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Urban Fantasy Review: Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht

Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht ( The Fey and The Fallen #1)

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Synopsis from Goodreads
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 1970'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.

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* * *
Of Blood and Honey is a raw, bitter and bloodthirsty book. There is an undercurrent of brutal honesty which is hard to swallow, mostly because it talks openly about Northern Ireland and what it had to go through in the 1970s.

On the other hand it has an early urban fantasy feel, so if you liked War for The Oaks you most assuredly will enjoy this book as well.

The book follows the life and tribulations of young Irish guy, Liam. He is half-phouka and doesn't know about it as his human mother keeps his heritage secret from anyone. Liam is abused and beaten up and gets into trouble all the time while your heart just bleeds for the poor boy.

There are few factors you can blame for his misfortune: horrible prosecution of Irish on their own soil by British soldiers; the camps and inhuman conditions guys endure there; IRA secret war; secret police's intrigues... but mostly it's the hidden war between The Fey and The Fallen - demons that Catholicism brought to Ireland and which Fey unsuccessfully try to drive off their land, that Liam unwillingly gets caught in because The Fallen try to use him to hurt his father.

Throw in the mold a young and tumultuous love, the rage that overcomes Liam and makes him do some horrible things to the people that abuse him, a secret Order of Catholic priests who don't know the difference between demons and fae and kill everyone they can get their hands on.... and it's an awful, twisted, torturous mess of a life in an insanely intense book.

As I said, Of Blood and Honey is an old-fashioned, long urban fantasy that stubbornly trudges through the injustices of Liam's life and makes us see and feel deeply the suffering of the whole Irish nation and the spirit of its people.

Strong, beautiful and very harsh. Recommended.

* * *
Из Крови и Мёда - очень необычное, старомодное городское фэнтези, что напомнило о Войне За Дубы, так что если вам понравилась последняя книга, можно ожидать что придётся по вкусу и первая.

Книгу читать очень тяжело морально, потому как ирландский фольклор в небольших количествах здесь перемешан с тяжёлой политической обстановкой в Северной Ирландии в 70-х гг. Я навеное никогда больше не посмотрю на Белфаст так как смотрела на него раньше - после кровавых стычек с британскими солдатами, террора со стороны матушки Англии, пыток, политических заключённых, концлагерей и прочих ужасов, которыми так славится человеческая натура.

Книга повествует о жизни Лайама, парнишки, отец которого оказался пхукой - мифологическим фэ. Мать скрывала это от Лайама всю жизнь, а паренёк все никак не мог понять почему на его долю выпало столько горя? Лайама в 16 лет запихивают в концентрационный лагерь по ложному обвинению, где садист британец подвергает его всяческим унижениям пока его вторая натура не берёт вверх и он не расправляется с врагом совершенно по зверски.

Потом за ним постоянно следит секретная полиция и IRA, которое вербует Лайама на свою сторону. Прибавьте демонов, с которыми у фэ война, мучительную молодую любовь и католический Орден который без разницы уничтожает как фэ так и демонов... и за парнишку сердце просто обливается кровью.

Книга очень брутальная и не щадит ни чувств ни нервов читателя. Однако читать её очень надо, так как она как никогда верно захватывает менталитет ирландцев и показывает что и как с ними произошло в 70-е получше любого учебника по истории. Рекомендую. 
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