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In Bonds of the Earth (The Book of the Watchers 2) Kindle Edition
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The story is told in first person from the viewpoint of Milja, somewhat wiser now after having freed fallen angel Azazel from eons of bondage, she is doubtful about her lover’s plan to release his “brothers” from their prisons in order to mount a new assault on the forces of heaven. His search leads them to the labyrinth of ancient monolithic rock-cut churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia, where the priests, wielding the rusted relics of saints, guard a secret that humankind must never know. (No spoilers here, but let’s just say that the mid-story climax—and Ashbless’ way of relating it—is exciting as all get out!)
The romantic leads are realistically imperfect here; Milja is smart and beautiful, but also still rather naïve, not always wise in the ways of human—or angelic—behavior, and still vulnerable where the heart—not to mention her hair-trigger erotic responses—are concerned. She describes Azazel, for all his physical allure, as not very bright, a musclebound creature who lives in the here and now without much thought for consequence or the feelings of others, least of all Milja’s.
I was—as ever—impressed by Ashbless’ ability to set her tale within a broad historical and cultural context without resorting to obvious “data dumps” or dry narrative digressions; the fascinating history of Lalibela is woven so subtly into the fabric of the story as to seem perfectly of a piece with the unfolding adventure. The author’s erudition shines through, illuminating the story without ever casting shade on the reader. Milja’s informal conversational style does not clash with her obvious intelligence, but brings readers comfortably along, never making them feel patronized or inadequate.
This entry in the series closes with a shattering cliffhanger that will have readers on the edge of their seats, hearts pounding in their throats, and practically howling in half-fulfilled frustration! I felt afterwards as if I’d enjoyed an extraordinary meal, richly fed to be sure, yet craving still more, able only to dream of “next time.”
Well worth the wait—and let’s hope the wait for the third book won’t be too long!—"In Bonds of the Earth" is enthusiastically recommended!
This second book in the trilogy didn't shake me up as much as the first, though I was bothered by the treatment of women in this part of the world. (Ethiopia) This is why I only visit first world, English speaking countries. I also didn't care for the very cliffhanger ending. It was hard to follow the descriptions of where Milja was moving about in Ethiopia. I've never been to Ethiopia so it was hard for me to picture where she was going. A map of the area that included real places as well as fake places in the story would have been awesome. I highly recommend reading this book so that you can read the final book in the trilogy. This story is written for open minded people who question the validity of organized religion. The entire trilogy is written in 1st person from Milja's POV.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved Janine Ashbless‘s romantic, erotic, dark, thoughtful, and often beautiful novel Cover Him with...Read more