Friday, August 12, 2005

Review~Seraphim; Michele Hauf

Quite an amazing book, IMO. Overall an excellent read, though not without a few problems. Mostly minor problems. This is a Luna title, Anyhow, this is an alternate reality fantasy romance set in 1433 France.

France has been taken over by five evil fallen angels, the ringleader is Lucifer d'Morte. The d'Ange family holdings were utterly destroyed by Lucifer d'Morte (the fallen angel), the sole survivor being Seraphim d'Ange. She was raped & sodomized & had her throat slashed but survived with the help of a single surviving retainer, Baldwin Ortolano.

Seraphim is bent on vengeance & decides to kill the five d'Mortes to satisfy her blood feud. With only Baldwin's help, Seraphim manages to kill two d'Mortes while disguised as a fully armored man. Exhausted & recovering from her mental & physical wounds, Baldwin & Seraphim meet up with a mysterious mercenary who offers his assistance with Seraphim's quest.

Dominique, a half Fairy half angel changeling raised by humans, convinces a suspicious Seraphim that she needs his help to complete her quest. Together, the merry band of three complete the quest. This is a traditional quest type storyline, with revelations about & growth of each member of the trio. There is a traditional HEA.

Overall, the tone is quite dark. Hauf lightens this by showing signifigant character growth in each member of the trio. There is world building, but most of it is adroitly woven into the story. Kudos to Hauf for having a wounded heroine & hero, neither of whom whines or complains about the hand they were dealt. Not to say they don't wish occasionally for an easier path.

My biggest problem with this book were the names. Seraphim d'Ange? Lucifer d'Morte? Some of the names are French & play off of the English translation or what/who the character is. I didn't appreciate the humor & found it tedious. Also, Seraphim had a younger sister named..get ready.. Gossamer. Seriously. Give me a break. Being the whiny, picky woman that I am, I also took to calling Dominique ( a perfectly respectable name in France I'm sure) Dominick, since Dominique was a red headed girl in fifth grade. I did have a slight issue with how soon Seraphim was willing to trust & accept Dominique, but after some thought I decided that I too would probably want someone to shoulder the burden with me if I had endured everything Seraphim had had to endure.

All in all a hearty read, forging new bonds between fantasy & romance. Not for the faint of heart. I very much look forward to more along this line from Michele Hauf.


Nicole said...

I've read Gossamyr, the sequel, and enjoyed it, but haven't read Seraphim yet.

Bookwormom said...

Sounds like I'll have to look it up. Thanks, Nicole! :)