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Breath of Angel (Angelaeon Circle Series #1)

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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.

    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 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 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 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 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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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    A wonderfullly entertaining read!

    This was a well-written piece and was home to a complete world centered around the subject of angels. I personally love angels and I found it to be very entertaining. There were different ranks of angels portrayed, along with their duties and earthly powers.

    Ms. Henley constructs a land that has been ravaged by a blight that was brought on by the destruction of the Wisdom Tree, which housed a stairway to the heavens and allowed passage for the angels. Once it was no longer available, the angels were stuck on this earthly plane. The poor condition of the land, and lack of food, has caused much ravaging. There is a war among the angels and the humans for power. All in all there is a nice hook and good character development. The main character, Melaia, is a priestess who has known very little of the world. She is witness to a brutal murder in the beginning and is consequently forced to travel where her services are needed. Along the way, she encounters many difficulties and adversaries as she becomes aware of a whole new world encompassing angels, draks, who are birds with human souls entrapped in them and bearing human hands instead of clawed feet, and a fabled war that is fact.This book will not leave you bored, but with all of the action and enlightening moments, leaves the reader wanting more.

    I was rooting for the romantic element of the story, Melaia and Trevin, who is a shady kingsman whose true character is revealed as the story goes. There are plenty of teasers for the following books to come.

    I will be looking forward to the next installment in the series. It's definitely worth checking out!

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in order to provide this review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2011

    Could have been excellent but too many characters and plot twists...

    Perhaps this bookworm is getting old or the book just had too much going on, I am unsure. Yet I had to race through the last few chapters this week just so I can post a review and get on with my school work. there were just too many new people and confusing places for me. That seems unfair because I typically like fiction/fantasy categories, yet this one only gets an 'okay' review from me. The love interest Melaia has is the only reason why this book did not receive a low score of 3 stars.

    The book tells the story of Melaia, a young priestess who is also a Chantress. She plays music with the harp, and one day she discovers the gruesome murder of a sick man who actually has wings on his back. this throws Melaia deep into the feud of immortal brothers who tore down the stairway to heaven. This is what trapped angels on the Earth.

    the book was not bad, it just could have been much better. Part 2 of the Angeleon Circle is coming out next year. Perhaps it would be better?

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    "Breath of Angel" by Karyn Henley was a great read!

    This is book one of "The Angeleon Circle" and I can't hardly wait for the next book. The book was a little slow to start and but quickly became a winner. Melaia is a typical (or not so typical) young woman who ends up with an extraordinary responsibility and task. She ends up taking on a world she grew up sheltered from. This is not much different from some young people today. Parents attempt to keep them from growing up and knowing everything about the world but many times this only ends up leaving them as young adults not prepared for the world they are about to enter. Melaia finds that she is much stronger than she ever believed she could be or would be. Along the way the finds that things are not always what they appear to be. She learns to judge people and circumstances for herself and not take them at face value or what people have previously told her. I highly recommend this book for all ages. I believe you will be surprised at what you may learn about life and yourself.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Breath of Angel- a Breath of Fresh YA Air!

    It seems that paranormal creatures have run rampant and taken over our youth! Girls swoon over blood-sucking vampires and werewolves are the hottest thing on the block. Now, angels seem to have entered the mix in more than a few YA novels, including "Breath of Angel" by Karyn Henley.

    Our heroine, Melaia, is a young priestess in the city of Navia. Hers seems like a well ordered existence with a sure future, until a stranger is murdered by a large hawk in the temple courtyard. From there everything spirals out of control and Melaia finds herself on a long journey full of uncertainty and revelations where she finds that nothing and no one, not even herself, are as they seem.

    Henley does an excellent job of world building and character development in such a short span of pages. I really felt that I got to know Melaia, Trevin and their companions, as well as Lord Rejius and the evil malevolents. At the end of the book I had a good understanding of the conflict, which is very believable, as well as the hierarchy and social structure of the Angelaeon, something I think will prove to be of even further importance in books to come.

