story of the hawk? What about the angels, shape-shifters, and "myths"?

    This book was difficult to put down because the story propelled me from one place to another. The characters were interesting and the story well written. While it appears to be young adult literature, I assure you that adults will enjoy it as well. The fantasy elements fit into the opportunity to step away from everyday realism and experience a little "otherworldness." I heartily recommend this book! Thank you to the Blogging for Books program who sent me this book for a review. The words and thoughts are mine.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Unique and Exciting

    For some reason I didn't have a lot of good expectations for this book and I let it sit on my shelf for longer than I probably should of. I knew that this was a book about angels but as far as I could tell there wasn't going to be much romance, and I'm not a fan of a story without some romance (sad but true). Anyways, when I finally picked up Breath of Angel and started reading I told myself I'd go until page 50 before I gave up, but by page 25 I knew I was going to enjoy the story and I stuck it out and loved it!

    There is a chantress, Melaia who sees a man get murdered right near the temple where she was at and once she begins to prepare the body for burial she realizes he is an angel and the thing that killed him was a hawk or other creature! Her journey begins with the discovery of the angel and her life is forever changed.

    Again I was surprised that I was truly as invested in this story as I was. While there were no romantic scenes technically there were some hints to a romance brewing in the future books which has me excited.

    This story was mostly about adventure, angels and promise made 200 yrs prior. Breath of Angel was somewhat historical and definitely fantasy, mixed with some mystery and action and adventure! The parts about the stairway to heaven were so intriguing to me that I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days after reading this book.

    I enjoyed the characters immensely and I am really intrigued with Melaia and what her plans are for the future! She was a shy and sheltered young girl that grew along with the story into a warrior and confident person!

    Breath of Angel was an easy yet action packed read and I plan on picking up the next book in the series to see how the story continues!!

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great start to a very promising series!

    Melaia is a young priestess in Navia, in training to take over as high priestess when the current high priestess - Hanamel (Hanni) - steps down. Three younger novice priestesses tend the temple as well - Iona, who is 14; Nuri, who is 12; and Peron, who is six. One evening when Melaia is outside, a thin, disheveled-looking man staggers into the courtyard. As is the custom of the temple, she offers him rest and succor, but before he can get inside he is attacked - viciously - by a hawk, which fatally wounds him. While preparing his body for burial, Melaia discovers he has wings - he is an angel. She is astounded, because she thought angels were just a myth. Soon another man comes into the temple, threatens the priestesses and disturbs the body - saying very odd things indeed. When Hanni and Benasin - a friend and advisor to the Overlord - arrive, just in the nick of time, they are able to drive him off.

    But Melaia's adventures are just beginning - she is summoned to the Overlord, who ends up selling Benasin's harp to a kingsman as a gift for the King - and throws Melaia in as an extra bonus. She finds herself on the way to Redcliff, the kingdom's seat. Then things start to get really weird ...

    I don't want to outline any more of the plot, so as to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say that Melaia learns that what she thought she knew was mostly wrong - even about herself. She matures significantly in the course of this, the first book in the series. The second book, Eye of the Sword: A Novel (The Angelaeon Circle), is due out in 2012, so be on the lookout for that.

    I was much impressed by the story-telling ability of this author - the story flowed smoothly, transitions were clean and the characters were well-developed and interesting. Apparently this book is classified as Christian fiction, but I'm not sure why - while the religion espoused in this novel is monotheistic, it is not much like Christianity. But this book is clean - no swearing, no sex - and safe for people who are bothered by such in the books they read.

    I can recommend this book for anyone from 12 on up - under 12 I think it might be a bit scary, but it depends on the young person him- or herself. It's also a book that older readers can enjoy - an adventure, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong - all that great epic stuff is here, but done in a fairly unique way. Check it out!

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    I Very Much Recommend this book!

    Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. This story kept me interested and I couldn't stop reading it until I had finished it a few days later. I liked it a lot, even though it is not the exact genre I usually get hooked on.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Breath of Angel - a great start

    From the back of the book -
    When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.


    Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories-until now.


    A young adult book, though it can easily be enjoyed by all ages. The story is of Melaia, her discovery that angels exist and that she's a key in a prophecy. An ancient feud between two brothers, the solution exists in the "breath of angel, blood of man". This is the first installment as Melaia learns what exists and doesn't. It's the start of her journey to restore the stairway to heaven and the tree that rooted it on earth. The story itself was slow to start, but picked up pace the farther in you read. A series worth following.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    First off, I thought that this book was really good! I was a little skeptical at first - I was expecting this to be another one of those vampires fantasy books that seem to be flying off the shelves these days. It's nothing like those! This isn't your typical fantasy book. I could not put it down once I got started. I kept wanting to read and read to see what happened next in Melaia's quest to restore The Wisdom Tree! The storyline and the characters were great. I enjoyed watching Melaia coming from her humble beginnings as a priestess to settling in her destiny. I really liked the mythical creatures as well, like the draks, birds with human hands. Not only is it a great story, but it also leaves you with a few things to think about. You learn Melaia's lessons about friendship and trust along with her.
    Not only does this book entertain, but it inspires as well.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Breath of Angel: The Angeleon Circle Book One

