Northern Ireland, 1977. Liam Kelly is many things: a former wheelman for the IRA, a one-time political prisoner, the half-breed son of a mystic Fey warrior and a mortal woman, and a troubled young man literally haunted by the ghosts of his past. Liam has turned his back on his land’s bloody sectarian Troubles, but the war isn’t done with him yet, and neither is an older, more mythic battle–between the Church and its demonic enemies, the Fallen.

After centuries of misunderstanding and conflict, the Church is on the verge of accepting that the Fey and the Fallen are not the same. But to achieve this historic truce, Liam must prove to the Church’s Inquisitors that he is not a demon, even as he wrestles with his own guilt and confusion, while being hunted by enemies both earthly and unworldly.

A shape-shifter by nature, Liam has a foot in two worlds–and it’s driving him mad.

As I work to assemble my year-end ‘Best of…’ list, one novel that continually demands inclusion is a relatively quiet debut novel from Stina Leicht. It’s called Of Blood and Honey and it’s beautiful.

From my review of Of Blood and Honey:

Not since Jim Butcher’s Storm Front have I read an Urban Fantasy that has felt so relevant to the overall discussion of Fantasy literature. Of Blood and Honey is Fantasy that deserves to stand alongside the best that authors like Powers, Gaiman and De Lint have to offer. It’s not perfect, but Leicht blew me away with her debut and has the potential to become a very important name in the annals of Urban Fantasy. If you’re bored of the same ol’ Epic Fantasy, or you need a break from spaceships, hyperdrives and anti-grav suits, cleanse your palette with Of Blood and Honey and find out just how good Urban Fantasy can be.

The cover for Of Blood and Honey first caused me to pick up the novel, and I think this cover is even more haunting and eye-catching. And Blue Skies From Pain is one of my most highly anticipated 2012 releases.

  • Adam (@sensawunda) December 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    But those titles, rough.

  • aidan December 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Really? I love the titles. Very suitable for the novels.

  • Bibliotropic December 21, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I was lucky to get an advance copy of this one, and I’m really looking forward to it. I haven’t read her previous novel, but the premise of “Blue Skies from Pain” alone caught my interest and refuses to let go!

  • Rene Sears December 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I am very much anticipating this one, too. Of Blood and Honey was just awesome.

  • […] sequel, And Blue Skies from Pain, is due out in March from Night Shade Books. […]