BP: We received a review request for this book and while it seemed interesting we did not have time during the requested window to provide a review, so we suggested a guest post instead. Ms Kindred accepted and is willing to sponsor a giveaway (see below for details) so here is the question that we posed to her. Commonly held western religious beliefs include humans believing in the existence of angels and demons. What drew you to create a world where mankind was unaware of them and that they had their own hierarchy all together up in the heavens?
In my novel The Fallen Queen, Heaven is one of several spheres of existence, the world of Man being the mundane sphere. The celestial sphere is the home of the angelic race, known as the Host, while angels of mixed blood—or those who’ve forsaken the realm of Heaven for the world of Man—are called Fallen.
Though the Fallen try to blend in, the world of Man isn’t totally unaware of the existence of celestials. Government officials, in particular, have long-established relationships with the powers of Heaven that enable them to keep the Fallen in line. In addition, the members of a secret society known as the Night Travelers serve as liaisons between earthly powers and the Fallen.
The rest of humanity has the same spectrum of beliefs that you’d expect. Thus, for those from Judeo-Christian traditions, angels and demons are creatures of the spiritual realm. This makes it all the more imperative for terrestrial Fallen to maintain a low profile to protect their identity. Nobody wants to end up the object of an exorcism.
I’ve always been fascinated by angelology and demonology, as well as by the classical philosophies of the elements and the celestial spheres. I wanted to write about that mythology from a non-religious point of view. Though the hierarchy of The Fallen Queen—the Choirs and Orders—is based on traditional angelology, my Heaven is strictly a fantasy world, not a spiritual one.
I also wanted to take the familiar trope of angels and demons and apply it to another familiar concept—classism and institutionalized oppression. The hierarchy of Heaven seemed like a lovely complement to pre-revolutionary Russia, with the angels as nobility, and the demons in the role of peasants. While my angels and demons have powers ordinary human beings don’t have, they aren’t really that much different than we are. They deal with hope and heartache, love and loss, and the sometimes inexplicable certainty of desire.
Heaven can go to hell.
Until her cousin slaughtered the supernal family, Anazakia’s father ruled the Heavens, governing noble Host and Fallen peasants alike. Now Anazakia is the last grand duchess of the House of Arkhangel’sk, and all she wants is to stay alive.
Hunted by Seraph assassins, Anazakia flees Heaven with two Fallen thieves—fire demon Vasily and air demon Belphagor, each with their own nefarious agenda—who hide her in the world of Man. The line between vice and virtue soon blurs, and when Belphagor is imprisoned, the unexpected passion of Vasily warms her through the Russian winter.
Heaven seems a distant dream, but when Anazakia learns the truth behind the celestial coup, she will have to return to fight for the throne—even if it means saving the man who murdered everyone she loved.
About Jane Kindred
Jane Kindred began writing romantic fantasy at the age of 12 in the wayback of a Plymouth Fury—which, as far as she recalls, never killed anyone…who didn’t have it coming. She spent her formative years ruining her eyes reading romance novels in the Tucson sun and watching Star Trek marathons in the dark. She now writes to the sound of San Francisco foghorns while two cats slowly but surely edge her off the side of the bed. Jane is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Carina Press/June 2011) and The Fallen Queen (Entangled Publishing/December 2011), Book One of The House of Arkhangel’sk trilogy.
This giveaway is open internationally. If the winner can choose pdf or papercopy. To enter leave a comment talking about your favorite aspect of angelology or demonology. This contest will close on the 15th with the winner announced on the 16th. Good luck!