Of Blood and Honey

Of Blood and Honey

4.5 12
by Stina Leicht

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Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant — his mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead. But when the war between the fallen and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn’t know existed. A centuries old conflict between…  See more details below


Liam never knew who his father was. The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant — his mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead. But when the war between the fallen and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn’t know existed. A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in 1970’s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts! Only the direct intervention of Liam’s real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting “The Fallen” can save Liam... from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in the Ireland of the Troubles, before the recent détente, this fraught debut captures the backdrop of tension and choosing sides that overlays even the smallest act. The lingering effects of the Kesh and Malone prisons are gut-wrenchingly convincing. Less developed are the magical elements. Former prisoner Liam's ignorance of his fae side makes sense, as his mother, Kathleen, and mentor, Father Murray, seek to protect him, but Leicht only introduces one full-fledged fae, Liam's father, and his offstage war with the Redcap is more told than shown. Liam's marriage to Mary Kate is a believable complex of love, lust, pride, anger and forgiveness, but the really pivotal relationship is with Father Murray, a member of an arm of the church that kills the fae in the belief that they are Fallen. Perhaps later books will expand the intriguing premise. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Liam Kelly grows up in the Catholic section of Derry, Northern Ireland, aware that the man who married his mother was not his father, and he hates him for it. What Liam doesn't know is that his true father is a member of the Fair Folk, who are at war with the Fallen, angels exiled from Heaven who now cause trouble on Earth. As the Troubles of the 1970s escalate, another battle rages behind the scenes and threatens everything Liam loves. Leicht's debut treats a complicated era with realism and sensitivity while infusing the violence of the times with dark magic and spiritual warfare. VERDICT Featuring strong series potential, this polished urban fantasy will appeal to fans of Charles de Lint and Tanya Huff.

Product Details

Night Shade Books
Publication date:
The Fey and the Fallen Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 6.02(h) x 0.92(d)

