My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I bought the Damiano series because it was cheap on Kindle and the idea of Renaissance history blended with fantasy intrigued me. At first, I didn’t expect much but it became clear after just a few chapters that my expectations would be greatly surpassed. It had been a very long time since a book has gripped me as much as Damiano.
The book’s premise is what intrigued me in the first place- it is a story set in our real, historical world except that magic exists and is closely tied to faith. Despite being fantasy, this premise is done in a way that feels real. Mythical beings such as the angel Raphael and a talking dog existing in real locations amidst real conflicts blends the fantasy and historical aspects of the story together in a way that doesn’t feel forced.
At first, the writing style perplexed me a little. At times it can be hard to follow, but once you get used to its poetic style it becomes easier to read. In fact, once you start to understand the way this book is written you start to really become drawn into it.
I didn’t like any of the characters at first. They all seem infuriatingly naive, especially Damiano. But you start to learn that that naivety is an integral part of the characters, especially in a book with Christian themes about goodness and innocence. The whole book is about how this naive, young boy comes to realise the reality of the harsh world he lives in, and this tale is told beautifully.
This book is very much unlike the books I usually read as it is mostly devoid of fast paced action. But I found I enjoyed this book much more because of that. This story does not need action to string it along- instead it uses your connection to Damiano and your desire to know what will happen to him next to keep you invested. Just like its been a long time since I’ve read such an investing book, its been just as long since I’ve cared for a character in a book as much as I cared for Damiano. When the conflict comes to a point towards the end of the book, I could not stop reading because I just had to know what would happen to this young boy and his dog who I had become so attached to.
Don’t let the book’s age or Christian themes get in the way of you reading it. It is a beautifully written book that is unlike any other book I have read. It’s style may be an acquired taste for some, and it takes a bit to get over the unusual writing, but once you do, you will find yourself with a fantasy novel unlike any other.