cover image Immortal Surrender

Immortal Surrender

Claire Ashgrove. Tor, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-7653-6759-4

Ashgrove follows Immortal Hope with a straightforward supernatural romance. Farran de Clare, born to a wealthy Norman family in 1102, is a member of the cursed band of Knights Templar. Having lived through all the centuries into modernity, he still fears eternal damnation at the hands of the demon Azazel and hopes against odds for redemption by the seraph that has been foretold for him. So why does the man speak in the “’twould,” “nay,” and “mayhap” diction of a nebulously medieval British peasant? It’s one of the many world-building anomalies that dog Ashgrove’s series. This adventure centers on the Sudarium of Oviedo—like the Shroud of Turin, only real. Noelle Keane, a confirmed atheist, is the scientist who authenticates the relic, becoming hell’s target first as the one in possession of it, then as Farran’s unwilling seraph. The action is fast and violent, occasionally crossing into horror or eroticism as circumstances dictate. For those willing to forgive oxymorons like “overthrow the Almighty,” Ashgrove’s serviceable prose and breakneck pacing provide an enjoyable bit of tempestuous escapism. Agent: Jewelann Cone, Cascade Literary Agency. (Oct.)