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REVIEW: Back Door Into Purgatory – Rory Ni Coileain

Back Door Into Purgatory

Series: SoulShares Book 8

Author: Rory Ni Coileain

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Riverdale Avenue Books

Pages: 328

Reviewer: Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

In the final installment in the M/M Celtic SoulShares series, author Rory NiCoileain weaves together the myriad threads of this compelling paranormal romance in a climax that crosses time and space.

Sometimes Fae love stories aren’t what you expect.
The Marfach—devourer of magick, long-imprisoned mortal enemy of the Fae race—is free of its Antarctic prison. 

The Demesne of Purgatory—Fae, humans, a Fade-hound puppy, a Gille Dubh, and a darag—is all that stands between the monster and the power it needs to destroy both the Fae Realm and the human world. 

The only clue they have as to how to kill the unkillable is a cryptic note from the Loremasters: 

“Osclór, Nartú; Tobar, Soladán; Nidantór, Breathea; Glanadorh, Coromór, Farthor; Scian-omprór, Nachangalte; Crangaol, Síofra; Gastiór, Laoc, Caomhnór; Fánadh, Ngarradh.”

Opener, Strength; Wellspring, Channel; Unmaker, Judge; Cleanser, Equalizer, Sentry; Blade-bearer, Unbound; Tree-kin, Changeling; Binder, Warrior, Guardian; Wanderer, Sundered.

As they rebuild Purgatory from the rubble the Marfach left behind, they have to stand together, using everything they know—everything they are to their partners, lovers, husbands. Everything SoulSharing has made them.

And not everyone who enters the final battle will leave it.

The Review

“There are diamonds falling from your eyes,” she observed.

“Tears.”

She sat back, startled. “Tears are a human thing.”

I hesitated before taking on Back Door into Purgatory, when I first realized it was the NINTH and culminating volume of a hugely complex paranormal fantasy series called SoulShares. Then I decided to really see if, as someone who knew nothing about the other eight successful books in the series, I could make any sense of the final chapter in the saga. 

Amazingly, not only did I come away feeling that I understood the essentials of the lore and magic at the core of this epic story of intertwined worlds; but I also felt I’d gotten a good handle on the seventeen (count ‘em, seventeen!) guys, Fae and human, whose soul-sharing stories were threaded through the first eight books. 

Rory Ni Coileain manages to create an explosive finale for her series, while at the same time providing enough background on all the soul-sharers to offer a complete picture of the world she has created. Each of these beloved pairs has a role to play in the ultimate life-or-death scenario that threatens both the human and Fae worlds. She builds the tension as the world-ending calamity looms ever closer, exploring the dynamics within the couples (and one throuple), and among the various characters in the drama.  With her heavy use of a Gaelic-derived Fae language, the author reminds us of the distinct cultural divisions between Fae and human, thus reinforcing the power of the soul-sharers’ bond. 

I admit, it took careful reading, but I found myself drawn into the long arc of the story, trying to imagine what I’d missed from bits and pieces salted throughout book nine. I learned to care about all the diverse crew of characters and understand what made each relationship unique. I was surprised at how emotional I got, how invested in the outcome I became. 

I would not recommend reading only this book. All I can tell you is that, if Back Door Into Purgatory is any indication, you should start from the beginning of the series and read all nine. It promises to be a uniquely rewarding experience. 

The Reviewer

Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.

Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.

By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City. 

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