Rec a Series is a monthly post highlighting one of my favorite series, past or present. This month, I’m fangirling over Elizabeth Hunter’s Irin Chronicles (aren’t those covers beautiful?). It’s the newest of her three worlds: the first being her original and wonderful Elemental Mysteries full of sexy vampires, the second her shifter series, Cambio Springs. This one is my absolute favorite of the three. Come see why.
The Irin Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter
I’m a self-acknowledged Elizabeth Hunter fangirl, so this may be biased. The Irin world is mostly filled with humans, oblivious to the others who live amongst them: children of the Forgiven and the Fallen. Angels. Half-angels, really, though without wings.
The Forgiven are those angels who, after moving amongst humans and even bearing children with them, returned to Heaven at God’s command. The Fallen, on the other hand, are those angels who refused. They lusted for power, saw in the humans a worshipful following. God was not amused. While the world building is firmly set in the Christian religion, it really isn’t a religious series. It provides the basis for the lore but isn’t preachy.
Ava, our brave and feisty heroine, is a troubled woman—a photographer who believes herself to be crazy. She travels to Istanbul on assignment and meets with yet another specialist, someone who promises he can help with the voices she’s heard since infancy. She also meets Malachi, an intensely handsome man…and a Scribe—the child of one of the Forgiven.
Ava is a great female character—brave without being perfect, flawed without being stupid. She doesn’t fall into the fantasy world without reservations, doesn’t believe things just on faith alone. It takes a shocking revelation and attacks by the Grigori—the children of the Fallen—to bring her around.
Malachi is a warrior Scribe, one of those tasked with battling against the seemingly never-ending tide of Grigori. He’s not as old as the others in the Scribe House but not young as humans think of it, having lived centuries and inking many a spell on his body. He’s fascinated by Ava, assigns himself as her bodyguard while she’s in Istanbul, and they develop a relationship.
Things happen. Yeah, that really doesn’t say much, but if I get started, I’d sputter out all the details in squealing, fangirl enthusiasm. Just one thing: don’t kill the author for the first novel. Hang in for the long haul. It’s worth it.
Hunter creates another amazing world, unfolding the details so the reader discovers them alongside Ava. The lore is rich, the fantasy elements woven flawlessly into the acknowledged religion. The real world descriptors are vivid, Hunter having toured the area in research. It’s a more mature series in some ways than Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries, the writing style not the plotting or characterizations. Understandable, since years and many books separate the two series. Being able to afford a professional editor also helps. I’d recommend reading the Elemental series before this one, but only for that reason. They’re both excellent however.
I can’t recommend this series enough. It’s rich and lush and simply wonderful. It’s not a steamy series, like most of her works, but there’s romance and mystery and so many stellar characters that you just want to know all the details about, well, everyone. Grab them, but when you do grab them all. You won’t want to stop once you’ve started.
The Irin Chronicles –
Number of Books: Four
Number of Extras: One
- On a Clear Winter Night — novella, set between The Secret and The Staff and the Blade
Complete? Maybe, but I hope not. The primary story arc is finished, but there are plenty of tertiary characters who’d be excellent primary characters in their own series.