Miserere, a fantastic portal fantasy combining magic, religion, betrayals and redemption. The author was here on Monday with a guest post on horror films, and I recently finished Frohock's latest, the excellent IN MIDNIGHT'S SILENCE, part 1 of Los Nefilim.
The novella follows Diago, the offspring of an angel and a daimon. He lives in Barcelona with his lover Miquel, trying to make a living as a musician and teacher, and staying out of the battles between angels and daimons. Soon, he discovers a son he never knew existed, Miquel is in danger, and he will have to risk everything to save both.
This is not an "angels are purely good" tale. While they do not crave the disorder that their counterparts feed on, they are not above sacrificing a child to ensure the greater good. Definitely "ends justify the means" characters here. I enjoyed this aspect not necessarily for the events in this particular novella, but in what is being set up for the next one.
There is magic in the music here, another facet I enjoyed. While we don't go into great detail on the magic system, it was explained enough and shown enough that it made sense. It is also set just before the second world war, a time ripe for conflict.
The characters totally sealed the deal. Diago, just learning how to love again, thrown by the existence of a son, Raphael, he's never met, determined not to abandoned his child like Diago's father abandoned him. Diago was enchanted and raped by Raphael's mother, a fact that Diago has not completely come to terms with by the end of the story, but rather is a work in progress. Miquel, understandably surprised and hurt by the existence of a child conceived while they were a couple, is a source of support. I really loved their relationship. It was not perfect, and you could tell that they had put a lot of work into trusting each other. Raphael, Diago's son, is 6 years old and desperate to be loved and have a home. He is scared, but not completely helpless. The scenes between him, Diago and Miquel are tender and leave you with hope. It's a dangerous world they live in, though.
While it does not end on a cliffhanger, there is absolutely more to the story. Fantastic characters, an interesting world, lots of danger, I will be ready for the next Los Nefilim novella.
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