The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess: Review & Giveaway

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Longtime readers of know that we’re fans of Leanna Renee Hieber‘s Strangely Beautiful series. Many of you have emailed us with thanks for recommending her books and share our enchantment with her writing. The third book in the series is due May 2, and we were once again given the gift of reading it in advance. We know you have another book on the Must Read list for that week, but we highly recommend adding The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess to your list as well.

Mel’s Review

The paradox of successfully introducing fully realized characters to your readers is that while it allows the author to focus on the drama, romance, friendships, and action in the present, eventually the readers begin to wonder where those characters came from and what they were doing before page one. In The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess, a prequel to The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, author Leanna Renee Hieber answers questions that readers have wondered about since Alexi first swirled his black robes into Athens Academy.

The easiest synopsis for this volume in the Strangely Beautiful series is that it’s Miss Percy Parker’s origin story. And yet, if you’re familiar with Leanna’s work, you know that it must be so much more. The reader does indeed witness the birth of Miss Percy, but rather than a starting point, it’s the culmination of an intricate story that involves the goddess Persephone, a war brewing between the denizens of the Whisper-World and the human world, six young people in Cairo who are called to serve as the Guard, and the formation of the Guard we meet twenty years later with Alexi as leader.

Leanna’s exquisite language, a hallmark of her writing, guides the reader across continents and through dimensions. What could have been a perfunctory, utilitarian tale of the Guard before Alexi’s Guard instead becomes another engrossing, heartbreaking, uplifting story of disparate people drawn together for a cause bigger than they can conceive. Beatrice, leader of the Cairo Guard, should be familiar to readers; she has a substantial role in The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker. Her second-in-command, Ibrahim, is Intuition who has suffered loss and heartache. Together with the four other members of the Cairo Guard, they are tasked with preparing the way for Persephone to reunite with her true love, Phoenix.

Wearied by centuries in the Whisper-World, married against her will to Darkness, Persephone is weakening. The time has come to set plans in motion for the final showdown. Uncertainty, mistrust, and fear plague them all, but in the end, faith is what’s left and faith is what makes the difference.

This installment of the series is somewhat different in tone and plotting than the first two books, but Leanna wove so many elements from this prequel into those prior books that readers should have no trouble finding plenty of touchstones. References to the Guard’s work prior to Miss Percy’s arrival at Athens Academy, questions about her own past, and the mystery of the goddess herself from those previous books – so many of these are explained or witnessed in the prequel that it will spark the desire to re-read the earlier novels to find all the “Easter eggs”.

The Perilous Prophecy is so much more than a prequel, though. Getting to know the Cairo Guard is almost as fun as getting to know the London Guard, and watching the goddess struggle with the realization that she must become mortal is riveting. Watching her fall in love with Alexi, her beloved Phoenix reborn, adds to the beauty that is Miss Percy and Alexi’s later romance. In the end, this prequel provides answers while also telling another intriguing story in the Strangely Beautiful world.

Liz’s Review

When Leanna told us she was planning on writing this prequel, I knew it was going to be something epic. I love history, and knowing that she was going to tell the story of how this whole journey began thrilled me to no end. When she teased that we were going to get the full back story on Persephone and Phoenix, I knew she was going to break my heart, and she did.

Leanna tells a love story with exquisite detail, examining every nuance and bringing us into the story as if it were our own. I felt Persephone’s loneliness and her longing for her love. Her joy and excitement, when finding Alexi, became something tangible.

The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess is not all heartbreak and sadness, though. The story is peppered with just enough whimsy to keep it from being too heavy. Mixed into all of this is the element of horror in the form of Darkness and the Gorgon. Although, I have to admit to feeling pity for Darkness at times.

Leanna makes us love her characters and she doesn’t overwhelm us with an abundance of new characters. I loved that each character had a specific purpose, setting off events that would happen in the two other books. Leanna fleshes out each character so well, making it seem like she’s taken us by the hand and introduced us to some of her closest friends.

I could go on and on about this book, but I don’t want to ruin this journey for readers, so I’ll just sum up by saying that Leanna has another hit on her shelf, and if you are looking for something to read, pick this up. Don’t just read it, let yourself become part of this world.

The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess arrives in bookstores May 2, and we’re giving away a copy to two lucky readers!

