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The Cathedral of Cliffdale (Guardians of Summerfeld Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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The Cathedral of Cliffdale by Melissa Delport is the first in a new paranormal series that reminds me a lot of Anne Bishop’s series The Others. In Delport’s Guardians of Summerfeld, a Guardian is dead and for the first time in a millennium a replacement hasn’t come forward. Quinn Harden is the twin sister of the dead Guardian and feeling a responsibility to her niece and nephew, she leaves her post as a Guardian to raise them. But it’s never that simple. A Guardian cannot leave her post without repercussions and now her niece and nephew are gone. Quinn will stop at nothing to find them.
Quinn is an easy character to love. She’s fiercely loyal, a determined and natural leader, and loves with her whole being. She’s never questioned her calling as a Guardian until her sister dies and leaves two children to raise. Not wanting them to have the same life she had living in the confines of Summerfeld, she leaves the fold to raise them in the realm of man. She refuses to return and denies an important part of herself that yearns for her wards to care for the children. She uses her grief and hatred of their father as an excuse until that no longer stands as a reason. When the Guardians take the children against Quinn’s will, she vows to get them back and promises her sister’s missing crystal in return.
Quinn isn’t the only character though and for once I loved the omniscient 3rd person POV that Melissa Delport introduces in this series. I’m not usually a fan of this type of POV. I’d rather the story be told from one perspective or flip between the two main characters, BUT it really works for this book/series. I enjoyed knowing what the other characters were thinking, what drove them and their actions, and it flowed naturally. While Quinn is the main focus as the death of her sister is the catalyst for the events in the book, I loved the other characters and found myself drawn to them and their story.
Drake is perhaps my favorite character next to Quinn. He is a vampire and has been living since the Blood Wars. He is peaceful, not participating in the vampires quest for Summerfeld. While he is vicious and a tad scary, I think he’s a big softy, especially where Quinn is concerned. I found it intriguing and cannot wait to find out more about him and his life in the next books of the series.
The world-building in this book is the biggest draw for me. as much as I love the characters, it’s their world that I love most. Delport has created an amazing paranormal world that exists within our own. Vampires walk among us while the inhabitants of Summerfeld are hidden by the magic of the Fae. There are creatures ranging from unicorns to dragons to werewolves and Fae. If it’s paranormal, it’s in this book! There are gypsies like you’ve never seen them before and ordinary humans caught in the midst. Like I already mentioned, reminiscent to Bishop’s The Others but wholly unique in its execution.
Overall I really enjoyed this story. Once I started it, I found every reason I could think of not to sit it down. And when I finished it….let’s just say I’ve bought the rest of the series to read. If you enjoy paranormal, urban fantasy, and a tiny touch of romance, I highly recommend you pick up a copy ASAP! You won’t be disappointed.
Another thing I thoroughly enjoyed about this book was that the story was told from multiple sources, it centers around a centuries long war between the vampires and fae but even though the protagonist was on the side of the fae we got to see the story from the perspective of the vampires too, and the gypsies who fall in the middle and other characters making the story that much more endowed and richer. It was like a 360 look at this one point in the story’s timeline.
The storyline of Quinn and Drake completely enthralled me and I found myself hooked and eager for them to interact more. Perhaps it’s the chemistry or my unhealthy obsession with forbidden love, but I was rooting for them every step of the way even though they fought on opposite sides. I loved their unlikely friendship.
A strong female character is always enough to get me interested in a book, regardless of the genre, and Delport delivered with Quinn. She is multi-faceted, interesting, tough, vulnerable and most of all, she feels real. She is the driving force in this novel and what kept me interested all the way through.
One problem I did have with the book however is that I found that Delport introduced too many mythical creatures too soon - I felt like I was barely learning about vampires when the gypsies were introduced then the werewolves, then the faes, then the unicorns etc. I was constantly confused over which character was who and what species each one was. I think this might have been easier to understand if so many mythical creatures were not introduced in the first book and they were staggered throughout the series.
The Cathedral of Cliffdale is written in third person, with alternating viewpoints. As such, the reader is treated to the unique lives of a host of other characters in this fantasy world. Despite this, and because the tales of these characters intertwine, the plot does not stray too far from Quinn and her journey (so as to be distracting and cumbersome), but rather have the effect of broadening the readers exposure to this magical world and its creatures.
I found The Cathedral of Cliffdale to be a pleasant read; all in all, a captivating story, and once I got going, I couldn't stop. (There were two late nights, and a lot of: surely it can't be that time already?) If fantasy is your thing, The Cathedral of Cliffdale is sure to be value for your money. And, with the prospect of a series, a lot more awesomeness to come!
Most recent customer reviews
This book is an combination of contemporary earth, fantasy, paranormal and romance pulled together in a way I can...Read more
Whenever I had a spare moment I would pick up this book.
I will be checking out book two.