Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

Posted On 22 November 2022

Filed under Book Reviews
Tags: ,

Comments Dropped 10 responses

My Five Word TL/DR Review : Really liked it, wanted more

TreadofAngels

I really enjoyed Tread of Angels, it’s pacy, it has a Western setting and a murder mystery that culminates in a court case and it’s a surprise story about good and evil and the surprises you uncover when you jump to hasty conclusions.  Basically, this is a world with very clear demarcations, a world of angels and demons.  It takes a look at class and privilege and how nothing is ever as black and white as it may seem.

This is such a good read, I really enjoyed myself and almost read it in one sitting.  My only real problem, and of course everyone will have different mileage where this is concerned, I really think this could have been a little longer.  An extra 100 pages would have given a better build up and less of a rushed feel to the ending.  As it is, I seriously hope this is a setting that the author will return to.

Let’s look at the setting.  Goetia is a boomtown where wealthy mines provide the source of power for the latest innovations.  It’s also a town with a rich history where battles were fought and the Fallen are only now tolerated for their ability to detect where the wealthiest lodes worth mining can be found.  Virtues (archangels) rule the town and the inhabitants fall into the Elect (angelic descent) and the Fallen (demons).

The main character, Celeste now lives and works within Goetia’s fallen side of town, although she was raised by her father and could pass amongst the Elect.  Her sister Mariel was raised by their mother in the slums.  The two now work in a gaming house, Celeste at a card table and her sister, owner of such a beautiful song voice, as a celebrated singer.  Things go terribly wrong when the body of a murdered Virtue is discovered and Mariel accused of the murder.  Celeste will do anything to protect her sister and finds herself appointed as Advocatus Diaboli (devil’s advocate).  She only has a very small window of opportunity to discover the truth and save Mariel from execution.

What I really liked about this in the first instance was the wild west setting which I am a total sucker for at the moment.  Couple this with angels and demons  and we have this commentary on racism and the opportunity to look at human nature at it’s best and worst.  Not everything is always as clear cut as it may first appear and people will at times go to extreme lengths to protect those they love.

On top of this I really enjoyed the murder mystery.  To be honest I don’t think the eventual conclusion was a surprise but regardless of that I enjoyed following Celeste on her search for answers.

Overall, this was a really good read although I can’t help wishing for more and I would return to this world without hesitation.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 of 5 stars

Advertisement

Can’t Wait Wednesday : Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

CWW

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to. 

This week my book is: Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse (an author that I really enjoy).  Here’s the cover and description:

TreadofAngels

Celeste, a card sharp with a penchant for trouble, takes on the role of advocatus diaboli, to defend her sister Mariel, accused of murdering a Virtue, a member of the ruling class in the mining town of Goetia, in a new world of dark fantasy.

High in the remote mountains, the town of Goetia is booming as prospectors from near and far come to mine the powerful new element Divinity. Divinity is the remains of the body of the rebel Abaddon, who fell to earth during Heaven’s War, and it powers the world’s most inventive and innovative technologies, ushering in a new age of progress. However, only the descendants of those that rebelled, called Fallen, possess the ability to see the rich lodes of the precious element. That makes them a necessary evil among the good and righteous people called the Elect, and Goetia a town segregated by ancestry and class.

Celeste and Mariel are two Fallen sisters, bound by blood but raised in separate worlds. Celeste grew up with her father, passing in privileged Elect society, while Mariel stayed with their mother in the Fallen slums of Goetia. Upon her father’s death, Celeste returns to Goetia and reunites with Mariel. Mariel is a great beauty with an angelic voice, and Celeste, wracked by guilt for leaving her sister behind, becomes her fiercest protector.

When Mariel is accused of murdering a Virtue, the powerful Order of the Archangels that rule Goetia, Celeste must take on the role of Advocatus Diaboli (Devil’s Advocate) and defend her sister in the secretive courts of the Virtue. Celeste, aided by her ex-lover, Abraxas, who was once one of the rebels great generals, sets out to prove Mariel innocent. But powerful forces among the Virtues and the Elect mining barons don’t want Celeste prying into their business, and Mariel has secrets of her own. As Celeste is drawn deeper into the dark side of Goetia, she unravel a layer of lies and manipulation that may doom Mariel and puts her own immortal soul at risk, in this dark fantasy noir from the bestselling mastermind Rebecca Roanhorse.

