Brenda Cooper

Reading Recommendation: Of Blood and Honey, by Stina Leicht

I finished this on the plane flying between Washington and Arizona.  I’ve met Stina at a few conventions since this book came out, and she warned me it was a bit bloody.  She is correct.  I managed though (after all, in Mayan December, I sacrificed a woman).  I’m glad I did.  Violence in story only works for me when it’s in context to the work and makes sense.  Stina never let me down there. Of Blood and Honey is set in Ireland in the 70’s.  Stina describes the danger of the IRA years of high conflict, twists it with a salting of fantasy (it matters deeply to the story but is not necessarily what the novel is about), and doesn’t step back from any of the hard parts in this book.

I came away feeling like I learned a lot about the time, I enjoyed the characters, and I’m very likely to pick up her next book and enjoy it, too.  I think part of the magic for me was that this set in a time I remember, in a place I’ve never been but which is on my list of places to go, and Stina managed to both keep the work clicking along on pacing and to leave it close to the character.