Sonia is a succubus in hiding. Fae is a blood witch-turned-vampire. When succubi begin to disappear, Fae is reluctantly drawn into the investigation. Why is Fae dreaming of Sonia? What do the disappearances have to do with Sonia? And how is Fae connected to the monster responsible for the disappearances?
I first encountered Bishop’s work through the Erotic Pagans series a couple of years ago. Since then, I have added quite a few of her books to my personal collection. When I heard about Sigil Fire through the digital grapevine, I was intrigued. I enjoy urban fantasy, and figured that Bishop was one author who could be counted on to add a healthy, respectful Pagan element to the tale.
Happily, I got exactly what I was looking for: a suspenseful, sexy, well-crafted, Pagan-friendly urban fantasy.
Fae and Sonia are terrific characters. Fae is a wounded woman; kickass, but not an in-your-face badass. I really like how the exact nature of Fae’s talents, and how she came by them and how they tie to the larger mystery, are slowly revealed over the course of the story. Sonia could have simply been window-dressing: a pretty face, the typical damsel in distress. But she is not; in her own way, she is just as tough, stubborn, and courageous as Fae. Together, they make a great couple.
The supporting characters are just as interesting, though they don’t get quite as much screen time as Fae and Sonia (I would guess they will be the focus of future books in the series). The cop-vampire Perry, for example, and his partner Charley; I’m curious to see how a succubus came to be a police officer.
What I found most interesting about Sigil Fire, though, was the world in which it took place. This is a capital-P Polytheist universe. Gods and Goddesses and spirits and angels and demons and witches and other supernatural critters are thick on the ground. The (Christian) God and Devil, The Goddess, and Goddesses such as Hecate and Lilith are all referenced, honored, or actually appear in the story. I’m a little unclear as to how wide-spread knowledge of supernatural entities is among the human population (hidden? known to a select few? out in the open?) as the story stays focused on Fae and Sonia and takes place over only a couple of days. Hopefully, future volumes will offer a broader view of the world Bishop has created.
Sigil Fire is a fast, sexy, satisfying read. Definitely recommended to fans of Bishop, as well as fans of Joey W Hill, Cynthia Eden, and Isabo Kelly.
[Rebecca Buchanan is the editor of EHS.]