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Sometimes you just know you and a book aren t going to get along I debated giving Of Blood and Honey a miss after a few chapters, and I m still not sure I made the right call to soldier on I finished the book, and I kind of understand the plot To say that I enjoyed it or got much out of the story would be an overstatement, though, and that s a shame Stina Leicht is a good writer, and the book itself is not poor It just wasn t what I was expecting or what I needed.The marketing hype for this Sometimes you just know you and a book aren t going to get along I debated giving Of Blood and Honey a miss after a few chapters, and I m still not sure I made the right call to soldier on I finished the book, and I kind of understand the plot To say that I enjoyed it or got much out of the story would be an overstatement, though, and that s a shame Stina Leicht is a good writer, and the book itself is not poor It just wasn t what I was expecting or what I needed.The marketing hype for this book doesn t do it any favours, because it implies a tone and supernatural emphasis that simply isn t present here This is the first in a series called The Fey and the Fallen There are Fey, and there are Fallen, but they are few and far between The cover copy, the reviews, the author promotional material I saw it all promises an epic conflict between these two supernatural sides, set amidst the chaos and recrimination of 1970s Ireland I was all for that Instead, Of Blood and Honey isabout the chaos and recrimination of 1970s Ireland, with a main character who happens to be of Fey descent.Liam s Fey blood allows him to transform into a werewolf like creature when threatened, as well as providing a few other perks As he navigates his way through a rocky adolescence, ending up in jail a few times before marrying his childhood sweetheart, Liam knows he is different He doesn t understand how different, however, because his mother and the town priest, Father Murray, have concealed the true identity of his father from him Liam ends up joining a cell of the IRA and committing terrorist acts in the name of Irish independence All the while, his father hovers on the sidelines, committed to protecting Liam and Liam s mother from his own Fallen enemies.I feel bad complaining that too much of the book focuses on Liam and the independence conflict I don t want to minimize the importance of that conflict to history, and I knew it would be the setting for this book going into it Nevertheless, it was overwhelming compared to the scant supernatural elements that Leicht invokes Be warned that this ishistorical than fantasy, and be happy if that is what you want.Also, I had a difficult time feeling much sympathy for these characters My favourites were probably Father Murray, and maybe Liam s mother Though I don t fault Leicht s style, it doesn t quite work for me.Perhaps the best thing I can say about Of Blood and Honey is that it provides a very detailled, personal account of what it s like to be involved in the Irish independence conflict And there happen to be Fey in it A bit And Fallen angels Kind of Strong first novel that puts urban fantasy in one of the last places you would expect it Northern Ireland in the 1970s Liam Kelly is Irish Catholic but mostly non political, trying to keep his head down and mind his own business That plan doesn t work out so well as events draw him into the Troubles and an older, farsecret war.Leicht takes an ambitious approach, telling a complex story set over years in an unfamiliar society, but the gamble pays off Some of this is the setting I d Strong first novel that puts urban fantasy in one of the last places you would expect it Northern Ireland in the 1970s Liam Kelly is Irish Catholic but mostly non political, trying to keep his head down and mind his own business That plan doesn t work out so well as events draw him into the Troubles and an older, farsecret war.Leicht takes an ambitious approach, telling a complex story set over years in an unfamiliar society, but the gamble pays off Some of this is the setting I don t know jack about Derry or Belfast, past or present, but she makes her places feel real and lived in She has the gift of making you feel present at the scene.Then there are the characters Liam is the most conventional he has the thankless task of being the reader s eyes and ears, so he can t be too unfamiliar The other leads arecomplicated, mysterious in the good way None of the characters fall into cliches, all of them are lively and driven by their own problems, and most of them do terrible things for what they think are the best of reasons These are great characters, and at least one of Liam s associates could carry a whole book by himself.Which he might get to, since this is the first of potentially many stories The book works fine as a standalone novel think Kage Baker and her early Company novels but the end sets up new adventures to come I m looking forward to reading them Read an advance copy, the book is now out Of Blood and Honey managed to win me over despite relying far too much one of the literary tricks that drives me batty every single time I see it That s saying something But still, it was at times an aggravating read There are so many things that are good here, and then so many things that I want to be just that little bit better to make this awesome The book got the author a nomination for the Campbell Award, so this is obviously very early in her career I have high