    The book is very fast paced and is hard to put down, which is both a pro and a con. I wish there has been time to further develop some plot lines and savor some of the place in the book a bit more. I think YA readers have proven themselves a hearty bunch (especially female YA readers), willing to read many hundreds of pages and pack around weighty tomes. After all, look at "Twilight". Some plot revelations smacked me upside the head they came at me so quickly, then again, sometimes that can be a bit novel and fun.

    I enjoy a good romance as much, if not more, than most folks, but I'm glad this book had a driving plot line beyond Melaia's feelings for Trevin. She has duties. She has a quest. She has a world to save gosh darn it! I appreciate her torn feelings for him while at the same time thanking the author for saving us many pages of teenage angst over whether "he loves me, he loves me not".

    All in all I found "Breath of Angel" to be a refreshing, albeit short, read. I'll definitely be reading the next book when it comes out and hope it's not too long of a wait!

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    a great new high fantasy read

    Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley Book #1 of the Angeleon Circle Melaia, a young priestess, was raised thinking she would have the simple life of being a priestess in the town where she was raised, never to travel or do anything more exciting than helping to heal people in need. But after witnessing a murder of an angel, creatures Melaia thought to be little more than myth, she finds herself drawn into a dangerous battle of life or death. It is an ancient struggle between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, drawing the angels into their feud. Melaia must take refuge with the angels she thought to be myth in order to survive this feud, and soon finds that she has not fallen into the path of the feud by mere chance. Melaia must help end this feud, but at what cost to herself? Breath of Angel looks to be a splendid start to a new fantasy series by Karyn Henley. It appears to be a Young Adults book, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was an intricately written story, with characters that were more than one-dimensional place-fillers. Even in such a relatively short book, as far as High Fantasy-length books go anyways, it was easy to develop a feel for most of the main characters. I look forward to seeing how much more they will develop in the series to come. *I acquired this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers*

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really Good

    The story is about a sixteen-year-old priestess named Melaia, who loves her life as the one day High Priestess of the temple. But one day she witnesses a murder in the temple courtyard and find that the victim is an angel, and his murderer is a man who can shift between the form of human and a hawk. Soon after Melaia is sucked into a war between angels, two immortal brothers one of whom is the murder of the angel and the man who stole immortality and destroyed the Wisdom Tree and the stairway to heaven. He soon learns that the two brothers if not stopped will destroy the rest of the world with their fighting. In this journey Melaia's beliefs are put to the test and proved wrong, she finds there are angels, immortals, and other beings only thought of in stories. Melaia soon discovers things about herself that she's never known and things about life and the world that she never thought possibly. I'll admit that I was intrigued from the very beginning. It was a really good book and an even better start to a series. The world was different from one that I've read before, Ms. Hanley created another world and made it her own instead of simply writing in the past. The angels in here were different than the kinds of angels I'm used to in other stories and I appreciate that, I love to see how different author takes things and put their own spin on it. There was even a little romance in the book, there could have been more but there will be another book so who knows what we'll see in the future. All in all it was a good book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to sit back and enjoy good books. {Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review}

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2011

    Fun Read

    When I received my copy of Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley, I wasn't sure what to expect because the story has angels in it. Would it be sacrilegious, making light of angels, or would it be allegorical? It turned out to be neither; it's just a story with angels in it. Melaia is being raised as the next High Priestess when a series of events turns her life upside down. Against her will, she is thrust into the battle between good angels and bad angels (malevolents) who have lost their pathway to the heavens where they belong, and she is unsure of whom to trust. People and angels are not always as they appear. As the story progresses, Melaia discovers that she may be the key to restoring all of the angels to the heavens. At first, she does not know what to do with this information, and then she decides to embrace her destiny. I almost hate to admit it, but I enjoyed this book. While I don't think that angels should be worshipped and deified, I also don't think that they should be taken lightly. The story is well-written and fun to read; I'm just not sure how appropriate it is to write such a story about angels. I want to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for my (advance!) copy of this book to review, but my opinions are my own.

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