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Of Blood and Honey 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
dalnewt More than 1 year ago
For general fiction readers this book provides a gritty and well-realized portrayal of the powder keg of 1070s Northern Ireland told from the viewpoint of a young Catholic man, named Liam, who is wrongfully arrested and imprisoned as a teenager and eventually joins the IRA. For fans of fantasy or urban fantasy, it provides a wonderfully authentic story with believable Celtic mythology and characters. This book feels completely real from the dialogue to Laim's day-to-day experiences to his unwitting shapeshifter transformations. Eventually Liam marries his childhood sweetheart, Mary Kate, is recruited into the IRA and moves to Belfast. His relationship with his young wife is touching and complex, and his mixed emotions about the IRA come across as completely genuine. Liam has no knowledge of his Fey father and believes there is a monster residing inside of him. The fantasy elements build very gradually but also feel completely authentic. In small doses the narrative introduces Liam's birth father, Bran, a shape shifting púca who may be the legendary nephew of the mythical leader of Fianna. As the story nears completion, a war among the Fair Folk, the Fallen and the Catholic Church emerges. This is not a superficial story. The main characters are three-dimensional with flaws and strengths. The narrative spins an engrossing tale filled with insight into the human condition. IMO, anyone interested in the conflict in Northern Ireland will be blown away by this insightful and ethnically accurate story. Furthermore, anyone interested in a subtle and credible tale of the supernatural will be mesmerized. The narrative is beautifully written, and the story is compelling, dramatic and touching. In recommending this book, celebrated fantasy author, Charles De Lint, stated, "Stina Leicht is one of my favorites among the new writers we have today. She writes with depth and heart and tells a story with all the resonance of an old whiskey; dark with edgy flavor." Although I don't have the credentials to do so, I totally agree with De Lint and highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liam has a talent for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and in Ireland during the Troubles this can be a fatal affliction. Having done his time for crimes he did not commit, Liam is finally driven to taking a political stance by being unwilling to take anymore. He volunteers with the IRA to get a job to support his new wife and to gain some measure of control over his life. But Liam has never met his birth father, and it seems the man left him more than anyone could have imagined. Something dark and violent lurks within Liam, something the IRA is happy to have, but something that no one, least of all Liam, is able to consistently control. Of Blood and Honey is historical fiction at its finest, taking into account the rich myth of Ireland and weaving in just enough of that magic to turn the book to please fantasy fans. It is a painful, loving tribute to those who struggled through the worst part of the Troubles. It is a book about family, in all of its permutations. Liam struggles through conflicts with his stepfather, his wife, the priest who has all but raised him, the family he finds in the other Volunteers, and learning the truth of his birth father and the lineage that was kept secret from him. It is often a violent book, set during a violent time, and the wonder is the little joys and loves the characters find along the way. And in the background of it all, a secret Order of the Church is engaging in a war with the Fallen, which followed them to Ireland. But their world view does not allow for the acceptance of Ireland’s Fey creatures as entities apart from the Fallen of their religion, and Liam has been in precarious position since the moment he was born, and has never been aware of it.
The_Alternative More than 1 year ago
Inference and subtlety, in my opinion, has become somewhat of a lost art in literature. While this talent hasn't disappeared entirely and some writers continue to maintain the proficiency of suggestive narrative I've noticed a decline in its use. What surprised me then was the skill in which Stina Leicht, a first time novelist, uses the ability of suggestion and nuance in her debut urban fantasy Of Blood and Honey. The literary foreplay leading up to the violent, traumatic sexual assault of the main character, Liam, for instance, is handled with a great deal of subtlety - more the fodder for our imaginations and more effective than a straight telling of the incident which, by the way, never happens. And the first time Liam unwittingly allows the otherworld beast inside him to escape we are shown more than told of that transformation. Because of the competence employed utilizing the art of supposition Ms. Leicht makes us a better audience. We are allowed to use our imagination to fill in the subtle nooks and crannies that remain unwritten but which are obviously present. Of course, Of Blood and Honey is not a perfect urban fantasy but, then again, none really are. What I feel missing from this tale was the intricately woven account connecting the Fey and human worlds. In truth, and perhaps in defense of this omission, I was under the distinct impression during reading - and here again is the subtleness of inference at play - that the Fey would become more prevalent in later books. Additional works would certainly offer the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of Fey and meld it with that of the commonplace home of humanity. On this point only time (and the publication of additional volumes in the series) will tell but the author would do well to bring the compelling world of Bran and Redcap to the forefront in at least one subsequent story. I also found a number of very dark moments scattered throughout this novel which may offend some readers. I, on the other hand, felt that those sobering flashes provided a certain "punch" and the "hard edge" moments made it more emotional, therefore more enjoyable to me. And giving a novel sentiment and mood is what every writer strives for, or should. While the unimaginative and angry step-father cliché has been overdone those scenes were crafted skillfully enough that I could appreciate the struggle between the love and duty suffered by Liam's mother and the emotional tug-of-war she endured. Fortunately, the step-father character is only found in a few scenes for abbreviated stretches of time. Some of Ms. Leicht's strengths are simply a result of blood, sweat, and hard work. The time period and politics of 1970's Ireland and the clash between the Irish Republican Army and the British Army has been meticulously researched and she reveals to us the enviable ability to construct entire worlds in just a few short but concise paragraphs. Mingling Irish folklore and the mundane and then throwing a mystery into the mix is a stroke of genius. Every one of her characters are elaborate and intricate, even those that are flawed, secondary, or cliché and she reveals surprises in delightfully proportioned servings. The worlds she's created are foreboding and rough and magical and dark and we are fortunate to be able to visit there, if only for a short while. The Fey and The Fallen is a series I'll be following closely. If you enjoy finely crafted fantasy then you should too.
pen21 More than 1 year ago
This book just blew me away. It was excellent. Liam's life drives the story which is a nice blend of the Troubles in Ireland, the Fae and the Fallen. I will watch this author. I was hooked after a couple pages. It was good to see she is working on the second book now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All other rps go here! MLP, for example. Thanks!<br><br><br><br>~L&beta
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was nervous to buy a book from an author I hadn't read before; I'm truly glad I took the chance. The main protagonist is so likeable, and I found myself upset, more than once, on his behalf. I guess I became wrapped up in the story, when I hadn't expected to be. The Northern Ireland backdrop was completely unique, as well. I found that I was Googling different incidents, places, and information on The Troubles. Since I was only 7 or 8 during the years portrayed in this book, I hadn't realized how terrible things had been. I am grateful to the author for not only spinning a darned good yarn, but for enlightening me on the violent struggles in Ireland. Highly recommend this book.
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