    "Breath of angel, blood of man..." Age-old debts demand repayment, the restoration of an ancient passage between heaven and earth hangs in the balance, and a feud between immortals and angels escalates. This and more await you in "Breath of Angel," the first book in the series, "The Angeleon Circle" by Karyn Henley. This young adult fantasy adventure features Melaia, a young priestess, whose life takes an unimaginable turn after witnessing the murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard. When she discovers wings on the victim, Melaia realizes that the myths and tales told in the temple are no longer fanciful stories...they are truth. Even though most fantasy novels are written for YA, I still enjoy the opportunity to lose myself in another world so different from our own. Karyn Henley creates just such a world, and the premise of the plot is one I hadn't encountered before. The story was a little slow to grab my attention in the beginning, but I continued reading and was glad that I did. The characters were interesting, but unfortunately, I never felt like I got to know most of them very well. All in all, I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next in the series.

    I received a free copy of Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    fast paced, slightly vague-- 3.5/5

    I received an advanced copy of this book over two months ago. It's taken me that long to get through it.

    When a traveler is murdered by a hawk in the temple courtyard, myths and fantasies known to the priestest Melaia transform into reality. The stranger's cloak falls away to
    reveal the long white wings of an angel, and the hawk returns in human form to keep the stranger's mission fro, accomplishment. Shapeshifters, angels, fantasy, reality? All she has known to be mere stories, ancient mythology in songs has come to life, and Melaia is caught in the middle of a blood feud. Two immortal brothers trapped forever in conflict, responsible for destroying the staircase to Heaven and trapping angels in the earthly realm.

    This book moved really fast. It seemed a little vague and there were times that I felt as though I had missed something, like I had skipped a chapter of background.

    Breath of Angels was also very character heavy, which may not have been a problem except that they had very fanciful names and I had little information to use to help keep them straight.

    The book was well written, and well plotted. It's a nice jaunt in a world of fantasy, but I felt it was definitely written for 'young adults,' that are younger than me, and the blurb on the back didn't do a very good job at letting the reader know.

    I received a free copy of the book Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley from Waterbrook Maltnomah in exchange for my honest review

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    New Angel YA books - gotta love them!!

    The stairway to Heaven is not just a Led Zepplin song anymore. This baby is for real, and someone has closed it down, with no expectation as to when the DO NOT ENTER sign will be taken down. The souls are stuck on Earth with only one direction to go - down.

    Melaia is a priestess trained in healing. She never thought witnessing a murder would turn her whole world upside down. Soon after this fateful murder, she is bought for the king of the land. These two evens may seem a far cry from one another, but we will soon learn all parts of Melaia's fate are intertwined. She and her talents could prove useful to bring the king out of the melancholy that has gripped his heart. The kingdom is without a fully functioning king, and there is hope that Malaia will be able to cure him with the help of a special harp.

    On her way to the castle she is amazed to learn that the man who in essence "purchased" her, is stirring feelings she never considered before. As a priestess, she is allowed to have lovers and a partner, but she never thought that path was one she cared to travel down. Trevin has her completely baffled and causing knots to twist and turn in her stomach. Should a priestess get so tongue-tied over a man? And a man that she doesn't even know that she can trust! This confusion only adds to the list of mounting worries that are piling on as the seconds tick by.

    Oh yea- one thing I forgot to mention so far is the angels. When the stairway was destroyed, angels were trapped here on Earth with no way to return to their rightful place. Over the years many of them have settled down, almost content to live a human-like existence. Dreia, the guardian of the stairway, has perished, and without her, the fate of the gates to Heaven is uncertain. How does Malaia fit into this equation? Why was she pulled from her Temple and into the midst of all the conflict? Malaia is more involved than she could have ever dared to imagine. Her faith, courage, and luck will be tested at every turn. She can only pray that she makes it through alive.

    The angel story has become more popular in the last year or so, with all sorts of variation of angels and their abilities, talents, and hierarchies. This book has a very clear cut and defined organization to the angels, but some of the explanations to the angels and why some of them behaved in certain ways was unclear. It was interesting how only some of the angels had wings, while others did not possess one of the most distinguishing features most people would attribute to angels.

    The characters were likeable. Some of the relationships came off slightly two-dimensional. There is a love story going on in the background, but I had a hard time feeling the relationship blossom and grow. The passion, romance, and intrigue just seemed to be missing from this relationship. The lead protagonist, Malaia, was a very strong character. I enjoyed her stubbornness and her possession of self-identity. She always knew what she stood for and who exactly she was.

    This is the first novel in a series. I did enjoy this story enough to look forward to the continuation. This book has me vested enough in the plot line to want to know what happens to the smallest drak (these creatures will give you chills). I am hoping the characters in the next installment show their true colors and give that extra spice and excitement that seemed a bit lacking in this book.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    Great Young Adult Book!

