This pedometer geek reader recently finished the Armor of Magic trilogy by Simone Pond. The author gifted me with audio-book versions of Rising Light and Edge of Light (books 2 and 3 respectively), but I purchased Sacred Light, the first book, to get the beginning of the story. This is an overview of the trilogy, rather than an extended review.
Armor of Magic trilogy:
Edge of Light
By Simone Pond
Published by Ktown Waters, 2016
Audio-books produced by Tantor Audio, 2017
ISBN: 9781534682603 (SL)
This young adult paranormal, urban fantasy trilogy features Fiona Farrow, a young woman who wants to become a journalist like her parents. As the trilogy opens, the reader finds out that she has just graduated from college, has landed her dream job, and wants to lose her virginity now (on her twenty-first birthday). Her parents are missing, having disappeared during a journalistic junket to the Mideast several years earlier. But probably most importantly, she, like her parents, is a Protector of Light, albeit a reluctant one.
Frankly, in the first novel, Sacred Light, all she wants is what many young people want: to have a life, that is, to have fun with her friends, enjoy her job, and to get laid. She is tired of being a Goody Two Shoes while her best friend’s sister Lilith gets all the hot guys, often stealing them right way from Fiona.
What she doesn’t want is to accept her destiny as a Protector of Light; she would rather avoid this annoying guy from the Monarchy, who seems to be stalking her.
Despite this, she connects with a guide named Ezra, who only wants to train Fiona in the ways of the Monarchy. She lives in a rundown Victorian house she inherited from her aunt, and she meets Asher, a hot guy who is willing to fix up her home for an unbelievably low price, which all leads to the beginning of the battle between the light and the dark to control all of humankind. Vampires, mages, demons, other paranormal creatures, and the most evil of demon mages, Cagliostro, are all out to steal the Sacred Scrolls and take over the world.
As the trilogy continues, Fiona accepts her fate as a Protector and begins to relish her role within the Monarchy. She then becomes a kick-ass heroine, utilizing the powers of her Armor of Magic. She meets up with other Protectors, Julian and Rocco, to fight evil paranormal creatures including a particularly strong vampire within the Ancient Order of Vampires. He has captured another of the Sacred Scrolls and is causing trouble for Fiona, Charlotte, and her friends.
Yet, always in the background Cagliostro is pulling strings, and he may become the leader of the world if Fiona and the other Protectors cannot stop him, and the second novel ends with a cliffhanger ending.
The third and final novel in the series, Edge of Light, finds Fiona reunited with her parents and other Protectors, but the world is quickly falling into darkness as Cagliostro is becoming more powerful particularly in the embattled city of San Francisco.
The battle between the dark and light is spearheaded by Fiona, but she will have to defeat Cagliostro first, and only one of the Protectors of Light still has a Sacred Scroll. Using the power of the Logos may be the only way to defeat Cagliostro, but at what cost? Destruction of all mankind? And destruction of the Monarchy? Will Fiona be willing to make the toughest sacrifice to prevent these events from happening?
Pond has written another series that features a strong female lead in Fiona Farrow (although she was a bit juvenile with her desire to lose her virginity*). She is offset by a particularly evil character in Cagliostro. There are plenty of engaging ancillary characters, some of whom are decent, and others who are not.
The author keeps it light with plenty of humorous circumstances and dialogue throughout. Language is, at times, stronger and more graphic than what has been seen in her other novels that this reader has read.
Further, like her other series, she adds a subtle (or not-so-subtle) spiritual component. It comes down to a battle between good and evil, between the dark and the light. Still, she doesn’t smack the reader over the head with it.
While the first novel was read in an e-book format, the last two books in the trilogy were “read” as audio-books. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of audio-books as they tend to lull me to sleep. The narrator, Caitlin Kelly, does a great job here, making each character come alive, varying the voices, even the male voices, so that the ‘reader’ can distinguish between each.
On the other hand, audio-books seem to accentuate repetitive language, and there is some of that in this story. For example, the term demon bats and the word smirk/smirked appeared over and over again. This is just an observation that doesn’t seem as egregious when the text is being read as opposed to being heard.
Overall, for those who love paranormal urban fantasies, this may be the series for you. A few of her other series, The New Agenda and The Mysterium Chronicles, are also series that appeal to YA and new adult readers (and are also reviewed on this site).
* and yes, Fiona finally, finally loses her virginity (but you have to read them all to find out when!).