Sara M. Harvey made her fiction debut in 2006 with the romantic urban fantasy A Year and a Day. Harvey’s showcase of her unique style of genre-crossing work has been described by Jacqueline Carey as ‘a compelling blend of the numinous and the creepy’. Visit her on the web at www.saramharvey.com.
The Convent of the Pureby Sara M. Harvey
Secrets and illusions abound in a decaying convent wrapped in dark magic and scented with blood. Portia came to the convent with the
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“The Convent of the Pure is a compelling blend of the numinous and the creepy, with a rich, atmospheric setting. I devoured it in a single sitting!” --Jacqueline Carey, bestselling author of Kushiel’s Dart
Secrets and illusions abound in a decaying convent wrapped in dark magic and scented with blood. Portia came to the convent with the ghost of Imogen, the lover she failed to protect in life. Now, the spell casting caste wants to make sure that neither she nor her spirit ever leave.
Portia's ignorance of her own power may be even more deadly than those who conspire against her as she fights to fulfill her sworn duty to protect humankind in a battle against dark illusions and painful realities.
Get the first book of Harvey's Penemue trilogy for the promotional price of 99 cents. Continue Portia's adventure in THE LABYRINTH OF THE DEAD. And don't miss the thrilling conclusion in THE TOWER OF THE FUTURE.
"Sara M. Harvey writes suspenseful, romantic, and exciting steampunk that is not to be missed. An absolute delight!" —Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award-nominated author of The Bookman and Camera Obscura.
“The Labyrinth of the Dead is a sensual, apocryphal nightmare — an exquisite adventure that manages to be both epic and personal, sweet and vicious.” —Cherie Priest, Hugo Award-nominated author of Boneshaker, Fathom, and Four and Twenty Blackbirds
- BN ID:
- Apex Publications
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 2 MB
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A rather breathless SF-Fantasy adventure featuring two strong female leads in Portia and Imogen, one a demon-huntress nephilim, the other a ghost-sorceress. Fast-paced and well characterized.
The premise: this steampunk fantasy is steeped in the Biblical legends of the Nephilim and is the first installment of a trilogy. Portia is sent to an abandoned convent to investigate news of a demon. She's still reeling from the incident that cost her lover Imogen her life and has little to no confidence in her abilities or magic. Fortunately, the ghost of Imogen is always at Portia's side, giving her guidance when she needs it. However, it may not be enough, as what Portia hunts is far greater and more dangerous than anyone ever imagined, and worst of all, her dead lover might be involved in a plot that will destroy her. My Rating: there's potential in this book, no doubt, and certainly, Harvey is dealing with original material when it comes to the fantasy genre. Using Biblical mythology/legends that embrace more than simply angels and demons can make for a fascinating read, but my wish is that rather than writing a novella, the author had really THROWN herself into the world and created a story that was bigger and more epic. I wanted to like the book far more than I did, and I blame my distance on the fact that I'm thrown into the action and expected to care about characters that I don't even know in crisis. The info-dumping, while extremely necessary to get through the book, is unfortunate because I'd rather experience and discover the world, not have it dumped on me. It's a fast read that reminds me of a hybrid between Harry Potter and the film The Orphanage in terms of setting and world-building, which is kind of fun. But I firmly believe the novella (or a trilogy of) is the wrong form for this epic set of ideas, of world-building, and even the level of relationships that have formed between the characters. Everything about this story is epic, but the form is far too short to let the reader truly appreciate and experience it, which in turn is a let down. Will I read the rest of the trilogy? No. I'm convinced the two sequels will be told in the same manner, and if the form doesn't work for me, why read more just to get more out of the world and characters? That may not make sense, but it boils down to the fact that this should've been something far bigger, and anything less just won't do. Not for me
"I am Portia Gyony," she repeated, and the world bent slightly around the edges. What would it be like to witness a battle between celestial beings? Sort of like The Convent of the Pure by Sara M. Harvey. Portia is a demon hunter and a Nephilim, a descendant of human and angel. Still mourning the death of her lover Imogen, yet protected by the ghost of Imogen, Portia is trying to complete her training to become a full member of the Gyony (demon hunter Nephilim as opposed to magic user or necromancer Nephilim) community. Instead she is pulled into a plot to over throw the Primacy, the ruling council of the Nephilim, by a dark-hearted sect of necromancers, one of which helped her keep Imogen at her side after her tragic death. Portia isn't just a tool in the necromancer plot, she is the plot, one of the rare "Pure Bloods", a direct child of an angel and human. The Convent of the Pure is a fast paced dark fantasy with steampunk elements. The world is rich and enticing, the only real flaw is it's short length. The world really could support a full length book, if not a series as Portia and Imogen are engaging, their romance a sweet up point against the dark tenseness of the world setting. Portia is strong without being snarky. There's no stress over her ability to "hang with the boys", no real issue of gender roles at all, which is refreshing. The action is large scale and satisfying without being too easy or overwhelming. Overall The Convent of the Pure is an excellent, enjoyable tale sure to appeal to readers of dark fantasy, urban fantasy and even paranormal romance.