Series: The Mephisto Covenant #3
Publish Date: September 24, 2013
Source: Author for Review - Thank you!
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N
Orphaned at six and sent to live with abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned early in life to box up violent, agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. Now almost nineteen, she has a paying job, a tiny apartment, and a plan to attend university. She loves her independence and is steadily overcoming her past, but when an enigmatic stranger walks into the pub where she works and the trajectory of her life changes yet again, she begins to wonder if she’ll run out of mental shelf space.
The only females unafraid of the Mephisto brothers are the extremely rare Anabo, born without Original Sin. Over one hundred years ago, Phoenix was first to find one, but he made a fatal mistake and she was murdered by his oldest brother and enemy, Eryx. Phoenix soldiered through the next century wrapped up in grief and guilt, his only outlet planning takedowns of those who pledged their souls to Eryx. When one of his brothers brings Mariah to Mephisto Mountain, he’s torn between his instinctive, powerful need to pursue her, and his certainty that he can never have her.
Drawn into the world of the Mephisto, Mariah sees the pain and misery Eryx unleashes on humanity, and the boxes in her mind begin to fly open, one by one. All that keeps her from slipping off the edge is her unlikely, sexually charged friendship with Phoenix. He’s incredibly screwed up; she’s completely broken. It would take a miracle for them to find happiness. Then Eryx brings the war for Hell to a whole new level, forcing Mariah and Phoenix to make a choice that will bind them together for all eternity, or rip them apart forever.
The Mephisto Mark by Trinity Faegen
My Thoughts: Gosh, I love this series. It's been a long time since I read and absolutely LOVED the The Mephisto Covenant - almost two years - and I tackled the next two books in the series fairly recently. Man, it was so much fun to be back in this world.
The Mephisto Covenant Series has a mythology that is interesting and fun and feels entirely its own. I've always loved books that are of the "good vs. evil" variety, particularly when there is an opportunity for the 'bad guys' to be redeemed and that is one of the reasons why I am so attracted to this series. The series is written around a group of brothers, The Mephisto, that are basically trying to keep one bad guy from becoming strong enough to take over Hell - taking away free will would pretty much be disastrous for all mankind, obviously, because no one would have the right to make their own choices, etc. The interesting thing about this particularly bad guy is that he's one of the brothers - he's just a really, really bad one with no good left in him at all. The brothers, however - they're a little different.
They're 'bad guys' but they don't really seem that bad. And this is where the series is so much fun.
The Mephisto are the children of Mephistopheles, who is Lucifer's pal and second-in-command. They're basically the sons of Hell, which is really sad because they have no chance of redemption, no chance of Heaven. They're not really "in" with God, you see. Their only shot at redemption comes through an Anabo - these are female descendents of Eve, born full of light and without original sin. They're good. If The Mephisto can form a romantic relationship with an Anabo that sticks - meaning if the girl can truly love him back - he has a shot at redemption, light, divinity, all of that. This is The Mephisto Covenant and it is a good thing.
While each of the brothers is huge and strong and butt-kicking and looks completely menacing (hello, sons of Hell, remember?), they're actually great people. They don't hate mankind or each other or cute little furry animals. They have a strong brotherly bond, they crave love, and they have good hearts. So these books are good vs. evil - 'bad guys' that are really good - with plenty of paranormal mythology thrown in to make it fun. Plus there is a little bit of romance.
They are really, really fun.
By the third book, I am very attached to these characters. Fully invested. I have to tell you, though: this third book is probably the toughest to read. No, tough isn't the right word. It's maybe the most raw of the three so far. The brother highlighted in The Mephisto Mark has some big-time guilt and issues from something that happened over one hundred years ago, and it weighs him down every single day. The same applies to the female leading character in this story - her past is even more horrible.
As is the case with many companion series books that feature siblings, each of these brothers is different and has characteristics and traits that are unique to him and GOSH I JUST LOVE THAT. Phoenix is the tortured soul of this group, the one that wears his guilt like a badge - except he's not proud of it and yet he won't/can't/isn't able to put it down. Phoenix is strong, smart, and good-looking just like his brothers. Like his brothers, he wants nothing more than to see his evil brother Eryx taken down a few notches. But deep down, he craves love and companionship and someone that understands him. He wants to be able to laugh with someone, travel with someone, and generally have a good time - you know, since he's immortal and will be around pretty much forever. The existence he has now is pitiful since he can't get over what he did 125 years ago and he can't allow himself to even think about loving someone else - and especially allowing someone else to love him. No one deserves him. And then they bring Mariah to the house and doggone it if she isn't an Anabo! And to make it worse, she's the one that God intended for him.
It's the most wonderful and torturous and awful thing that could ever happen to Phoenix. Ever.
Mariah doesn't realize that she's Anabo. All she knows is a life of hard work and tough memories that she tries to keep hidden away in the back corners of her mind. Finally, finally she had just gotten herself a small apartment and was saving herself some money when she found herself whisked away to Mephisto Mountain because she's some sort of special something-or-another? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? To say that Mariah's first moments in the house are pretty stressful is a huge understatement that is complicated by 1) not understanding why she was brought there against her will and 2) not understanding why this huge, dark, broody guy that everyone calls Phoenix can't stand her without even getting to know her and 3) Mariah's amazing ability to NOT trust people. She's beautiful, she's full of compassion and light, but Mariah's also full of regret and guilt and some sort of sadness that is eating away at her.
