Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
When the heavens go dark, hearts still glow for a mortal woman and a god in an exhilarating fantasy by Charlie N. Holmberg, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Star Mother.
In a heavenly war, the moon is prevailing…
It happens in an instant, filling Aija with dread: the Sun is suddenly cast from the sky, throwing the Earth into midday darkness. On the fourth day of endless night, Aija finds an unconscious man by the river. His skin is as hot as her lantern’s glass and just as golden. To Aija, a farmhand with the soul of an artist, this beautiful stranger is an inspiration—and a mystery. He calls himself Saiyon. He bleeds light. His friends are celestial. His enemies, godlings of the moon.
Between Aija and Saiyon, attraction grows warmer. For Aija, an unfathomable revelation: she’s falling in love with the earthbound Sun God. When Saiyon’s faltering powers are restored to full glory, what then? There’s a way Aija can become immortal, too. Saiyon can’t support such a risk.
Aija chooses to follow her heart to places darker and more dangerous than she realizes. Whatever sacrifices lie ahead, they’re the only way to make an impossible true love last forever.
Star Father is the companion sequel to Star Mother. While I enjoyed some of the foundations for the world set in the first novel, this story can be read as a standalone. The events from the first installment are also mentioned in this book, so it is ideal to read both in order, but it is not necessary to enjoy either novel. The main story follows Aija, a mortal artist in her thirties, who falls in love with Saiyon, the Sun and father of the stars. While the two stories in the series have overlapping characters, they have slightly different focuses in terms of themes. While the first one focuses a lot on loyalty and motherhood, this one focused more on romance. I greatly enjoyed both and loved how the stories worked both together and separately.
When the Sun is knocked out of the sky and falls to Earth, the sky grows dark. Aija volunteers to venture from her family’s farm to gather water from the nearby river. Here she comes across a strange man who needs help, so she takes him with her back to the farm. The attraction between them was instant, but the build-up to their connection and love was a slower burn over the course of the story. Saiyon inspired Aija to continue her art and the two begin to get to know each other. When it is discovered that the human Saiyon that Aija knows is the Sun, their relationship becomes more complicated. Aija needs to become immortal to be with him, but she has no idea if this can be accomplished. Saiyon leaves her to return to his duties, so Aija sets out to try and reunite with him.
Each story in the duology followed a mortal woman and her interactions with immortals, but each protagonist was incredibly different and enjoyable. After being introduced to Saiyon in the first novel, it was lovely for him to have a story with him at the center. There were moments when he was frustrating as a character, but I liked him overall. Aija is a stubborn and determined woman who is set on achieving her goal. She was not perfect and made many mistakes along the way, but she learned from them over time. This story felt original and was very entertaining. The reader is invested in Aija’s journey for immortality and roots for her to reunite with Saiyon. The duology had two stories that each felt unique, yet they felt cohesive without a lot of overlap, which is great for readers who only read one of the stories. I am thrilled that I read both and will gladly continue to read more novels by the author!
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, 47North, for the opportunity to read this entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**