This book will be publsihed in June 2011. It is Book One of The Angeleon Circle. Information on this book can be found at http://www.karynhenleyfiction.com/Karyn_Henley_Fiction/Welcome.html.
I know that vampires were "it" a couple of years ago. Since then, people have been trying to find the next big thing in fantasy: ghosts, witches, zombies, and even angels. This book is about angels.
It is the story of Melaia, a priestess in Navia who has been trained as a chantress but has NOT been trained in the ways of angels. This is unfortunate, since an angel is killed in her courtyard by a hawk-man. Through her recitation of a song she has known all of her life, she comes to understand that angels and legends she had not believed in before are actually real. As the book continues, she comes to understand that she plays a great role in the angel legend.
I really liked Melaia's love interest, Trevin. I hope future books further develop this relationship. In fact, I feel that this relationship is the most well-developed part of this book. It seems real and captures the uncertainty and need for acceptance that constitute teen relationships.
The rest of the book seems rushed. I feel that the author probably wrote a 500-page novel and someone at the publishing company told her to cut it down to 300 pages. There is so much action (plot-driven-ness) packed into these pages, that character development seems left out. I think this book would benefit from first-person narration; at least one character would be more fully developed. In fact, there is so much action and there are so many characters, that I am not sure teen girls (the intended audience) will stick with it. There were times when I felt overwhelmed reading this, and I'm a good reader. Also, the end seems contrived and too neat of a package (Jerrod and Melaia's father, etc.); the story almost seems soap-opera-ish with all of the inter-connections.
With that said, I do want to read the rest of this series. I like Melaia and Trevin, and, since I pushed on and finished the book, I want to know what happens to them.