By Stina Leicht
Night Shade Books, $14.99, 296 pages
Stina Leicht’s first novel, Of Blood and Honey is a not only a great piece of fantasy realism but also an excellent introduction to “the Troubles,” or the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland that are generally considered to have lasted from the late 1960s until 1998. This violent time in Ireland’s history serves as the backdrop for Leicht’s tale of humans, Fey and fallen angels. Of Blood and Honey tells the tale of young Liam, a Catholic Irish forced by circumstances into the provisional IRA and by blood into a three-way conflict between his Church, fallen angels and Fey. Despite the tumultuous and complicated setting, Leicht manages to fully convey what life in Northern Ireland could be like in the 1970s without it overwhelming the narrative. Liam’s life changes even more when he discovers that his father is one of the Fey, a Puck, and that he himself is half-Fey and being watched not only by the Catholic Church who hunts down the Fey believing them to be demons, but also an actual fallen angel intent on destroying Liam and his family. A wonderful first work. I’m anxiously looking forward to the sequel.
Reviewed by Jonathon Howard