Win A Copy Of The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess

Ready to add another brilliant read to your bookshelf? We’re giving away two (2) copies of The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess to two lucky fans. Here’s how to enter:

  • Leave a comment below telling us if you’ve read any of the Miss Percy books, and if so, who your favorite character is and why;
  • Be sure to use a valid email address;
  • One entry per person;
  • Comments must be posted by 11:59PM Pacific on Thursday, April 21, 2011 to be eligible;
  • Two (2) winners will be drawn randomly from eligible entries and notified via email.

***The contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winners: Alison & Dovile!***

Fan of the Southern Vampire Mysteries since 2001, and co-admin of since 2008. Team Sookie!


  1. Rose Durnell

    April 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I have not yet read book. My daughter just got it for me i will be starting it tonight. Very excited about it.

    • Liz

      April 8, 2011 at 2:01 pm

      Let us know what you think, Rose!

  2. mynmyn

    April 8, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I have not had the pleasure and can not believe I have missed them thus far! They sound lovely! Thank you!

    • Liz

      April 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm

      You won’t be disappointed. Leanna’s writing style is captivating.

  3. Alison

    April 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I really like these books. While it has been awhile since I have read them, I would have to say Percy is my favorite character.

  4. Krista

    April 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I haven’t read any of the Miss Percy books yet–I have really been wanting to. Maybe a free one will help get me into it? 😉

  5. Karyn Wheeler

    April 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    they sound fantastic

  6. Dovile

    April 9, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I haven’t yet read any of Miss Percy’s books.

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  7. Beth

    April 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve never read one of this series before – but I’m thinking that should be remedied!


  8. theladyhamlet

    April 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I LOVE Leanna’s writing. I’ve read The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker and am so excited about Darkly Luminous and Perilous Prophecy! Alexi is my favorite character… I can just hear young Alan Rickman’s voice in her writing… YUM… 🙂

  9. Kim

    April 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I have read and loved both of her books. (I have a secret character crush on Alexi). Looking forward to #3.

  10. Ryann

    April 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I love these books so much! Cannot wait to get my paws on this one.

  11. Karen

    April 10, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I am so excited about The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess and of course ……….Alexi!

  12. Vi

    April 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I’ve read and loved both Percy Parker books. Michael is my favorite character 🙂

  13. Angelica Telliez

    April 10, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I have not yet ready any book of the series, but am very excited about them. I always love to hear about new books recommended by peers with similar tastes!

  14. Paige Vest

    April 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Currently reading ‘Strangely Beautiful’ and while I love Percy thus far, I think I have to go with Alexi as my favorite at this point!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Crystal Sworden

    April 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I’ve read all the Percy books out so far, and have loved them. My favorite character is Alexi since he seems to be a great male character, and appears to suit what a man of the era is described to be. Thanks, for the chance to win the next book!!

  16. Jessica

    April 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I have read the first book and I like Alexi, of course!

  17. Nancy

    April 11, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I have read all the Strangely Beautiful books so far and my favorite character is Miss Percy herself. Beneath her timid exterior she has such a noble and courageous heart. Oh yes, and she also has excellent taste in men. 🙂

  18. whitewolfreads

    April 12, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I’ve read both books and absolutely loved them! Percy is unique and beautiful and of course how could you not love Alexi?! They are so sweet together. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Paige Vest

    April 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Currently reading Strangely Beautiful and at this point, I’m very much enjoying Alexi!

  20. Kim Ortin

    April 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I have not read any of the books yet. However, I’ve added them to my list. But, I need to know if you recommend reading this one first or should I read them in their original order? What do you think?

  21. Jackie Tointigh

    April 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I have not read any of the Miss Percy books, but I understand they are really great stories and very well written. I can’t wait to read them, I am very much looking forward to it.

  22. Mary Anne Sanchez

    April 15, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I have not read any of Leanna Renee Hieber’s books but it would surely be a delight to grab one of her books and start reading it after reading the reviews from this site :). it would surely be no doubt a wonderful reading experience

  23. Amanda Bertrand

    April 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I have read the first book and most of the second after hearing your original recommendation. I enjoy the love story between Percy and Alexi. Thanks for the review!

  24. Kim Wilson

    April 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I have not read the books yet, but I will be checking them out very soon 🙂 They sound really good.

  25. Alissa

    April 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I have not read the series yet. I always hear you guys mention them. So I went out and got the first book and will start reading it this weekend.