The Unholy

As part of Blackthorn Book Tours, I’ve was gifted the The Unholy a fantasy novel by Paul DeBlassie III.


A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, “The Unholy” is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

I often read fantasy novels, as I love how imaginative and creative these new worlds, beings and laws are and this novel didn’t disappoint. It was a gripping read, filled with masses of inner and outer conflict entwined with religion, identity and coming of age.

Claire is at the centre of all it. She discovers a growing darkness around her in ethereal visions that reiterate that her enemies are always with her; they’re inescapable. She will have to confront the demons and herself.

She has to change in order to overcome the evil and become something greater, the person she was meant to be.

My favourite fantasy and supernatural novels always have a female protagonist, as authors tend to highlight through many layers of symbolism the power that their female character holds. It’s very empowering for young women especially to have strong female role models to aspire to and learn valuable morals from.

The mythical country Aztlan is meant to in the south of the United States. It’s cohesive and intriguing. Claire is the descendant of an indigenous natural physic and healer, but she wants a conventional, modern life. Her mother’s power lives within her, but when Claire was a child, her mother was murdered for her abilities so Claire has turned her back on her own.

A strong characteristic of this genre is the mother and daughter relationship. Claire’s mother, a powerful and able woman is murdered when Claire is a child, but as Claire comes into adulthood she transforms into the powerful figure that her mother was.

Another strong theme within the text is religion. Evil seeps into the patriarchal church, where most of Claire’s patients from the mental health facility attend. Claire is an outsider, her faith is placed in something bigger than the church. She contests the evil blurring into the church, but in doing so she puts herself at great peril.

As a writer and reader of fantasy fiction, I appreciate and enjoyed discovering this new world. It was a good read and I’m grateful to Blackthorn Book Tours for including me in this tour. If you enjoy this genre, then definitely add this to your list.

About the author:

Paul DeBlassie is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

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