07 September 2008

Review: Michele Hauf - Seraphim



Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Luna (April 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373802412
ISBN-13: 978-0373802418

Summary:
Winter, 1433--and Jeanne d'Arc's ashes still glow . . .
In the battle between Good and Evil, the Black Knight's sword fells enemies with silent grace. The Knight has sworn that fallen angel Lucifer de Morte and his cruel brotherhood will pay for their reign of terror over France -- and over the d'Ange family, where nearly all have died a terrible death. All but one . . .

Yet the Knight's hard-won battles and dented armor hide a larger secret. For "he" is actually Seraphim d'Ange. She is traveling to de Morte's desnes, executing his demon henchmen along the way. Now, aided by Baldwin, a family retainer, and San Juste, a mysterious stranger, Sera grows closer and closer to her final target.

Yet little does she know that there is one more aspect of power she herself holds . . .

Review:

France – 1433:Fires rage and their smoke blacken the sky, the stench of death travels with the wind leaving a message of despair. Families are torn apart and lives are extinguished like candle flames. The reign of the Demon brothers washes over France in their endless search for carnal pleasure, pain, power and death.

Now there rises one whose heart is filled with revenge for a father, mother, brother and fiancĂ© are gone forever of this earth. The black knights memory is scorched with their love and laughter that was lost that horrible night. A vow keeps the black knight going with his squire and then Dominique San Juste joins the knight in a journey that is only just the beginning…….

How I enjoyed this grand and epic tale of the demon brothers, fairies and warriors! A quest that enthralls the imagination with almost every chapter I read. The plot alters; it twists and turns, leaving me in the dark as where it would take me. Michele Hauf takes her time to set the stage, this gives a chance for the characters to create depth and making me feel every emotion they go through. The darkness that slithers through this world Michele Hauf created made my heartbeat rise in suspense at moments if Seraphim would succeed in her quest.

The conflict that Seraphim has between her warrior and damsel side is masterfully told and at moments heart shattering to read. It is enhanced with her meeting Dominique San Juste, who on his own is a force within the story to be reckoned with! I thought at times I finally got to know him, understand him, and then something would happen or be revealed that altered his character and just made me wonder again.

When Seraphim and Dominique find feelings of love it empowers the connection they have as it reverberated through me with the strength that the magic of new found hope brings. And then there’s Baldwin….He’s a self proclaimed squire that adds a humorous note to it all that elevated the somewhat, tormented feel of Seraphim, Dominique and the quest. There are two quotes involving him that made me grin big time!

Quote:“I can still feel my toes,” she offered wiggling the appendages in question to be sure. “But I shouldn’t wish my squire stumbling about like a drunkard if he loses his to the cold.”“He will not,” Dominique answered confidently. “Just think warm thoughts. Great bonfires and hot August days.”“If I wasn’t an icicle I’d knock you from your horse, "I cannot conjure a single warm image to my bechilled brain. My bonfires are frozen over, and my Augusts are rainy and gray.”

Quote:“I’ve been thinking. Why do I have to go in first?”“I’m no knight!”Dominique swung around and slapped the squire across the cheek. “What the hell?”Baldwin mumbled. “I dub thee knight,” Dominique casually offered.

I feel I have found myself a tremendously good fantasy series and can’t wait to get the second volume in my hands to explore. Michele Hauf has made an impressive statement with this first novel where you can find a dazzling world with strong, bold, evil and magical creatures to explore.

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