While I found some aspects of this story interesting, it was also quite confusing. The writing was good, but I often felt a bit disoriented while jumping from each person's point of view. While I got that it was medieval Sicily, sometimes it felt like the characters were not connected to reality. I'm not sure how to explain it. They had a lot of internal thoughts that were deep, but it was hard to get to know each character. They all seemed confused. They said things that seemed to contradict who I thought they were based on previous scenes. Like I said, a bit confusing.But there was a lot of edgy content like innuendos regarding perversion and such, though nothing actually happened. Also, the descriptions of the plague were quite nasty, so if you have a weak stomach you might find that a bit much. There was a lot of tragedy and death as well. At the same time there was a good spiritual message, but it did seem like some loose ends weren't wrapped up, which might leave some people frustrated. I did like one part of the ending (regarding a few survivors) and thought that was a beautiful way to resolve their prior heartache.I don't really like the scribe concept, though, and I didn't like it in the previous book either (In the Shadow of Lions). I think it would've been better if the had author stuck with the actual historical setting for the story and stayed there.I enjoyed Dark Hour and In the Shadow of Lions. This story...not so much. But it was never boring. I guarantee that, which is the reason I finished it. I kept wanting to figure out what the point was. People who like stories set in reading medieval settings or time travel novels might enjoy this despite it being a bit disjointed. I plan to read the next book in this series when it comes out. Hopefully it will make more sense to me than this story did.
In the Arms of Immortals by Ginger Garrett is the second book in the Chronicles of the Scribes series. It is a beautiful October day in 1347 on the island of Sicily when a mysterious ship comes ashore. Not long after its lone passenger sets foot on the island, people start dying, horrifically and suddenly, and no one will be left untouched by its wake. Not the beautiful daughter of the baron or the knight who loves her. The outcast female healer or the town priest she once loved. Mariskka, once a hospice nurse, now an author with a secret, had no thought of anyone else, including those residents of Sicily until a strange force propels her into the past and forces her to face its horrors. Garrett has stared an enigmatic and fascinating series with the Scribes, and I hope that it doesn't end any time soon! She has a rare talent for writing about the invisible spirits around us that make them come to life and feel real without ever being hokey. Her recreation of the Black Plague is difficult to read, but all too easy to believe. Death, followed by violence and bloodshed keeps the pages turning, even as the reader wants to turn away from the darkness that is so realistically rendered. I love this completely original series with its depiction of the past along with angels and demons!
Easily read as a stand-alone novel, Garret shifts the focus of her new work to Marisska the bitter, self-absorbed hospice nurse we met briefly in the first novel. The thread of the series is passed on to Marisska as she too encounters the Scribe and angelic beings. Sent back in time to the year 1347 in Sicily, Marisska is unable to communicate with those around her and is perceived as a mad woman as she tries to warn the local citizens of the plague about to befall them the Black Death.The theme of spiritual warfare is incredibly well developed in this novel; Garretts hugely powerful angels are the best fictional depiction Ive ever read. Her characters throb with life excepting the honorable knight Armando, who was somewhat flat. The one character I wanted so dearly to like, if only there was more of him there to read. His relative underdevelopment and an epilogue that jumps to a previously unforeseen conclusion are my only complaints.Readers who appreciate thoughtful historical fiction should avail themselves of Garretts work immediately. Her words paint a beautifully, multi-textured story, full of rich emotions, vivid detail, and unforgettable characters. Though I rarely read a novel twice, Im keeping my copies of the Chronicles of the Scribe series on the shelf to lend out, and more importantly to savour once again myself. With only one novel left in the series - In the Eyes of Eternity Im hoping that Garrett will continue to write absorbing historical fiction for many years to come.
In the her second book about how women changed the Church Ms Garrett has chosen the time of the Black Plague. The nurse who stole the manuscript in "In the Shadow of Lions" is sent back to Sicily by the Scribe to experience the Black Plague and God's love and wonderous creations. We see how the Church has become the only method anyone is allowed to use to talk to God and helps to shut out those women who are gifted by God in healing knowledge. Although the horrors of the plague are described in graphic detail we encounter a world that is populated by angels and demons walking amidst the population unseen except by a few. These angels are the old fashioned angels, large and strong and strange looking capable of fighting a good fight for a human covered by the Blood of Jesus, not sissy looking babies. It was rather refreshing in that manner. I did find the greusome descriptions of the effects of the plague rather unsettling but obviously well researched. The story moved along quickly and the characters were developed in such a way as to make me care about their thoughts and actions. I didn't think it was as good as "In the Shadow of Lions" but still found it an interesting read.