Sunday 12 July 2009


When a naked, amnesiac stranger is found outside a remote highland village, he is taken in by Kerin, a widow whose unconventional ways are tolerated because her son Damaru is 'skytouched' - he appears simple, but he is able to affect matter. All skytouched are tested by the Beloved Daughter, the living goddess who rules the world from the City of Light. If he's found worthy, Damaru will become a Consort of the skymothers, the Gods of this world. Kerin and the stranger, nicknamed Sais, accompany Damaru to the City, in the company of a priest who's helping Sais to get back his missing past - but as Sais recovers his memory, he realises that the world does not work the way he assumed - and everyone believes - it does. Worse still, the hierarchy which has kept society stable for thousands of years is rotten to the core. Then Kerin and Sais uncover the true nature of the world and the unimaginable fate of the Consorts - a fate Kerin will do anything to stop her son sharing.

This book - although not technically a sequel - follows after Principles of Angels.

Where the first book was obviously a science fiction story that used fantasy elements and myth, this one feels more like a fantasy most of the way through. As we follow the widow Kerin, her son Damaru (who happens to be a skyfool), and the stranger Sais. Sais isn't his real name but one that they give him because Damaru finds him alone and naked in a swamp and he can't remember who he is.

The three of them join others to take part in the drove. A time when males from the village travel to the lowlands near the City of Light to trade their cattle and goods. For Damaru, it also means that he'll take part in a trial to become a Consort of the Skymothers.

What intrigued me the most and kept me reading and wondering about this story was Sais. He has no recollection of who he is, but as he starts to remember things and we find out his name, a lot of what's going on really clicks into place and connects it back to the first book.

I once again enjoyed Jaine Fenn's writing style and the depth of her imagination. Her characters were strong, especially Kerin who lives in a very religious, sexist and biased world. Their adventure leads them and the reader to a very interesting conclusion that makes you wonder what the next installment will hold...

Consorts of Heaven, July 2009, ISBN 0575083239, Gollancz Paperback

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