The Bottom Line: War between heaven and hell has never been this sexy. Sara J. Mass fans may find a new favorite author in Kaylin McFerren.
The pacey fourth entry in Kaylin McFarren’s award-winning Gehenna series begins as Lucifer and his Council of Seven are about to enjoy a meal featuring a deliciously wicked ingredient: virgin’s blood. But before they can dig into this forbidden feast, the group is interrupted by Lucifer’s captain of the guard. Shaken by heavy losses in a recent skirmish with troops commanded by Lucifer’s brother, General Castiel, he suggests that Lucifer surrender. He’s soon followed by an archangel sent from God’s Army to negotiate terms.
Lucifer wastes no time in quite literally killing the messenger. Believing his army is invincible, he’s focused on reuniting his son, Papillion. He knows that the key to bringing him back is Papillon’s mother, Samara.
Meanwhile, a new danger looms in the form of Vetis Kidad (warning: don’t use his human name!), a ruthless villain leading fire-breathing dragons on a mission to destroy Nexus and all who call it home. Samara must find a weapon powerful enough to defeat him, but when she’s kidnapped and forced into submission, she doesn’t know who to trust. It’s no exaggeration to say that the fate of every living creature rests on Samara’s shoulders.
McFarren’s occult horror series has always been somewhat Shakespearean, but themes of familial power struggles within the royal court are more prominent and engrossing in Black Wing Sky than ever. Readers will also find themselves breathless at the book’s sex scenes, which are both graphic and rich with detail (“she raked her nails along his sides, sensing the frailty of his ribcage”).
But alas, there’s more to the series and this particular entry than power, magic and sex. Within the context of an epic battle between heaven and hell, where creatures can change form and angels truly exist, McFarren still manages above all else to tell a moving story about generational family unity. Bravo.