hopes for her future bo Of Blood and Honey managed to win me over despite relying far too much one of the literary tricks that drives me batty every single time I see it That s saying something But still, it was at times an aggravating read There are so many things that are good here, and then so many things that I want to be just that little bit better to make this awesome The book got the author a nomination for the Campbell Award, so this is obviously very early in her career I have high hopes for her future books, because she s got really unique ideas and I want to readof them Just a little less of a couple of things.Note The rest of this review has been withheld due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook This is one of those tricky books where the nature of some of the content addressed leaves me feeling that I should rate it higher than my actual liking of the book would dictate There s a lot of weighty content in here that I hadn t expected most notably, within the first few chapters the main character is the victim of brutal prison rape, which ends up coloring a lot of his life thereafter as he struggles to recover from something he can t even speak of This plotline is handled with nuance This is one of those tricky books where the nature of some of the content addressed leaves me feeling that I should rate it higher than my actual liking of the book would dictate There s a lot of weighty content in here that I hadn t expected most notably, within the first few chapters the main character is the victim of brutal prison rape, which ends up coloring a lot of his life thereafter as he struggles to recover from something he can t even speak of This plotline is handled with nuance and I think it could be reasonably said that it s done with sensitivity and sympathy for Liam s struggles The narrative of the Irish Troubles and Liam s recovery takes the lead in this book, over the fey conflict the description promises Since it s part of a duology, I don t think this is really a downside it s clear by the end of the book that the focus will shift Still, that description is deceptive, and certainly gives no idea of what the central drivers of the book actually are.As an American, I don t know much at all about Irish history Obviously this book isn t a nonfiction account of what the Troubles were like, but it is certainly a window onto the level of brutality and violence of that time I suspect that someoneversed in the context might getout of this book I mostly got a desire to hide under a bed and never face humanity again As a lifelong atheist, the hatred some people have for other religions including, in this case, a different sect of the same mainstream faith is baffling and terrifying to me I ll admit that I came out of it with a desire not to learnThe reading experience of this book was upsetting enough.Despite the fact that the fey plotline promises to pick up in the second book, I m not particularly interested in reading it This book was brutal enough, and I went into it unknowing I wouldn t choose to repeat the experience Feels half written The main character gets tortured to the point of excess, but hardly any of it properly resonates The Irish stuff feels thrown in without proper context, a backdrop for the sake of a backdrop and little , and the Fey vs Fallen thing is barely explored at all All in all, a waste of time. It s a really interesting premise urban fantasy set in Northern Ireland in the 70s But honestly I thought the Fae part and the IRA part didn t really gel together The urban fantasy elements to me felt kind of light and generic, whereas all the IRA stuff was, well, pretty brutal I think honestly I would have liked this better without fantastic elements, and maybe withcharacterization for people other than the main character it all felt a little bit flat. .Pdf ⚒ Of Blood and Honey ♿ Liam never knew who his father was The town of Derry had always assumed that he was the bastard of a protestant his mother never spoke of him, and Liam assumed he was dead But when the war between the fallen and the fey began to heat up, Liam and his family are pulled into a conflict that they didn t know existed A centuries old conflict between supernatural forces seems to mirror the political divisions in s era Ireland, and Liam is thrown headlong into both conflicts Only the direct intervention of Liam s real father, and a secret catholic order dedicated to fighting The Fallen can save Liam from the mundane and supernatural forces around him, and from the darkness that lurks within him I enjoyed the book overall, but my reaction to it is complicated as is the book It follows Liam, a young Catholic man coming of age in 1970s Northern Ireland He is repeatedly imprisoned and abused by the occupying British Army and battles against his own dark nature He does not understand that he is part fae, and that he has been targeted by his estranged father s old enemy.Foremost, this is the only fantasy book I ve read that is based in the Troubles, and it s brilliant Dark and disturbi I enjoyed the book overall, but my reaction to it is complicated as is the book It follows Liam, a young Catholic man coming of age in 1970s Northern Ireland He is repeatedly imprisoned and abused by the occupying British Army and battles against his own dark nature He does not understand that he is part fae, and that he has been targeted by his estranged father s old enemy.Foremost, this is the only fantasy book I ve read that is based in the Troubles, and