by Leanna Renee Hieber
Series: Strangely Beautiful #3
Published on June 20, 2017 by Tor
Genres: Adult, Historical, Paranormal
In the beginning, there were lovers: a winged deity of power and light, and a queen of grace and beauty. Phoenix was murdered, his beloved stolen away to the Whisper-world. But their passion inspired the Muses. Through great sacrifice, it could live again.
There are always six, mortal hosts for the divine. Battling spirits through the ages, they defy Darkness, Lord of the Dead. In 1867, a shadow rises. The tide turns against them, and all hope falls on a child of prophecy, an eerie, snow-white girl yet to be born. But her path must be cleared. A Great War is coming, and song, wind and stars whisper that the eighteen-year-old Beatrice Smith must give everything to prepare.
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It feels like ages since I’ve stepped into this world. I first stumbled upon this series when I bought The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker during an eBook sale. Imagine my surprise when I found the book in print, along with its sequel, years later AND heard there was going to be a prequel.
And Perilous Prophecy didn’t disappoint! I will recommend that, though this is a prequel, you would be better suited reading it after tackling at least the first of the Strangely Beautiful books simply for context. This one follows Beatrice, who is introduced in the previously published books, and how she becomes a part of the Guard, all while darkness is stirring and threatening to take over the world. You know, standard prophecy doom and gloom style.
I loved Beatrice and giving her a separate book, I think, was a fabulous idea. I wouldn’t say I was swamped with questions after finishing the second book in this series but there were definitely knowledge gaps and this trip back in time helped to fill those in a bit. I also though this particular Guard was much more dynamic than the one presented in books 1 and 2. They have a lot of differences between them that cause all sorts of trouble.
Providing more background on Persephone was an added bonus. We meet her as Percy Parker in Strangely Beautiful but that’s as a human. Here, she’s still a goddess but diminishing. It put the other two books in perspective for me.
Now, I can’t say too much about the story since, though a prequel, it does feature details that may be spoilers for those who haven’t read the other books, but what I can say is that I ADORE Hieber’s writing style. It’s a bit over-the-top at times, other times reaching for those beautifully intricate descriptions that fell out of place in anything but a classic novel. I’ve not read a work by another author that felt the same and it’s set her work apart in my mind.
I’ll say that Perilous Prophecy didn’t hook me as quickly as the previous installments. It’s both setting the stage as well as filling in the gaps, all the while detailing the adventures of the Cairo Guard and Persephone’s divine fall. Though there’s a lot going on, it took a while to get into it. But if you’ve read the others, I have no doubt you’ll get sucked into this one too.
To those who haven’t read The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, I highly recommend doing so. And if you have, definitely get your hands on this prequel! You’re not going to want to miss it!