From the Cover:
In the beginning, there were lovers: a winged deity of power and light, and a queen of grace and beauty. Phoenix was murdered, his beloved stolen away to the Whisper-world. But their passion inspired the Muses. Through great sacrifice, it could live again.
There are always six, mortal hosts for the divine. Battling spirits through the ages, they defy Darkness, Lord of the Dead. In 1867, a shadow rises. The tide turns against them, and all hope falls on a child of prophecy, an eerie, snow-white girl yet to be born. But her path must be cleared. A Great War is coming, and song, wind and stars whisper that the eighteen-year-old Beatrice Smith must give everything to prepare.
A new guard has been chosen, the muses have demanded it, and so shall it be done. The location, Cairo, Egypt; the guard, six unlikely friends with little in common. Beatrice is the leader of the guard, but as the Goddess comes to them, she is pulled to another place. The Lord of the Underworld has found the her secret place, has imprisoned the guards of the past. The Goddess moved to place her Phoenix out of the Lord's reach, leaving him entombed in the Athens's academy. In doing so, she must draw the guard to a new location, London. But, the guard is never strong away from their homeland, and this must be rectified. The guard is still young, their prophecy, unfulfilled, but the Goddess needs the strength only given to the guard of the homeland, and a new guard stand ready to take the Cairo's guard's place.
The old guard losses their powers, and left, mostly unprotected, but the Goddess does what she can. Beatrice, the Goddess foretells, has more work to do.
It is the time of rebirth and renewal. It is the time for the Goddess to come again, in the form of a nearly transparent human girl.
And, it is time for all the guard to fight once again.
The Perilous Prophecy of the Guard and Goddess by Leanna Renee Hieber is the prequel to the Strangely Beautiful Series. This story starts at the beginning, not the beginning of the guard, but the beginning of Persephone's departure from the Underworld. The realm of the Underworld is killing Persephone a little at a time. The Lord of the Underworld can't see what his world is doing to her, and what he loves most is dying, what drew him to steal her away is vanishing, taking with it her will to live. He is blind to her needs, blind to those who would relish her true death, blind to what he has done to her to satisfy his own cruel desires. It's time for Persephone to leave and to exist as a mortal. She doesn't realize, until too late, that to do so, she'll have to be reborn, and she'll forget all she leaves behind, including her Phoenix, though she will always be drawn to his love and strength. This is where the Strangely Beautiful Series starts.
The Perilous Prophecy of the Guard and Goddess fills in the backstory of the Strangely Beautiful Series. It lets the reader see how it all started, why the Goddess was reborn. At times, I found the story to be convoluted, an unexpected twist that I had to re-read to understand. It makes the review harder to write, and I put it off for a bit to let the story jell. Now, a few weeks later, I can understand the story better, and appreciate it from the prospective of time. It really is an excellent beginning to the journey of the Goddess and the Guard. Four out of five fairy kisses for this reader.
I received this ebook from Dorchester Publishing and NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.