Monday, January 31, 2022

The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) by Myke Cole

Heloise is just an ordinary girl who helps her father, who does a lot of scribing work. They're well respected in their village, but all is not well in this world where an Inquisition-type organisation known as the Order hunts wizards. After all, it's thanks to wizards and their magical meddling that demons can find their way into Heloise's world to wreak havoc.

The Armored Saint
by Myke Cole is the first in a trilogy of stories, and I will say this much: I was drawn right into the world. Cole likes to take your preconceptions, turn them on their head, and then when he lulls you into a false sense of hope, he pulls the metaphorical rug from under your feet. Heloise as a protagonist is earnest yet awkward and her mistakes and missteps only add to the greater unfolding disaster.

She and her community face real horrors, where a religious authority holds great sway over their lives so that ordinary, good people are often coerced into doing bad things in the name of good – and Heloise questions the way things are done, and the outcomes of her doubt are not always to her advantage.

That which, at first, seems fair may be foul, and that which is foul may really be a last bastion of hope against the forces of evil – and ignorance of the way things actually as opposed to how one may wish them to be are may well prove deadly. There is a lesson here.

As far as fantasy novellas go, this one gripped me from the start, and the next book in the trilogy is an insta-buy for me. If you like your fantasy gritty and demon-haunted, then look no further than this offering.

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