    This was a good book. Melaia is a priestess who offers a stranger a place to stay only to witness his horrible murder! She chases off the murderer but when cleaning up the body, notices something rather disturbing....wings. She'd always believed the stories about them were more fairy tales but now is having to rethink everything she believed. She is thrown into the middle of a battle that she never knew existed and she may be the key to it's end!
    Melaia was a great character. I wasn't sure how her indesision would work at the first but she turned out to be a strong character. The book started off with action, which I liked and kept you turning the pages to figure out exactly what was going on. I liked the different angels and their personalities and can't wait to read more from this author!
    I rate this a 4/5. It is written more for young adults but all ages will enjoy!

    Thank you to Waterbrook for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    Interesting Read...Breath of Heaven

    Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley was an interesting read. This young adult fantasy is about a young priestess, Melaia, who is thrown into a life of angels, malevolents, and shapeshifters. Previously fabled tales become reality, and she is thrust into the destiny she was born to follow.

    I liked the story world of this book and was instantly caught up in the the opening scene. There were many characters and I got confused every now and then by the constant movement of the characters throughout the story. I bogged down in the middle of the book, but the story picked up toward the end and once again, I was caught up in the plot.

    I think anyone who enjoys fantasy would enjoy this tale. It has adventure and danger, with a hint of romance, and it came to a satisfying conclusion.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    Slightly Overwhelming At First But Interesting

    In the end this turned out to be a fairly entertaining book although it took me a couple of tries to get into it. You are immediately tossed into Melaia's world where myth and fantasy are revealed as reality. There are a lot of characters, perhaps too many, and a substantial amount of series information packed into a relatively small book, which occasionally left me wondering if I had missed something early on. By the end I felt I was getting a grasp on the world of The Angeleon Circle series and I was intrigued enough to wonder what comes next. I think this book will appeal to many young adults and adults who enjoy books filled with fantasy and shape shifters. An added plus is that this book's content was not overly violent or sexually suggestive making it an okay read for advanced younger readers intrigued by the whole shape-shifter theme. I only gave this 3 stars because my rough start with it; but now I'm interested in seeing where this series progresses in the next book.
    ~Disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of completing this review. The Blogging for Books program does not require positive reviews and as always all opinions expressed in this post are my own.~

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Exciting and Edge-of-Your Seat Tale

    Breath of Angel, book 1 of The Angeleon Circle, by Karyn Henley, was almost everything I hoped it would be! In this fantasy novel, Henley does a masterful job of creating her world, her characters, and her storyline. From the first pages, I was hooked.

    Melaia, a young priestess discovers the legends she is charged with remembering through song are not simple myth. In fact, the ancient battle between good and evil continues its epic struggle in her land. She is drawn into the middle of the age old battle and learns her role is more than simple priestess. Her destiny is intertwined with the salvation of her world. And she must learn who she can trust, as her heart is pulled between her duty, her destiny, and her desires.

    I look forward to the continuation of the tale with bated breath! My only criticism is that I will have to wait for book 2...

    I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading fantasy. It was a clean, easy read, suitable for even middle school children. My thanks to Waterbrook Press for offering this book for review. It will be available for sale on June 21, 2011.

    Karina Harris; author of "Second Chance" a Summers Saga Novel

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    An excellent fast paced read, once you persevere through!

    I recently finished reading Karyn Henley's "The Angeleon Circle Book One: Breath of Angel" and I must admit that after having read only the first few chapters I wasn't so sure that I should have kept on reading (at first), however perseverance and an open mind can pay off if you give things a good chance, especially when it comes to this book. "Breath of Angel" is the story of a young priestess named Melaia who seeks, and needs, to find her destiny in the midst of angels and others. Melaia's story first begins though when an angel is murdered...a hawk man flies into the skies...blood covered feathers...and from there the story continues to deepen and twist and turn over time. I have a feeling that you will be as drawn into the story as I was, if you give it a chance and continue to read on. The first few chapters seemed to move a bit too quickly for me, and it seemed rather vague on details at times, but after a while I found myself more interested and invested into Melaia and the other characters. I mean I wasn't expecting detailed character origins anything like what Tolkien wrote many many years ago or anything, however, I wish that I had been a little more thoroughly introduced to the characters in the story within the first chapter instead of being thrust into the midst of a courtyard murder and no name faces to contend with. Although, I do admit that after I had read past chapter 7 I knew that I needed to persevere on and give this book a chance and continue to read this book through...and I was right! This book was really good in the end. It had a great rise and fall to the story. The story concepts and characters were really well laid out (after a while into the novel after I gave it a chance) and carried throughout the story quite well. I absolutely loved the idea of a story of an ongoing war between angels and malevolents, a blood feud between two brothers and about the stairway to heaven that was destroyed and is destined to be restored that I found within this book. This story was exciting and mysterious...and just how I like my Fantasy novels! I must warn you that you can't help but want to search out every scripture on angels after having read this book, seriously! Honestly, I am ready to read Book 2 in The Angeleon Circle already, while eating apricots of course! {I received this book for FREE from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.}

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