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The Convent of the Pure Paperback – April 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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The hero is called to action, has initial success, sees the undefeatable monster and faces a setback, gets help and defeats the monster, and then returns to the people. Yes, the story is familiar, but it's also well-written, and perhaps most importantly, it's fun. -- Nick DeMarino, SFReader.com --SFReader.com - Nick DeMarino, November 6, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
What would it be like to witness a battle between celestial beings? Sort of like The Convent of the Pure by Sara M. Harvey. Portia is a demon hunter and a Nephilim, a descendant of human and angel. Still mourning the death of her lover Imogen, yet protected by the ghost of Imogen, Portia is trying to complete her training to become a full member of the Gyony (demon hunter Nephilim as opposed to magic user or necromancer Nephilim) community.
Instead she is pulled into a plot to over throw the Primacy, the ruling council of the Nephilim, by a dark-hearted sect of necromancers, one of which helped her keep Imogen at her side after her tragic death. Portia isn't just a tool in the necromancer plot, she is the plot, one of the rare "Pure Bloods", a direct child of an angel and human.
The Convent of the Pure is a fast paced dark fantasy with steampunk elements. The world is rich and enticing, the only real flaw is it's short length. The world really could support a full length book, if not a series as Portia and Imogen are engaging, their romance a sweet up point against the dark tenseness of the world setting. Portia is strong without being snarky or bitchy. There's no stress over her ability to "hang with the boys", no real issue of gender roles at all, which is refreshing. The action is large scale and satisfying without being too easy or overwhelming.
Overall The Convent of the Pure is an excellent, enjoyable tale sure to appeal to readers of dark fantasy, urban fantasy and even paranormal romance.
My Rating: there's potential in this book, no doubt, and certainly, Harvey is dealing with original material when it comes to the fantasy genre. Using Biblical mythology/legends that embrace more than simply angels and demons can make for a fascinating read, but my wish is that rather than writing a novella, the author had really THROWN herself into the world and created a story that was bigger and more epic. I wanted to like the book far more than I did, and I blame my distance on the fact that I'm thrown into the action and expected to care about characters that I don't even know in crisis. The info-dumping, while extremely necessary to get through the book, is unfortunate because I'd rather experience and discover the world, not have it dumped on me. It's a fast read that reminds me of a hybrid between Harry Potter and the film The Orphanage in terms of setting and world-building, which is kind of fun. But I firmly believe the novella (or a trilogy of) is the wrong form for this epic set of ideas, of world-building, and even the level of relationships that have formed between the characters.Read more ›
The relationship takes center stage here, as Portia works to unravel a web of conspiracy based in an isolated convent full of sinister secrets. Portia failed to protect Imogen, and she blames herself for her lover's death. Imogen, meanwhile, has been bound to Portia in spirit form, an ever-present voice with the ability to take solid form briefly and with great effort. As one might imagine, this can be awkward. But it's also their only hope of staying together, and neither lover is ready to let go.
Author Sara Harvey does a nice job of getting into her protagonist's head, and she also delivers on the action scenes. Her villains are fun, especially her wonderfully nasty succubus, which she does in a nicely original interpretation.
The book is sensual, but is more action and intrigue than sex. The complexity of the characters is nice to see, particularly in a genre where so many authors never use "lesbian" as the sole defining trait of a character and never manage to get beyond it. Portia and Imogen are multifaceted personalities that bring a lot of emotional depth to the relationship.
The world has good depth to it, and there is clearly a lot more of it to be explored, and really, the main weakness of the book is its length. Or rather, its lack thereof. The events and revelations come fast and furious, and I found myself wishing I'd had more time to get to know Portia and Imogen, and their world, before the plot developments hit. There is also a lot of world development, based on biblical mythology, that is just barely hinted at. A sequel is definitely in order. A prequel might be even more fun.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
(WARNING! HERE BE SPOILERS!)
This was a free book on the kindle store I ended up finishing. Read more
Sara Harvey has whipped up a page turner of a romantic drama involving angels, demons and the occasional human. This is a book worth the reading with characters who pull you along.Published 6 months ago by Joy Ward
This is an honest review in exchange for an e-book version of The Convent of the Pure, a novella, by Sara Harvey. Read morePublished 7 months ago by EM
The struggle to survive against the betrayals happening all around her and her dead friend make a good fantasy. No eroticism.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
What can I say. It is a book. I liked it but you might not so you have to read it for yourself to decidePublished on June 28, 2014 by Mel
I was given this book by a friend who thought I might like it. It's the start of a series, The Blood of Angels. I loved the two main characters, Portia and Imogen. Read morePublished on April 1, 2014 by P. Eddy
This story is so full of imagery it is sometimes difficult to follow the story. But, the imagery is so very vivid, it tells a story all its own. Read morePublished on February 5, 2014 by Nightwing Whitehead
Enjoyed this immensely. There were aspects of this that were a touch of romance, a touch of horror, angels and demons abounding. Read morePublished on January 22, 2014 by Heather Jones