AUTHOR: Lia Black
PUBLISHER: Vinedark/ BlackHouse Press
LENGTH: 213 Pages
How far would a man go in the name of faith?
Fydelis was once worshiped as the Angel of Fidelity, but his love for Gareth, a mortal knight, caused him to fall from the heavens. He has now become the demonic aspect of Regret, and the unwilling plaything of the Sunderer, the darkest of all dark gods. His only hope is for death, but first, he must find someone to take his place as the Sunderer’s favorite toy.
Father Gareth De’Aubyn is a man tormented by his past and ready to sell his future to save the souls of his flock. Questioning the wisdom of war, he’s traded his Crusader’s armor for a cassock, and now ministers to the very people his army sent fleeing for their lives. When his church is attacked by unknown assassins, Gareth is mortally wounded, and with his dying breath, he calls out to the Creator for help.
But his god does not answer.
Instead, the demon, Fydelis, heeds his call, cajoling him to promise his soul to the god of the underworld for a chance to tap into the powers of dark magic, and set everything right.
A stranger to Gareth, the man who once swore to him his honor and his love, Fydelis is forced to make the dying priest an offer he can’t refuse: in return for sparing the lives of those under his care, Gareth must collect several very stubborn souls.
Together, they’ll begin a journey that will test everything they thought they knew about faith, love, and fidelity.
Content warnings: Graphic violence, fantasy-based theosophical overtones, dub-con, rape, heavy on the dark at times, snarky banter, hot and sweet m/m sex.
As a knight, Gareth swore himself to his guardian angel, Fidelity, who he thought of as a spouse he would never be allowed to touch. However, when Gareth becomes disenchanted with the corruption in the crusades, he leaves the knighthood to become a priest.
The book starts when Gareth is dying following the massacre of his congregation. He calls to the heavens for help, but he receives help instead from the underworld. The demon, Fydelis, assists Gareth in exchange for his soul and the souls of twenty others, which he is tasked with collecting. When all is set to right in his church, Fydelis is still hanging around, and it becomes clear that he wants more than Gareth’s soul. Despite the demon’s temptation, Gareth sticks to his vows of chastity and remains true to his beloved angel, Fidelity. Along their journey to collect souls, Gareth continues to resist Fydelis, but grows fond of him and starts to care for him. The book ends in a twist, with love that is truly heartbreaking.
I don’t generally read books with theological undertones, but I took a chance on Fidelity due to the promise of dark things to come. Though the main characters are a priest and a demon, I never once felt like a line was crossed. However, I did a lot of crying throughout the book, and I can’t even write my review without getting choked up. Although Gareth and Fydelis seemed to be traveling down a path that was sure to lead to tragedy and heartbreak, I was very pleased with how the story ended.
RATING: Loved it!
DARK ARTS ELEMENTS:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A fellow Author describes Black’s mind as “a glorious kaleidoscope of f*ckeduppery”; she loves the challenge of writing about people who probably have no business being together on the same planet, and who occasionally deal with questionable sanity/morality. It’s fun to glue broken things together and try to make something interesting and new.
–She especially loves broken boys who have lots of fascinating pieces.
Her characters often suffer through the worlds she creates for them, which leaves them a little cranky and sometimes less lovable than others in a romance genre. Yet Black swears that someday, “there will be comedy.”