The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess by Leanna Renee Hieber (Strangely Beautiful #3)
May 3, 2011
Reviewed by Mandi
The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess is a prequel to the first two books in Leanna Renee Hieber’s adorable historical fantasy series. In this book, we are taken back to a time before The Guard that we have come to know. The Goddess and her beloved Phoenix start a new guard in Cairo. We are introduced to Beatrice, The Leader, Verena The Healer, Ahmed The Heart, Ibrahim who is Intuition and George The Artist all chosen to perform The Grand Work, keeping mortals safe from the spirits that haunt this earth. As this new team struggle with their new role in life, we also see a lot of the struggle the Goddess is going through in Whisper-World.
Persephone, The Goddess is trapped in Whisper-World with Darkness. Once in love with her beloved Phoenix, he has now perished and while his physical remains remain close to The Goddess, his fire is the one that alights the leaders of The Guard. The Goddess must play games with Darkness. While she can leave Whisper-World to help guide her Guard members, she can never be gone too long, else Darkness goes into a rage. A war is on the horizon and Darkness is torturing those Guard members that have passed on in spirit form. The Goddess has a vision of a man and a woman (that turns out to be Alexi and Persephone) and knows they are the hope to save everyone from Darkness. So Goddess and Phoenix move to London, where Alexi and crew are so very young, and the journey begins.
I had hard time getting into this one. First let me say I think you must read the first two books in this series to follow along with this one, even though it is a prequel. The new Guard we are introduced to in Cairo didn’t hold my interest like Alexi’s guard. Now, that could be just because I adore Alexi, Percy etc and didn’t want to meet new Guard members. But I found the first part of this book to be very slow. What did hold my interest are the scenes between The Goddess and Darkness. This series has such sweet, tender, almost innocent moments between the Guard members, but then Leanna Renee Hieber throws the Whisper-World scenes in and I think they are so well done. So dark, depressing and intriguing. Darkness has latched on to The Goddess, and there is this game she plays to try to keep everyone safe. Very eerie and evil and such a contrast to the sweet nature of her other characters.
Once the crew makes it over to London, things really pick up in this book. We learn how Alexi’s Guard comes to be. We watch the struggle of The Goddess to figure out how to predict The Darkness’s next move. And we watch the Cairo guard and the consequences of being done with their Grand Work early. They are kind of discarded but the Goddess has set a course, and they must realize they are a piece of a much bigger puzzle.
I’m glad we got a glimpse into the early days of Alexi and crew. Even though this book isn’t my favorite, If you haven’t read the first two books in this series, I highly recommend them.