There aren't many fantasy novels I would characterize as brilliant. This is one of the few.
I picked up this book with quite a bit of trepidation. I've done a lot of reading on Northern Irish politics over the years, and I didn't want to see the Troubles treated as some sort of flashy backdrop to a shallow and simpleminded fantasy plot. I needn't have worried. Ms. Leicht interweaves the novel's fantasy elements seamlessly into a depiction of time and place that feels absolutely real. Now, I'm not Irish, and I imagine there are things that one could quibble with, but the author's instincts and sympathies are sound and she certainly gets the bigger picture right. The situation is complex and ugly and frequently impossible, and Ms. Leicht has taken all of that on and used it to create an understated masterpiece. On top of all that, her characters are real people, nuanced, and if they don't break your heart from time to time you're not paying attention.
It's clear that Ms. Leicht is planning on at least one sequel to this book, as there are questions left unanswered at the end regarding Liam's fate as well as the strategy and intentions of the Fallen. This is excellent news. I can't recommend this novel highly enough, really, and I'm looking forward to the next volume with a level of anticipation I haven't felt for a book in years.