It can get really complicated if I get really into it, but you should know that Anabo have the opportunity to become Immortal and also become Mephisto if they want to - like if they want to stick around and have a relationship with the Mephisto that they're intended for. Doing so means that they're both Anabo and Mephisto, and that they gain all of the strength and butt-kicking abilities that the brothers have...and that they go out and fight Eryx too. It is extremely rare to come across an Anabo out there in the world, so when the brothers find one, it's not only important to their redemption to keep her around - it's really important to their cause. Mariah is by far the gal in this series that kept me on edge the longest, wondering if she would choose to stay or not. The author teased me with her strength and determination and ferocity because of the junk she's had to endure in her life, and I knew she'd be a great Mephisto and fighter, but I didn't know if she wanted that life. And then Phoenix and Mariah together were just...there were quite a few twists and turns that really kept me from really knowing what these two were up to right up until the end. I LOVED THAT.
Basically Phoenix and Mariah are a hot mess together - and I say together lightly and with a chuckle, because they were both kind of a mess when they were apart too. As an Anabo, part of the mythology is that she is already intended for someone - the brothers knew when she walked in the door whether or not it was him. Phoenix knew immediately, and we've already established that he isn't looking for love even though he craves it. PLUS Mariah doesn't trust people - particularly men - so here we have two people that ought to be together but really just don't want to. But HOORAY FOR THE MEPHISTO MYTHOLOGY because there is some really wonderful romantic tension that leads to a few moments when you just want them to KISS ALREADY.
This book features some really cool things like sisters finding themselves after growing up apart from one another, some really cool fight scenes and battle moves, some twists and turns that I did NOT see coming, a villain that keeps getting more villainous, and brothers that I like more and more with each book. I also like the female leads even more with each book, I think. This book also features some past child abuse and sexual assault and carries a trigger warning in the beginning of the book from the author - WHICH I LOVED. Not enough authors do this, from my experience, so I'm standing up and clapping for Author Trinity Faegen for including her warning at the beginning of the book. (I'm also giving her high fives for including a Lexicon/list of terms at the beginning of the book instead of at the end, because WE ALL LOVE THIS when we read on ereaders!)
Phoenix and Mariah follow the heels of Jax and Sasha from the first book and then Key and Jordan from the second book. Each couple has been super fun to read about and has had their own obstacles to face, but none of them have been as trying to read as this book. This book is full of stuff - action and all kinds of stuff that had me guessing and turning pages fast and wanting to slap a few brothers more than once. The mythology has stayed solid throughout the series - good vs evil, with a hope that good will defeat bad and that there is a shot of the brothers winning redemption before all is said and done. These types of books are among my favorite, favorite, favorite because they are so gripping and I am so into this series. I love also that this author is able to infuse some reference to the Bible, but this isn't an angel book or a demon book or a religious book or any type of book, really. It's just a great series and I kind of love it to pieces. I saw the summery for the next book and GOOD GRIEF I'm already on edge. It's like the fight for good vs. evil continues to get MORE and HARDER, and I love that. I'm super excited for what comes next.
I recommend The Mephisto Mark (and the entire series, actually) for readers that enjoy fantasy/paranormal books, good vs evil, chances at redemption, companion series, and books that feature sibling relationships. These books are fun, you guys, and even though this is a series and I have read them in order - it isn't necessary. This book can be read as a standalone.
The Mephisto Mark will appeal to fans of:
YA Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
YA Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Romance: Slowly Developing. No Triangle.
Good vs. Evil with a possibility of Redemption
The Mephisto Mark by Trinity Faegen
is currently available for purchase.
Author of the RITA winning Pink Files series, Stephanie Feagan has had a love affair with romance novels since she was eleven and discovered there are kissing scenes in Victoria Holt books. She spent a lot of time in her closet with a flashlight, reading as fast as possible to get to the end, only to start a new book and begin the whole Leave-Me-Alone-I’m-Reading cycle all over again. She still stays up until the wee hours to finish books, now courtesy of a lighted e-reader which she believes is mankind’s greatest invention ever.
Stephanie also writes Young Adult and New Adult paranormal romance as Trinity Faegen. A practicing CPA who loves travel, books, new pencils, old keys, and smart guys, she lives in the oilfields of west Texas with her engineer husband and a mean cat. She’d love to hear from you. She answers to Stephanie, Trinity, Hey Lady, and Mom, and can be reached at Stephanie@StephanieFeagan.com
She’s aware the similarity between her pseudonym, Faegen, and her real name, Feagan, confuses pretty much everyone, herself included. Since so many mispronounce Feagan as FEEgan instead of FAYgan, she thought she’d mix it up when she took a pseudonym and make it easier on people. Now people say FayEEgen, and spell it wrong. Next time she takes a pen name, she’s totally going with Smith or Jones.
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