Welcome back to and Blue Skies from Pain, the second book of Stina Leicht’s The Fey and the Fallen series where our hero, half-fey Liam Kelly, is being studied in a church lab to determine if he’s human or not and whether or not his people should be slaughtered like the fallen or given a chance.
Father Murray meets Father Stevenson, the priest who conducted Liam’s psychological exam. Stevenson can say for certain that Liam is not one of the fallen or a Nephilim. Beyond that, he can’t say without further evidence. However, if Liam is proved human, he’s in a massive amount of trouble as the high inquisitor will turn him over for membership in an illegal organization, the IRA.
Reader Comments: I sure hope Father Murray is right that Father Stevenson can be trusted, but at the same time, things are starting to improve for Liam in the sense that the priests now don’t think him a demon. In my experience with books, especially with Leicht, that means something terrible is coming. Poor Liam.
Writer Comments: Sometimes it helps to know what the hero’s opposition is thinking and planning. Not only do we get a greater sense of the obstacles Liam faces in this chapter, getting turned over for membership in the IRA, for example, but we get a glimpse of how he’s impacting the antagonists. This creates a fuller portrait of the story.
In a dream, Oran, Liam’s dead IRA friend, warns him that something terrible is coming and that Liam must get to Mary Kate, his dead wife, before it gets to her first. Liam wakes to the sounds of a scuffle and escapes his room just in time to catch Father Murray fighting with a possessed priest. Liam gets ahold of a gun and accidentally shoots Father Murray, realizing too late that it was all a setup. At Father Murray’s prompting, Liam flees the building, his and Father Murray’s lives hanging in the balance.
Reader Comments: Told you it would be bad. Much like in Of Blood and Honey, Liam now has everyone against him, just about, and very little hope. I’m really looking forward to this new twist with Mary Kate.
Writer Comments: This chapter is what is called a turning point. Every story needs them or the plot would get repetitive or just dwindle. This is where Leicht raises the stakes and rips any help Liam might have had away. This is where the story turns and we get to see what our hero is really made of. But none of it came out of nowhere. Leicht warned us long before this chapter, but we hoped she would not go this far. Yet Leicht is an author who doesn’t pull punches, and as such, her stories tend toward the dark, the deep, and the far more interesting. As a reader, hitting rock bottom with the hero and realizing there’s still more to fall but seeing how he pulls out ultimately is lots more fun than if Leicht had gone the nice and easy path and not hurled boulders at Liam as he’s clinging to a tree over a cliff.
Next Monday, we’ll see what happens next and how Liam avoids dying. Until then, stop by Friday for further forays into books, fiction, the speculative, and life.