Seraphs by Faith Hunter is the second book of the Rogue Mage fantasy trilogy. Hunter brings us into a world about 100 years after a quasi-apocalypse when the seraphs broke out a can of angelic whoop-ass on the human species nearly wiping them out. An unexpected outcome of the apocalypse is the creation of neomages, humanoid beings able to tap into the leftover creation energy for their magical powers.
Thorn St. Croix’s existence as a neomage was outed in the first book. As a result, she now faces a fearful human population in the town where she lives, along with the possibility that the seraphs can kill her at their discretion.
Some highlights from this book are: 1) it opens with Thorn being surprised and then attacked by her teacher, 2) the Town Elders and the Kirk want her to go away even though she continues to fight on their behalf [which is a self-inflicted symbiotic relationship] when the town is attacked by demon spawn, 3) we learn a bit more about her past, and 4) she has to return to the Darkness’ lair up on the Trine.
The story pace is good, but Thorn still comes across as somewhat clueless in what she’s doing. The telling is a bit circuitous, and I feel parts of the story could be deleted without any negative impact. The continuing references to mage heat are overdone; they’ve passed any attempt at gratuitous and become repetitive.
The battle scenes are well done. However, too many chapters are fight scenes, and Thorn is repeatedly at death’s door only to be saved and finding some new power. Yes, the protagonist must face difficult situations, but fighting every day and staying alive is not statistically in your favor.
Hunter’s world is well done. It has texture and layers, and I like the characters. As with the first book, I found myself pushing to get past some fluff. With that said, the story kept me engaged from beginning to end.
Now, let’s see what the third installment has in store.