This was a gorgeous read--a grand epic horror novel, a road quest in plague-stricken France,, well-paced with episodic bouts of action but also a surprisingly rich sense of character and emotion and, yes, faith.
I picked it up cautiously, as tales of the war between angels and demons rarely scratch my itches, unless Christopher Walken is somewhere in the mix.* I usually like my horror deep in the uncany valley--close to home and my own context, unraveling my complacent comfort in the way of the world. I don't have faith, so the perils attendant with hellish uprisings could seem mere paper tigers, as unnerving as guys in rubber suits, crawling from black lagoons or trampling through Tokyo. Yet Buehlman writes with a generous, almost anthropological investment in this world and its worldviews--creating a deep sense of the enormous costs of these struggles, of the very real terrors of sin, the frightening awe-fulness of faith. The trio at the heart of the quest are complex, fascinating characters. The prose is lush, focused, enthralling. It was far, far more engrossing--and compelling--than I'd expected.
Strongly recommended, and I'm certain to read more by this author.
*It is of course true that a little Christopher Walken spices up any recipe.