Author: Missouri Dalton
Length: 13,700 words, 49 pages
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Religion, Short Story, Priests, Angels/Demons
Rating: So So
Dyre was a priest until he lost faith, which is a dangerous thing when the Church still burns people at the stake. But Dyre’s loss of faith makes him useful. He becomes one of the Faithless, a demon hunter with a cursed sword. His keeper, Isaiah, an Inquisitor, has become very close to him after years of companionship. But as Isaiah’s softest touch burns Dyre, can the two ever really be more than companions?
Max, now named Dyre, is a priest who lost his faith because of a betrayal. He’s taken and molded into an avenger of demons for the Church, something that is slowly killing him. His companion Isaiah, a faithful member of the Inquisition that keeps watch over the priests, wants him as much as he does Isaiah, but the Faithful and Faithless do not mix, unless Dyre can reclaim his faith among their adventures.
The setup of this world is fantastic and quite a big undertaking. First you have the political nature of the church and their representation of the “will” of God. Then there is the very real mark of divine power, the fact that crucifixes burn Dyre, for example. Such a dichotomy is great for conflict, but I didn’t feel like it was entirely utilized here, and at the end of the story, not only did I feel quite a bit confused but also rushed and frazzled. The events of this story cover tons of ground — this could have easily been a novel, and maybe should have been. Such quick pace meant that I didn’t have time to puzzle out these different factions in the world and understand how they fit together, and I really didn’t have time to get to know the relationship that is central to the story.
The ending seems very apparent that this might be the beginning of a larger work. I can’t be sure of that, but all of the questions that I had made me wonder if more is being saved back for future stories. Whether or not that is true, this still feels like the beginning of something longer simply because this feels like the bare bones of the story. We’re given a tiny bit of the world and not enough time for it to come organically through the story, so that the quick pace and resolution of the romance (maybe?) seems rushed. Either that, or for such a short story, there is way too much introduced.
So, while I felt excited about the world, especially the religion vs. divinity implications, I really felt a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to explore that since it is so central to the story. For the world alone, I’m giving this a So So. If it weren’t for that, I’d probably be rating this lower, because as is, this story didn’t work for me.