What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Hidden in the dark heart of Victorian London, the Romanesque school was dreadfully imposing, a veritable fortress, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met its powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadows, of the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She saw simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gift. This arched stone doorway was a portal to a new life, to an education far from what could be had at a convent-and it was an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death...
Six were called to soothe the spirits, six were called to protect the humans, and to them will come a seventh, the Balance. The Healer, The Intuition, The Artist, The Heart, The Memory, The Power...... all await the Balance yet to come......
Alexi Rychman has been looking for the fulfillment of the Prophecy for two long decades, and as yet, his Goddess has not returned. There is to be signs of her arrival, and London is thick with them, but not the most important of all....The portal to the other side, the doorway has yet to appear.
Rebecca Thompson, Headmistress of the Athens Academy has long sought the attention of Alexi, dear friend and confidante. But to no avail, he only has eyes for his reluctant mistress, their missing Goddess. The Grand Work has become a replacement for love and desire. Her heart is squirreled away, begging for release. All the Guard, all six have dedicated their lives to the Grand Work, but when is enough enough?
Miss Percy Parker, the ghostly visage of a young woman, sometimes mistaken for the spirits that dance on the Earth arrives at Athens from the Reverend Mother's care, hoping to find a place to belong. Before long, Alexi finds himself drawn to this ghost girl, Persephone, holding the name of his long ago Goddess. But can this wisp of a girl, a see through visage of a woman, be his Goddess returned?
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is a mythical journey of the lightness of being, a Gothic Victorian romance wonderfully told with beautiful words and detail, the voicing excellent. I fell in love with the storytelling and the characters, each for their own reason. The story starts with the calling of the guard. Six young people are possessed as the Guard, to learn the truth, wait for a sign, prevent the unthinkable; Hades' reign on Earth. Without the six, the seventh would be lost or the foretold story claims. The seventh is the fulfillment of the Prophecy on Earth. The seventh is the return of the Goddess stolen by Hades, her Phoenix lover burned to dust and the Muses scattered. Alexi, our masterful hero, must find the missing Goddess, but he has so little to go on, mysterious missives. The one thing he does know is that with the finding of the Goddess, his true love will be returned to him. Percy Parker, our wistful heroine, is like the Earthbound ghosts that seek her guidance and counsel. She has always been different, but it's always been the ghostly shade of her skin and eyes that have held her apart, making her different. The one thing that neither Alexi or Percy knows is that others roam the Earth release from the bowels of Hades in search of the missing Goddess, and her ultimate destruction, and with her, the Balance that holds the Earth, Good versus Evil for domination.
Strangely Beautiful is a strangely wonderful retelling of the Greek mythology of old. The Goddess Persephone and her lover, The Phoenix, torn apart and put asunder by the wrath of Hades, God of the Underworld along with the evilness of the Gorgon, the serpent headed she-demon sent by her Master to destroy the Balance, and effectively, the Goddess. Strangely Beautiful retells the story with new twists and turns capturing the wonderment, the emotions, and dread of the unknown. More than once I cried for poor Percy and more than once I wanted to shake the Guard, especially Rebecca who was blinded by what she wanted to see and have instead of what was before her eyes. But it was such a long hard journey to take for all of the Guard, that I had to forgive her, and the other Guards, too long searching for what could not be found. Strangely Beautiful pulls at the emotions of the reader, struck deep to their core. I was left wanting more, needing to see the further journey. I highly recommend this book to lovers of romance, paranormal, urban fantasy, those who love mythology and fantasy. Strangely Beautiful is another book that has gained a spot on my keeper shelf to be re-read again and again. As soon as I finished the story, I was immediately drawn back to read it once more through, yes, the story was that good. The best description is a bewitching story in an alluring rendition. With each reading, something new will be found and that's what makes it special. If you haven't begun to follow Persephone's journey, now is the time to let your adventure begin. Book Two, The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker will be released April 27, 2010. Watch for it, as well as the next two books in the series yet to come.
To celebrate Miss Percy Parker's continuing story, Ms. Hieber is having a fun book giveaway, several wonderful books to be had. For more information on her contest, click here.
The book trailer tells the story to perfection, I love it.
(Release Date: April 27, 2010)
To read excerpts from Book Two, click here to go to Ms. Hieber's blog.
Here's at peek at the awesome book trailer for Book Two, I can't wait to see how the story continues!
To pre-order The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker go to: here, here, or here.
I received this book from the author, Leanna Renee Hieber, for review. All opinions expressed are my own.