it s brilliant Dark and disturbing, but brilliant For Americans like me, who grew up with mentions of the IRA and bombings in lands afar with no personal connections to the conflict, it will be a necessary education I didn t like the presence of rape throughout the novel, though I understand it is also part of the reality of the time period Liam is a fantastic protagonist to follow He does terrible things, but he never lost me Again, he feels real Human and frail, even as he doubts his own humanity at times.What drove me bonkers, though, was that almost all of the book happens because people cannot communicate about simple things They hint, they hedge, but they cannot reveal the truth, even when people are brutalized and raped and killed That might be realistic, yes, but it s also infuriating as a plot device I didn t like it in old Flintstones episodes when I was a kid, and I don t like it now, especially when those frustrating secrets kept the major cool aspect of this world almost entirely hidden I wanted to knowabout the fae and the parallel war against the Fallen I wanted to knowabout magic, period Instead, it feels like that has likely been pushed off for the next book At this point, I m left so frustrated by the pacing that I don t know if I want to continue to get to the bits I really wanted Edited To correct a character s name I m bad with names and can t read my own notes, apparently Edited again So, adding this a year later than my initial review Other people s responses to this book have opened my eyes to some fairly ugly aspects to this book that I in my ignorance didn t notice let alone comprehend It was pretty obtuse and disappointing of me to not recognize some stock examples of problematic representation, even if I m not as familiar with Irish history specifically Thi Edited To correct a character s name I m bad with names and can t read my own notes, apparently Edited again So, adding this a year later than my initial review Other people s responses to this book have opened my eyes to some fairly ugly aspects to this book that I in my ignorance didn t notice let alone comprehend It was pretty obtuse and disappointing of me to not recognize some stock examples of problematic representation, even if I m not as familiar with Irish history specifically This review provides an immensely thoughtful analysis of the issues that I was ignorant of and will keep in mind if I reread this book or continue with the series While I love good supernatural paranormal urban fantasy stories, I ve never really understood the appeal of fairies the fae, the good folk, etc., etc and lacked the mythological background to conceptualize them as something other than, say, Tinker Bell who is awesome, don t get me wrong , or the fairies from A Midsummer Night s Dream who I just find irritating I d have never picked this book up had the publisher not offered it for free And it d have been my great loss Of Blood and Honey is the sort of urban fantasy that makes other urban fantasy series look bad, it s just that creative and different.The book is set in Ireland in the 1970s Set amid the Troubles, violent things happen Dark, twisted things happen For those interested in warnings, view spoiler both the main character and another character are raped either the lead up or the aftermath are explicitly related, but the actual acts occur off screen hide spoiler Much of the graphicness is implied, rather than explicitly or exploitatively stated, which I really appreciated I really appreciated the details and the historical reality Leicht constructed and smoothly presented.The conflict is a fascinating one, and well layered Fairies, fallen angels and the priests who hunt them, Catholics, Protestants, and Liam, a half fae young man from Derry who struggles to repress the demons inside him The fairies played only a small part in this book, but I suspect the sequel will delve further into their world.My main issue with this book was how much the other characters kept Liam in the dark about who he was and the supernatural struggle that was drawing him in It was just very frustrating, that a couple truthful and timely conversations might have made things easier for Liam Other than that, though, the book was a smooth, engaging, unique read, and I look forward to the sequel when it s released Maybe I have been reading too many urban fantasies with kick ass heroines lately, but it was really refreshing reading one with a male lead and set in 1970 s troubled Ireland The story follows Liam, a young Catholic, who seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time After 3 years in two different prisons and marrying into a political family he joins the IRA Liam has never known his father and has grown up thinking his father was a Protestant His life turns to sorrow and violence as Maybe I have been reading too many urban fantasies with kick ass heroines lately, but it was really refreshing reading one with a male lead and set in 1970 s troubled Ireland The story follows Liam, a young Catholic, who seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time After 3 years in two different prisons and marrying into a political family he joins the IRA Liam has never known his father and has grown up thinking his father was a Protestant His life turns to sorrow and violence as he slowly learns he is somethingthan human and human politics starts mixing with the battle between the Fey and the Fallen The story is dark and terribly sad, but also creative and wonderfully written