We have finally reached the last book in Celia’s Cloister series. It’s been a long, fucked up, twisted journey, and one that left me hanging at the end of the first two books. I mean, I would count down when the next one would come out as soon as I would finish the last one. I both blessed and cursed Celia’s name, usually multiple times in each book. But then we get to The Church, and damn. I was so satisfied when I got to the end of this book. It was perfect. Of course, being Celia Aaron, it wasn’t easy. Nor was it particularly nice. But, it had to be done.
And now, my precious ducklings, I have a warning for you. This review will contain spoilers for The Maiden and The Prophet. Because of the way the books have been written, with the beginning of the next book picking up immediately after the end of the previous books, spoilers are going to happen. So, be aware of that. If you haven’t read the other books and you don’t want to be spoiled, this is the time for you to leave. If you continue on past this point and you get spoiled… Well, I warned you. Choices have consequences.
OK, I’ve done what I can to protect you from yourself, now I’m going to go with our story.
Adam is still being crucified by his father. And can we talk about how terrible a death crucifixion is? Try holding your arms out perpendicular to your sides for a long time. They start to get really tired pretty quick don’t they? Now, you’ve got spikes through your hands and you have to stand on a tiny little footrest to give your hands and shoulders a break. I mean, crucifixion is fatal predicament bondage. It’s not nice, it’s not quick, and there’s a good reason the Romans liked it.
Anyhow, Adam is still being crucified and slowly dying. Delilah is freaking out and trying to find out what’s going on with him. She’s currently in the Cathedral with all the “wives” and their children. When the prophet comes to dinner, he wants her to sit with him. When she angers him, he has her dragged out and whips her with his belt and then she is dragged back to the Cloister. Grace, who we now know why she is totally fixated on Adam, goes to him and tells him to hang on, his mom is going to do something to help get him off the cross. Adam doesn’t think it will come soon enough though, and he makes her promise to keep Delilah safe from the senator, no matter what. He agrees to marry her if she does. I’m pretty sure that Adam didn’t expect to have to go through with it because he’s pretty sure he’s going to die.
Noah comes into the punishment circle and tries to get Adam off the cross. Adam tells him to leave, begs him to leave, actually, because he can’t stand anymore and it’s going to hurt, and he doesn’t want Noah to see it. But when Noah comes back later to see his brother, Adam isn’t there anymore. And no one at all knows where he is.
So, here’s a question. Is anyone in this book really, truly sane? Is it even possible to be sane in such an insane situation? Or do you have the not sane and the really not sane? The reason I ask is because there are so many plans in play at any one given time. They all share the goal of killing the prophet, but they all have different end goals going on and different reasons. Some of those reasons are a lot less sane than others. I think some of them are a lot more justified than others. However, just because one’s reason is justified doesn’t mean that one’s plan is justified. I think that at any one time, there are at least 3 plans going on. It can be hard to tell because they all meet, meld, diverge, twist together, and change at the drop of a hat. There’s no helpful app to help you figure out what’s going on, so you just have to keep reading and wait to see what comes next. It may sound really confusing, but I promise, while you are reading the book, it will all make sense.
As with the two previous books, I loved it. I love Celia Aaron’s Southern Gothic/Dark Romance/Mindfuck thing. It’s totally in my wheelhouse. This series really just fit well in that area. There may be good guys and bad guys, but there is no one purely good in this book. Even Delilah isn’t purely good. She’s probably the closest to being a white hat, but as the series goes on, her white-ish hat got grayer and grayer. Basically, there are just a bunch of people who are in an insane situation and who are twisted, manipulated, and indoctrinated into doing some insane things. For some people, that lets their worst aspects come through. OK, I’m apparently waxing philosophical today. That means that it’s time to move on to the spoilers section of the review. Then I’ll go and have more philosophical discussions with my husband.
OMG. Can I just say that the way that the prophet died was EPIC? I totally support their choice in that matter. I hope he suffered and suffered and suffered. I was happy to see Emily kick him in the balls. I hope that she went for that extra point while she was doing it and busted one of his testicles. That would’ve been perfect.
Poor Jez and Chastity. I mean, they suffered so much, so much. I loved when Jez pointed out to Adam that no, he really had no clue what she was feeling about what had happened to her and he really had no clue about anything that happened. Of course, that doesn’t justify her planning on killing him. Adam wasn’t a bad man, but he wasn’t good, and I know that he should shoulder some of the blame for what happened, but how much should he shoulder? I’m not going to go with the whole he was only following orders defense, but he was still young when this all started, so he spent most of his growing up time under this, and then Faith happened and he just lost everything.
And when it comes to Faith. That fucking Grace. I knew she was evil, but OMG.
OK, that’s all I have to say today. I’m going to go watch a movie with my husband while my son cleans our carpet. You should go over to Amazon and read these books. I think they are all in KU, so go get them and read them. Happy reading!