Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse
Publication Date: November 15, 2022
Summary from NetGalley:
Celeste, a card sharp with a need for justice, takes on the role of advocatus diaboli, to defend her sister Mariel, accused of murdering a Virtue, a member of the ruling class of this mining town, in a new world of dark fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse.
The year is 1883 and the mining town of Goetia is booming as prospectors from near and far come to mine the powerful new element Divinity from the high mountains of Colorado with the help of the pariahs of society known as the Fallen. The Fallen are the descendants of demonkind living amongst the Virtues, the winners in an ancient war, with the descendants of both sides choosing to live alongside Abaddon’s mountain in this tale of the mythological West from the bestselling mastermind Rebecca Roanhorse.
ARC provided by Gallery Books via NetGalley for an honest review.
Tread of Angels was an interesting read. It was a pretty fast read as well. But I think that its length was something that also hinder this story. There just needed to be a bit more character development and world building to make this a truly outstanding read.
Celeste was an interesting character who was hard to like. She was tough, but she was also a bit naive when it came to some of the situations she found herself in. She was also a bit rash and also made decisions that were not always the best, which she knew, but made them anyways. She wasn’t very likable, but she was someone who I could understand. There was adequate background given but there needed to be a bit more in order to understand her fierce loyalty to her sister. Their relationship was interesting, but Celeste really did not know her sister as well as she thought she did.
The focus of the story was on Celeste and her journey to discover what had really happened to her sister, but she meets some interesting characters along the way. I did like her ex-boyfriend, Abraxas, and would have liked to see more of him. They had an interesting relationship and while I can understand why Celeste used him the way she did, I felt that she could have done better by him.
I liked the setting of the wild west mining town. The world building was adequate for the length of the book, but there was a lot of room for more. There is definitely a class system between the Fallen and the Virtues that needed just a bit more information to understand a bit better. I wasn’t entirely sure if the Fallen were half demon and the Virtues half angels, or if they were human but classified by which side their families had fought on in the war. There was also a bit of a steampunk feel to the story, with some interesting inventions that some of the characters created.
The story is of course beautifully written with wonderful detailed descriptions of the setting and the plot. The mystery was well done, with a surprising twist at the end. Celeste goes through a lot to help her sister, and even though I didn’t like how she eventually solves her dilema, she was pretty smart about it.
If you are a fan of Rebecca Roanhorse this is one you should give a try. The main issue was maybe the length, which keeps it from really exploring the world and the characters, but it is good considering how short it is.