Countdown to 2023 – Day 21 ‘Santa’s Snack’ (10 days remaining)

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Today is day 21 of my countdown to 2023.  Today’s prompt is ‘Santa’s Snack’.  The prompts can be found here if you want to join in.  I’m hoping to use mostly books read this year.  Let’s begin:

SANTA’S SNACK (A book that was a ‘light read’ between heavier books )

I don’t tend to read a lot of novellas or short stories but every now and again I pick one up that works perfectly for me.  Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse was a perfect example of a book that I loved (although who am I kidding – I would have loved more).

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Tomorrow: Reindeers – a book with memorable critters

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Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

Posted On 22 November 2022

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

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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

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

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“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:

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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