For more direct informations and directions on how to buy and things, take it straight from source at the Author’s website here: http://www.prayerforthebloodangel.com/book/
Also have a look at the lady’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/…/Prayer-for-the-Blood-Angel/31854761163
Never say I don’t encourage orginal research and formation of your opinions from the raw data!
Chantelle Roberts’ Prayer for the Blood Angel is a delightful, gritty, multi-faceted and very surprising fantasy with some sci-fi touches. It’s a really nice thing to come out of South Africa and adds, what I, in my shameless under-read opinion, think is a really cool new voice to this nascent local genre.
But this review is not a plug to sell more copies of the book. Please, if I had the power to make people buy books, I’d have been using it for evil for ages now and would be paying someone to write my blogs for me. This review is to tell you what I thought of the book in both personal and professional capacity, with a mind to helping you decide if it’s your thing, or a thing you would like to get into. There will be no neat spoileriffic plot summary. This is not spark-notes.
Right, so first up, I enjoyed the book. It’s an area of the genres (genre really, it’s a space-fantasy, with more of a magical flavour than a hard-tech base) that I both love and work in. So I’m biased. Now you know. This is what I loved about it:
It’s not one thing, the world is big and open, and doesn’t feel like a messily painted backdrop that you’re not really supposed to look at because you should be watching the main characters. The side characters get (and deserve, there are some most delightful cameos) as much love from the writer as the mains, which means the reader is free to find favourites anywhere. There are a variety of flavours and influences, 40K sits comfortably alongside fairy-tale, girl-with-a-sword melts seamlessly into next-gen environmental storytelling.
It breaks some of the tropes, and draws on a different base when it’s telling its stories. You can feel the author’s ecological management training in places.
It doesn’t pull its punches. I’ve always said that South Africa would be able to produce some of the best in dark and gritty, because of the way our cities are built we live quite close to difficult and dark quite a lot of the time. This book is brimming over with guts and blood and death and sex. To the point that I feel obligated to warn off some of the more sensitive readers. If you can hack it though, you should find it rewarding, as it adds to the story and atmosphere, rather than being for its own sake.
It’s big. It’s a large scale-epic fantasy, which duel-wields genres nicely, pulling in the scope and scale of sci-fi and the intricacy and delight of fantasy. I like big, epic, fantasies which have immersive worlds and relatable characters and are a bit dark and bloody, because in world ending wars, yes people do die messily.
There are things I don’t like, of course. The editing (or lack thereof, throne is a different word to thrown folks) would drive a grammar nazi wild, but it doesn’t mess up the flow of the story. You need a tolerance of the tropes and occasionally bland standard settings and scenes that make fantasy what it is. It is deceptive, and you don’t really get to juicy bits until the third chapter or so, but I found it well worth waiting for.
Finally, for all you SA writers out there and SA fans of spec-fic. Go get it. It’s a self-publication success story, it’s something new AND good and it’s unselfconsciously local.