ForeWord Reviews

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Thy Will Be Done

The Cherubim

Clarion Review (4 Stars)

Deep in a forgotten vault beneath a cathedral in York, four friends discover an ancient tome. More than fifty years later, the discovery becomes the catalyst for an epic battle between good and evil.

When her grandfather is murdered and her best friend is attacked, Gemini Hawker, the granddaughter of one of the four friends, begins to look into the mystery of the book’s prophecies. Gem is determined to protect her friend from further injury, and she becomes drawn into the investigations of both crimes.

Jacqueline Bell crafts a compelling story that is sure to keep readers enthralled from start to finish. As the book’s subtitle indicates, Thy Will Be Done involves cherubim—tall, strong angels who serve as guardians and protect the world from evil.

As Gem discovers more about her grandfather’s secrets, she finds out about the role she is meant to play in determining the fate of the world. After she meets Remne, a young woman with a special insight into the future, Gem becomes more prepared to face the challenges ahead. Remne tells her that the evil being they must fight is particularly insidious: “Not content with trying to tempt mankind with all the false promises they offer, he wants to dominate, subjugate, and prevail over all things good and when he has finally done this, that will open the gates to all the others like him and then the time of man will be at an end.”

Bell has an exceptional talent for storytelling, and her plot gains tension with every turn of the page. As readers learn more about Gem’s fate, they also come to know the depth of evil in those that she must fight. Often with graphic intensity, Bell capably conveys the horror wrought by the demonic entities that threaten Gem and her friends, and her descriptions of their cruel actions add a disturbing sense of realism to the story.

Bell’s writing is clear and competent, with virtually no editing issues beyond some instances of misplaced semicolons. As the stakes escalate, the action picks up pace and tension mounts, keeping readers on edge.

Gem experiences are well described, and she quickly becomes a strong and effective heroine. Her struggle to believe and her subsequent transformation are presented credibly: “It had worried her at first, when things like this had started to happen…But now she was getting used to it, and could feel her power growing like a small seed on a dry and dusty patch.”

The story falters a bit in the development of close relationships between characters, which often seem rushed. For instance, Gem’s relationship with a potential love interest escalates from first meeting to declarations of love within the course of a few encounters.

The religious aspect of the plot is given just enough depth, and readers who are unfamiliar with avenging angels will not become lost. Thy Will Be Done is thoughtfully written, and, despite minor stumbles, Bell has crafted a satisfying, suspenseful thriller.

Jeannine Chartier Hanscom