Breath of Angel by Karyn Henley
WaterBrook Press 2011
Will be available in paperback and e-book June 21, 2011
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.
If you are looking for a good, interesting angel book, pick up a copy of this when it is released This June, you or your special young adult will love the escape into this developing new world. Thank you WaterBrook Press for sending me the advance copy to read and review. I am looking forward to book number two!!