What is it?
The Fey and the Fallen is a two book urban fantasy/historical fantasy "series" written by Stina Leicht that takes place in Ireland during The Troubles.
The books in the series are:
Of Blood and Honey (2011)
And Blue Skies From Pain (2013)
They are also, as far as I can tell, incomplete. More on this later.
What's it about?
Cross posted from TvTropes.
After his wrongful arrest and traumatizing stay in prison, sixteen year old Liam discovers that he has supernatural abilities, including the ability to shapeshift. Unbeknownst to him, this is because his birth father, Bran, is a Puca and Fianna— a faerie warrior, a fact hidden from Liam by his mother, Kathleen, who fears what danger the knowledge would bring. If that sounds like a spoiler, don't worry, it's not. The book opens with Bran and Kathleen discussing their relationship and the tumultuous future Liam may have.
The fey are at war with the Fallen, angels who fell from Heaven, as they try to invade Faerie and Earth. Now Liam is in danger not only from the growing tensions between the British and the IRA, but also from his father's enemies who would gladly strike at him to get to Bran, as well as the Catholic church's monster hunting sect who can't tell the fey apart from demons.
The first novel covers several years of Liam's life as he tries to start a family in increasingly dangerous times, suffering at the hands of supernatural enemies he has no idea exist, and joining the IRA in the face of increasing abuse at the hands of English law enforcement. The second novel follows Liam and his friend, Father Murray, as they try to make peace between the Catholic church's monster-hunting sect and the fey.
What did you think?
This section will have some minor spoilers.
I really liked these books, and was invested in seeing where they went, which is why it was such a bummer to see they'd never been continued. The ending of the second book sets up Liam's next steps in furthering church-fey relations, as well as him taking a more active role in demon hunting, but we'll never see it. His little sister is randomly discovered to also have some level of supernatural ability, despite being 100% human, and Liam thinks, "Oof, this is something I'll have to deal with." But he'll never get the chance to. There's casual mention of a huge war between the different faerie factions we don't really meet, and how the king of fairies ought to be intervening and unifying them all and taking an active role in the whole "war with demons" thing, but he's been suspiciously staying cooped up in his castle, and nobody's seen him in a few hundred years. That is clearly setting the groundwork for a future novel, but nothing ever comes of it.
Now, though the background elements are clearly building up to a nonexistent third novel, the personal struggles of Liam and Kate are pretty well concluded. Liam comes to term with the abuses he was subjected to in prison and tries to reconcile his violent past with the IRA with his newfound pacifist stance. While there's a lot that is left hanging, the first and second book do conclude somewhat; it wasn't as though there was a massive cliffhanger.
I have no evidence as to why Leicht stopped writing these books when she has continued to write other things (her most recent novel being Persephone Station released in January of this year). She said in 2015 that she hopes to someday return to Liam, but that other contracts were keeping her from it, which is understandable. However, I feel like I can hazard a guess as to what helped contribute to the decision, and may explain why all her other books are with the Gallery Publishing Group imprint, Saga Press as opposed to the Night Shade Books, which published the two Fey and the Fallen books.
During 2010-2013, Night Shade Books was going through tumultuous financial mismanagement, including (among other things), late payments to its authors and withholding of royalty information. After yanking its authors around for a few years, getting unlisted by the SWFA, and then facing bankruptcy, Night Shade books was eventually bought out.
Leicht has never, to my knowledge, mentioned any of the struggle of dealing with Night Shade Books. Whether this is because she went unscathed, or because she doesn't want to badmouth them out of a sense of professionalism, I still cannot help but feel that the fall of Night Shade contributed in some way to the Fey and the Fallen being incomplete. Whether it's because of an actual legalese issue pertaining to rights, or if there is hesitancy from her current publisher in continuing a series started with another publisher, or if it's because the situation just left a bad taste in her mouth and soured the experience, I can only speculate.
In any case, while I am happy to see her still writing, I am still disappointed that it looks like the Fey and the Fallen has been thoroughly left by the wayside.