Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote in bookish,
Hemning Sternberg

Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg

Okay, you though the last one had some wacked-out conspiraces? No way, man. This book is much, much stranger and spookier than Nymphos of Rocky Flats.

Valen is a criminal down on his luck. The companion he protected has wounded him and left him for dead, taking all his possessions except two - a secret stash of the drug he craves and a book that is more valuable than he can guess. He is rescued by kindly monks and vows to join their order. But inside the monastery, he stumbles onto a conspiracy with far-reaching implications. No, make that two conspiracies. And what will happen when the brothers find out that he has a dangerous secret? No, make that three...

This book is set in a fantasy world, but it is far from your standard sword and sorcery tale. It is also not an X-files type book - it doesn't just keep getting more and more complicated. Happily, there is only one viewpoint character and we stay with him through the whole book. This is a YA book and does not glamorize sex or violence but it deals with deep issues - family dysfunction, betrayal, addiction. The book does have a cliffhanger ending, alas, but it seems clear that it can be wrapped up in one more volume - convenient, since it's a duology. The second book is Breath and Bone. Recommended for all fans of fantasy. Four stars - I hope the sequel is just as strong.

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