Parousia is the third book in the Mortal and Divine series. The books are intended to be read in order and this review will naturally reveal plot points for the series.
Vincent has suffered months of torture after being captured and, when he finally is freed, he must work to gain his footing once again. Vincent struggles to recognize himself and what he was forced to endure and Henri is struggling to understand him as well. But Henri will never leave Vincent and will spend his days ensuring that Vincent will recover and eternally vowing to keep him safe. There is a war coming, however, a revolution where thirteen tribes will come together to overthrow the Imperium and wipe out Azrael. It’s thought that Vincent is the Parousia, but Henri doesn’t care about that; he just wants Vincent safe and whole and his.
Their mother is just another force they have to battle and no one can be trusted. Vincent and Henri even start keeping secrets from each other, all in the name of the cause, and Henri wants to keep Vincent secluded on his islands and away from battle. But Vincent won’t stop until Azrael is eliminated for good. Henri and Vincent are soul mates for eternity, but time may be running out sooner than either of them were prepared for.
Parousia was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year and seeing Henri and Vincent through to the end was definitely a highlight. This books pick up where Bloodborn Prince ended, with Vincent having been abducted and Henri turning the world over and around looking for him. Henri refuses to believe that he could possibly lose Vincent. The author has put the characters through a lot and continues to do so as the book opens, and it’s incredible what the men have to endure.
The series continues to be fascinating as it’s written in second person and reads as if Henri and Vincent are reciting the story to each other. The style is polished perfection and never wavers from the commitment Henri and Vincent have to each other. This book takes a step back a little from the relationship aspect of Henri and Vincent a bit and goes full force into the battle and a society on the brink of war, where Vincent is prepared to step up and take the lead, but Henri isn’t having any of it.
The relationship between the Henri and Vincent is special and sacred and that is something to enjoy as the entire series unfolds. One of the aspects I enjoyed most about this series was how intricate the plot was, but that it was also effortless to follow. I felt that a little less here as more and more tribes were introduced and it became overwhelming getting just a line or two about each and trying to fit them into the larger story. It’s clear that the author did research or is familiar with the story of Azrael and the lore surrounding him, as well as other gods/goddesses, but being less familiar with them personally, I may have missed tie-ins or strategies or nuances that were designed to enrich the story. With so much set up for the battle, in some places it went on for too long for my taste.
The scenes with Henri and Vincent still resonate and make the series worthwhile. They have to overcome so much to be together and being immortal doesn’t make life any easier. In the second book, it was written in a way to lessen the impact of Orlando being gone, but here his impact is still strongly felt. There were secondary storylines where I would have liked a more solid resolution or additional details to wrap them up as well, but Henri and Vincent’s story pulls together here, leaving a trail of melancholy as we see them off for one last time.
The Mortal and Divine series is unique and clever story telling with a transcendent love story that can easily capture your imagination as Henri and Vincent seek their fate in everlasting love.