Book/page totals

Top 10 Lists

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

cover of 'Host'

In this follow-up to Bloodring and Seraphs, Thorn once again finds herself battling the powers of Darkness. Even though she just helped the Seraphs defeat the Fallen Seraph Forcas, and freed the cherub Mistress Amethyst and her Seraph mate, they also barely contained a major darkness-- a dragon imprisoned under the Trine. In addition, a new mage has come to town-- supposedly to teach Thorn all the training she missed when she was forced to leave Enclave at such a young age, but he is arrogant and unpleasant, and she can tell there is something he is hiding from her.

For some reason, this book didn't seem quite as exciting or enthralling ad the first two; in some ways, it feels like a rehash of the things that have happened before. Once again, demon spawn attack the town, and they are organized, not just a mindless swarm. Thorn and her friends manage to fight them off with heavy casualties, and as before Thorn agonizes over whether or not to summon the Seraphs to help them fight, since that may cost the lives of the townsfolk. Thorn is also agonizing over her irresistible attraction to the Kylen, Thadd, and still won't make any decision about Eli's continued interest in her-- even though he reveals some interesting things about human-mage interactions and the joy or fear that can result. Thorn also continues to agonize (notice a pattern?) over her ex-step-daughter Ciana, who continues to do powerful things with the Seraph pin she wad given for protection-- who, apparently, is no longer quite human, along with her uncle Rupert, although we're never told exactly what they've become.

Eventually, there's another big drawn out battle. Thorn gets some new champards pledging to fight alongside her, and they do their best in a battle against all the odds. Thorn eventually comes face to face with the dragon-- and rather than a hideous beast, a "Big Bad Ugly," it is an angel of light, a fallen seraph, who tries to get her to join him. Thorn slips into the river of time again, and continues the fight there, resisting the power and seduction of the dragon Azazel. Eventually, after a lot of death and destruction and loss, the dragon is defeated.

The ending seemed particularly unsatisfying. There is some indication that one of the seraphs has been playing Thorn, manipulating her to accomplish his own ends-- but no explanation or more details. Similarly, we don't get any more answers (or even that many more hints or suggestions) about the true nature of the seraphs and cherubs, or what the mages are and why they came into existence. The book just ends with Thorn and her remaining champards recovering from battle, Thorn still not sure where things are going next or how she will sort our her relationships to them all. I almost thought Hunter was setting up yet another sequel with this open-ended conclusion, but I don't think that is the case either.

Author:Faith Hunter
Date published:2007
Series:Rogue Mage Novels
Number of pages:340


Google Search