cover image Of Blood and Honey

Of Blood and Honey

Stina Leicht, Night Shade, $14.99 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-59780-213-0

Set in the Ireland of the Troubles, before the recent détente, this fraught debut captures the backdrop of tension and choosing sides that overlays even the smallest act. The lingering effects of the Kesh and Malone prisons are gut-wrenchingly convincing. Less developed are the magical elements. Former prisoner Liam's ignorance of his fae side makes sense, as his mother, Kathleen, and mentor, Father Murray, seek to protect him, but Leicht only introduces one full-fledged fae, Liam's father, and his offstage war with the Redcap is more told than shown. Liam's marriage to Mary Kate is a believable complex of love, lust, pride, anger and forgiveness, but the really pivotal relationship is with Father Murray, a member of an arm of the church that kills the fae in the belief that they are Fallen. Perhaps later books will expand the intriguing premise. (Feb.)