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Seraphim    by Michele Hauf order for
by Michele Hauf
Order:  USA  Can
Luna, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Seraphim D'Ange plans to ring in the New Year celebrating her wedding and the beginning of a new life with her husband. But that dream is shattered when Lucifer de Morte and his army invade her father's castle during the festivities. They murder everyone who dares stand in their way. Not even Seraphim, who can fight as well as any of her father's best knights, is a match for the dangerous de Morte. He overpowers and rapes her, then cuts her throat and leaves her for dead. However, Seraphim, along with her loyal squire Baldwin, do survive Morte's bloody rampage.

Swearing to avenge her family and end the reign of terror that the de Mortes have visited upon France, Seraphim sets out on a bloody trail of vengeance against the brothers. In short order Abaddon and Satanas fall under the 'Black Knight's' mighty silver sword. Now the avenging warrior is on the trail of the remaining two brothers, Sammael and Lucifer himself. The evil siblings have no idea that their nemesis is a woman, and Sera has no intention of revealing that fact. Yet she also realises that her last two quests will be fraught with considerable danger, for Sammael is a master of poisons and it's said that no-one has ever successfully passed through his 'demon's lair'.

Sera has help from the loyal Baldwin and also the mysterious mercenary Dominique St. Juste (who joined her quest after convincing her that a higher power sent him to her aid). The trio prevails against Sammael and his minions. Now they must face the last and most powerful of the demonic brothers, Lucifer himself. He's had time to prepare himself and reveals surprising secrets that neither Sera nor Dominique is prepared to hear.

Michelle Hauf has taken the Fallen Angels myth and embellished it with dark and inventive twists, to create a riveting story of a young woman's quest for revenge and to achieve a destiny chosen for her long before her birth. Seraphim is also brimming with intriguing, strong characters along with a rich and satisfying blend of medieval history and fantasy. Fine writing adds elegance to the story and I look forward to the second episode in the Changeling series, due out in 2005.

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