Expected publication : November 2022

Friday Face Off : Windswept, the classic figure, stood majestically, with hair blowing out in a fetching way

FFO

Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.

So, firstly, I have a new list for next year – I’ve added the themes in below. For information, I’m trying out some new ideas so along with coming up with particular items for book covers I thought we could also look for certain elements contained within the book or that play a large part in the story – this really broadens things out because I have plenty of more ideas with this – I’ve gone for a few of the Tough Travel Themes (so a book with that theme – just choose any book – the theme isn’t necessarily on the cover, then compare covers), also, I’ve thrown in some genres and some colours.  Hopefully this will open things out a little and give us some more freedom to come up with new books.

Secondly, I meant to post this list earlier but I’ve been busy looking after a friend’s dog this week so that took up quite a bit of my free time, especially as he’s quite elderly and I didn’t want to leave him alone.  Such an affectionate little dog though. Consequently I am a week behind with comments, etc, but should now be able to get back on track.

This week’s theme:

Windswept, the classic figure, stood majestically, with hair blowing out in a fetching way

This week I’ve gone for the first book in a series that I’m loving.  I think I’ve tried to use this cover before but there maybe weren’t the same choice of covers that are now available.  My book today is Trail of Lightning (the Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse.  Check out the covers:

Do you have a favourite

If you know of an event that’s coming up let me know and I’ll try and include covers that work for the event itself so that you can link up to the Friday Face Off and, as always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.  Also, I would just mention that it’s very possible that some of these might be repeats from previous FFOs although I have tried to invent more ‘open ended’ prompt that can be interpreted differently and also prompts that relate to emotions.  Finally, don’t struggle with any of these, this is meant to be a fun way of highlighting books.  If you can’t come up with a book you think fits for a particular week use a freebie – perhaps a recent read for example:

Next Week  – Windswept, the classic figure, stood majestically, with wind blowing out in a fetching way

2021

December

3rd – Windswept, the classic figure, stood majestically, with wind blowing out in a fetching way

10th – A fairytale retold

17th – Winter Solstice approaching – anything cold and seasonal

24th – All things fire – red hair, red covers, fire breathing dragons, simply fire?

31st – What’s your catnip – if it’s on a cover you have to pick it up

2022

Jan – Vintage Sci-Fi
7th Simply the Best – A top 10 read of 2021
14th As pure as the driven snow – a cover that is white
21st Like a fine wine – a sci fi book written on or before 1975 –
28th In space nobody can hear you scream – murder mystery in space
Feb The month of romance
4th  brooding and dull like a cloudy sky – a cover that is grey
11th Sealed with a kiss – lips, or the impression left by a kiss
18th Tough Travel Tropes – Hate to Love
25th Made for each other – interpret this any way you please
March
4th Genre – Gadgets and airships – a book that is ’steampunk
11th The most recent book you’ve read that has covers to compare
18th – Somewhere over the rainbow – a very colourful book cover
25th – A book of few words – a one word title
Apr
1st Spring forward – compare the covers for two books you’re excited about
8th – Fresh and Green – a cover that is predominantly green
15th Genre – a book or series that is urban fantasy
22nd – Tough Travel Tropes – unknown magical ability
29th – Long/pointed ears
May the Month of Wyrd and Wonder
6th All about the women – kickass moms, daughters, grans, etc
13th A favourite book to film
20th Sunny and bright  – a cover that is predominantly yellow
27th Books with ‘You’ in the title
Jun
3rd  Under the Sea – anything you like
10th Sparkling like the sea – a cover that is turquoise
17th So pretty – exactly what it says
24th Daddy Dearest – a book with a strong father role
Jul  
1st Genre – epic – any book that fits into the genre
8th Hazy and hot – a cover that is predominantly orange
15th Tough Travel Tropes – Snarky sidekick
22nd Off the TBR
29th Gigantic – monsters, giants, buildings,insects – anything at all
August
5th Tough Travel Tropes – out for summer – school or academic setting
12th Dark/sky/navy  – a cover that is blue
19th Scantily Dressed
26th Tough Travel Tropes – Vacation time – the quest
September RIP
2nd Fallen leaves – covers that are brown
9th Armour/Protection
16th Rage against the machine – anything, cogs, clockwork, AI
23rd Tough Travel Tropes – Coming of Age
30th Genre – horror
October – Horror/Dark
7th Guess who’s back?  – Vampires – popular again?
14th Witches vs warlocks
21st Tough Travel Tropes – Good vs evil
28th  Covers that are black
November – Scifi Month
4th Red skies at night – Covers that are red
11th Tough Travel Tropes – The gang
18th Genre – Swords and Sorcery
25th Genre – And they all lived happily ever after – fairy tales retold
December
2nd Tough Travel Tropes – Assassins
9th Tough Travel Tropes – Darklord
16th Genre – Grimdark (most recent/favourite, etc)
23rd Decadent and rich – a cover that is purple
30th Completions – a satisfying conclusion to a book or series

Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

Blacksun

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Rich worldbuilding, characters with depth

I had a great time with Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. To be honest, I expected to like this one, I loved the first two books in the Sixth World Series after all, but, as we all know, high expectations combined with lots of hype can sometimes spell disaster. Fortunately this was not the case with Black Sun. This is a story that combines rich world building with well drawn characters all singing from their own hymn sheets and it just works so very well.

I’m going to be a little lazy here and steal part of the description from Goodreads, simply because it’s well written and so why reinvent the wheel:

“Inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic.

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

I mean, right there – Pre-Columbian America – who would not want to read a book with this setting? Seriously, this just feels so unique and not just that, it’s well written with descriptions that bring the place vividly to life.

On top of this we follow four pov characters with all the threads slowly converging during the course of the book. What is satisfying about this is it feels more like two storylines simply because of the geography with the story switching between time on the high seas and time in the city of Tova, and occasionally incorporating flashbacks.

As the book starts we meet Serapio as he undergoes a painful ritual performed by his mother. This is the first step in fulfilling the prophecy that predicts his destiny as Crow God. We then jump forward a few years, Serapio, now a young man, is about to journey to Tova to confront, well, not to be spoilery, to fulfil his mission in life.

Xiala is a mysterious sea captain known as a ‘Teek’. The Teek are feared and also revered for their abilities to sing to the sea and the sea creatures and smooth the passage of ships that travel upon them. Xiala is an outcast who now takes jobs as and when she can find them. Her latest job takes her onto the wider oceans (rarely travelled upon at this time of year due to the threat of stormy weather and the inevitable watery grave) where she is charged with transporting Serapio to Tova. A journey that must be completed within a certain period to coincide with the Solstice and solar eclipse.

Meanwhile, at Tova we meet Nara, recently appointed Sun Priest. She has new ideas and is enthusiastic about making positive changes. Unfortunately, it would seem that not everyone is equally enamoured with this recent appointment and Nara will encounter assassination attempts and behind doors machinations to remove her from this coveted position.

Finally, Okoa, member of the Crow Clan. Recently returned to the fold to support his sister following the somewhat suspicious death, of their mother.

Now, you do have to bear with things here because obviously with four characters populating the pages there’s a lot to take in, but it is well worth the effort.

I loved the writing, there’s something subtle and understated about how the author manages to combine so many elements and pull them together in a way that makes you hungry for the next instalment. On top of this she injects history, myth and lore with religion and rebellion and chucks in a little seafaring and light romance for good measure. To top it off, the characters are each so distinct with their own stories and histories to discover. And, what’s really superb is the tingly feeling that I have that Roanhorse has only just scraped the surface of what’s to come such as learning more about Nara and her family, particularly her brother, or Xiala and her abilities – or more to the point, finding out what she truly is. And, if this isn’t enough, for me, there’s an ambiguity here, that is very clever. For example, Serapio – is he one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. It’s difficult to tell at this point and it feels like the lines are muddied for a purpose.

Now, one thing I will say, and this isn’t a criticism so much as an observation, I couldn’t help feeling more attached to certain characters/storylines. Xiala and Serapio stole the show a little for me but I’m still open to the other storylines winning me over in the next instalment.

