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The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

When Claire Sanchez is only five years old, she witnesses the murder of her mother in an extremely brutal fashion. This horrible act sets up a life of mystery, as the killer is never caught, causing others to claim that perhaps Claire imagined the dark hooded figure who ended her mother’s life. Twenty years later, Claire can’t help but wonder if it’s right for her to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a medicine woman too. The spirits send her warnings of something foreboding approaching in the distance, but Claire is unsure what she should do. Her journey of self-discovery leads her to uncover secrets along the way, her trajectory leading her towards a fight to the death in a battle against an evil Archbishop. The reader will not be able to help but be enraptured within this magical tale as Claire struggles with fate, as she tries to hide her true nature even though she is so obviously gifted. In the end, Claire must  not only do what is right and choose her own path, but she must also forge ahead and carve out a place for herself in which she can avenge her mother’s death.

The mystical novel, ‘The Unholy’ by Paul DeBlassie III is jam packed with native folklore, dreams and magic coming from all directions, which lead to the sadness and mystery that lures Claire, the heroine of the story, into a realm of discovery. The narrative of this book is fast paced and easy to read, coming in at only two hundred pages. At times the various explanations and back story got a little bit repetitive, but these elements were crucial in understanding the overall arc. Claire is a strong female character, who has to not only fight against others, but also herself. There are so many components that made this novel unique, such as the setting of Aztlan, the Native American beliefs, religion, magic, and the overwhelming dark forces present. DeBlassie succeeds at telling a riveting story with an inventive narrative that carefully intertwines cultural and romantic elements into the good vs. evil fight, which pulsates throughout all the pages of the book.

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