In the year 2446, the world exists as a mere shell of what it used to be. The Great Cataclysm tore the human race apart as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse rode. War, Pestilence, Famine… Only Death has yet to ride.
Archangel Tzadkiel, Angel of Mercy, takes the task upon himself to find one human on the planet who still understands mercy. Humans are a treacherous species and as his journey nears its end, he fears he may never find that person. When he is captured by soldiers of the ruling tyrannical faction, The Eminent Protectorate, hope wanes even further.
A mere scullery maid, Lourdes, hears screams from her room every night. They break her heart and haunt her nightmares, and though she doesn’t know who they come from, she longs to find him and help him.
When she does, Lourdes discovers she’s opened a door she might regret and entered a world darker than she ever imagined.
So here it is…the very first (Possibly ever!) Reverse Book Review where the reader reviews the book and then is interviewed by ME. A unique notion, perhaps, but who better to tell you about a book, but one of it’s readers, right?…. So lets get right to it, shall we?
Misericorde (Mercy Series Book One)
Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2020…..Cynthia A Morgan wrote the Dark Fey trilogy and I loved that…this is a very different sort of book. For one, it’s slower paced and the work of a very talented author who has time (there are 3 more books to come in the series) to let the story unfold, to allow the reader to know and understand the characters, times, environments. She is patient and assured – 2 words I would hesitate to use to describe most anything culturally. We are raised on soundbites and fed headlines, but this book/series is, especially the more I think about it, so difficult to adequately distill into a short synopsis. It’s spiritual and human. It’s violent and tender. It’s desperate and deeply hopeful. I can’t wait to see where she takes us from here.
Who is your favorite/least favorite character and why?
My least favorite is easy: Sauvage. In a space that is forgetting any resemblance of gentleness or care, his absolute lack of humanity is repulsive.
My favorite has been Chevalier or Levesque for the same reason. As I raged at their apathy and unwillingness to DO SOMETHING, I knew why they didn’t (or couldn’t.) They did for the same reason we stand idly by while the least of us are utterly taken advantage of and great violence is inflicted. Morgan couldn’t have known the specific political/social landscape when she wrote it, but this story is perfect for us, now. I guess it’s perfect for any time, because we are too often Chevalier or Levesque and not enough Tzadkiel and Lourdes. (As it turns out, why I love them is that they DID finally DO SOMETHING and I am proud of them, and it gives me hope for us, for me.)
What surprised you about the story that you didn’t expect
In my reviews, I talk about your patience. It’s shocking to me that this story is given such beautiful space to breathe and be exactly what it is. It feels much less like a contrived product driven by bells and whistles and more like a living breathing organism. Then when the bells and whistles do come, they are genuine and unforced and we discover that we actually care deeply for these characters. It’s like we’re watching lives unfold and not just an event.
What are you hoping to see happen as the story moves forward?
Of course, I hope they find their way home and that they can heal from the tremendous amount of pain they’ve suffered. I don’t know if I can hope for anything other than Death to ride, it sounds like that is written so it shall be done. I just hope they all find peace. I love a happy ending (whether there can be a complete one with Death is doubtful.)
Which scene has lingered with you the most? Why?
The 2nd rape/abuse scene at the campsite was horrible and not something I will soon leave behind. It was much more impactful than the 1st (though the act itself is so vile) because I had grown to love them. I read it through tears, with an upset stomach. The visceral reaction I had was surprising…actually, I was absolutely sure the abuse wouldn’t happen. Absolutely sure! And then it did, written so descriptively it was REAL, and I barely kept from throwing up in horror. I still can’t move on.
Does the story remind you of any other books/movies?
There’s nothing like this.
Did you disagree with any of the character’s decisions and why?
I think the disagreement was in the complete breakdown in human kindness and civility, like “how can they do that???” But I know, I know. It’s a mirror of what we can become and an invitation to become something more of what we were created to be.
Did you get any message / positive inspiration from the story?
The invitation I mentioned previously, and the quote, “May we show our thankfulness through kindness and appreciate our blessings through generosity,” has become the subject in a series I am teaching in our faith community and has been quoted often in my life. We should all aim so high.
Chad Slabach is the leader of a non-denominational faith community-based in south-central PA as well an as avid music fan and writer. You can find Chad on his WordPress Blog The Bridge Faith Community.
I’d like to Thank Chad immensely, not only for his enthusiastic support, but for taking time out of his busy schedule to read and review The Mercy Series AND to provide his insights in this Reverse View 🙂
Misericorde is the first installment in the Mercy series. It is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy genre and was penned by author Cynthia A. Morgan. Set after the first three horsemen of the apocalypse have been let loose upon Earth and shifted humanity into a feudalistic series of dictatorships, the Archangel of Mercy begs for a reprieve for humanity before the final horseman is unleashed. Given a hundred years to find a human capable of mercy and compassion, the Archangel is dangerously close to the deadline when they meet one person on a planet filled with hatred who may meet their criteria. The novel contains some moderate content that may not be suitable for readers below a mature teen level.
Author Cynthia A. Morgan has crafted a lavish and detailed read that audiences are sure to devour from cover to cover thanks to its quick pacing and highly engaging plot. I particularly adored Tzadkiel as a central character, whose determined belief that humanity may have hope yet is a central theme that endears him and his quest to us. There is a great atmosphere in the writing and lexical choices made by the author, painting the pseudo-medieval world with a bleak and desolate brush. This makes the juxtaposition of hope all the more important and prominent when the search reaches its potential conclusion. I found the plot structure to be well-timed and with plenty of ups and downs to keep the story interesting. Overall, I would certainly recommend Misericorde for fantasy fans everywhere.” – 5 STARS – Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite
***Caution- This book contains brief scenes of violence and rape. Though not explicit, these may be triggers for some readers.***
Amazing Original Artwork by the following Exceptionally Talented Artists:
Lee Jun at DeviantArt.com