I think it’s probably time to start drawing this review to a close and in case you haven’t guessed, this was great and I definitely recommend it without a doubt.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publishers, for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion. I also bought a copy of the audio and I both read and listened – and I thought the audio for this was really good.

My rating 4.5 of 5 stars

Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse

Storm ofWell, if there is a God of Good Books I need to make a prayer of thanks right now.  ‘Thank you for Storm of Locusts’.  I thought I loved Trail of Lightning, in fact I did love it, but Storm of Locusts blew my mind.  I am mush.  This continues with the fantastic world building, it explores further afield, it’s packed with imagination, the plot is intriguing, fast paced and absolutely compelling, the tension had me wringing my hands and the characterisation and friendships developed are just excellent.  I don’t even know how this could be improved upon to be honest – other than a third instalment that is.  And can I just say – check out that cover.

If you haven’t read the first book, I understand, I sympathise, we all have a lot of books to catch up with – however, I would strongly suggest you bump this series up to the top of mount tbr – you need this in your life – also beware of spoilers for Trail of Lightning.

We pick up a few weeks following the conclusion of the first book where we find Maggie being called onto a bounty hunt.  Unfortunately things don’t go according to plan.  There is death.  There is an unexpected commitment and there is the uncovering of a strange new ‘monster’ known as the White Locust.  As if the day hadn’t been bad enough the Goodacre twins show up, their young brother has gone missing and Kai seems to be implicated – at least he’s gone missing too.  Pear shaped! Ha!!  This day has rapidly gone to hell in a handcart and Maggie, not believing Kai”s complicity in recent events, undertakes to uncover the truth.

The story here is fast paced, there’s no shortage of action and for those of you who like high octane drama there’s a little bit of everything.  I love the originality displayed, We are once more treated to a story soaked in Native American culture that is absolutely fascinating and breathtakingly original to read about but much more than that, not only does this take the strong foundation from the first book but it builds a whole new level on top by the attention to the characters and the connections they build.  I’m sorry, I’m gushing, but I’m just happy and so it flows naturally, and haphazardly onto the page.

So, how can I convince you to pick this up – beg?  I will do it.  I have no shame.  Please read this series. Pretty please.  There will be cakes.

Seriously, the characters here are just excellent.  I love Maggie.  Of course she’s not always the easiest person to get along with, she has a bad track record when it comes to killing people (although she is trying to control that impulse) and to be honest she can be a little bit scary.  Her reputation has grown somewhat and people expect ‘badass’ from her.

What I found really refreshing, at the same time as a little gut wrenching, was the almost complete lack of Kai in this story.  I loved him in the first book – who didn’t? Right?  But, I think Roanhorse made an excellent decision here to distance him a little from events for a large part of the story.  It created not only a feeling of loss and a desire for Maggie to succeed but also a slight hesitation and a question of doubt.  Maggie felt it and so did I when reading this.

On top of this, we have a new character, Ben, who has her own clan powers that are quite unique.  Maggie has found herself in the unusual position of ‘caring’ about Ben – not easy as she’s also a rather feisty teenager – but great in developing Maggie’s own personality and giving her something else to think about that she’d not previously had to consider – the welfare of another person.

And, Rissa. I loved Rissa in this instalment.  She plays a great role, she really steps up and it was great to see the development of what could be a great friendship between these two characters.  Now I’m totally scared that something bad will happen to her.  *I’m making puppy eyes at Rebecca Roanhorse right now.*

Additionally there are locusts, cats and tricksters too.

I’m not going to mention too much more – particularly about the ‘baddie’ of the piece.  The White Locust is an enigma and one that ‘fit’s the world here.   On the face of it he doesn’t feel completely evil – but, nobody wants a storm of locusts on their tail and there is an element of crazy here – real ‘lost the plot’ crazy.

Basically, there’s a lot of love from me for this book.  It has this wonderful Mad Max, X-Men, end of the world strangeness going on and it’s an absolute blast to read.  Entertaining, fast paced, original, great writing, conflicted characters.  Shut up and take my money.

I highly recommend you give this series a try.

No criticisms.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Edelweiss, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

Next Page »