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Blood Infernal: The Order of the Sanguines series
by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
William Morrow; $27.99; 406pp
Published: February 2015

This is the third and concluding book in the series created by Rollins and Cantrell about the search for the Blood Gospel (written by Jesus with his own blood) and the three people who will confront the apocalyptic prophecy associated with this holy book: the Woman of Learning, archaeologist Erin Granger; the Warrior of Man, soldier Jordan Stone; and the Knight of Christ, the Sanguinist priest Rhun Korza.

These three, having found the Blood Gospel, must now untangle the prophecy by tracking down several pieces of the puzzle including three mysterious stones that will lead them to the place of the final confrontation: keeping Lucifer from breaking his hellish bonds and wreaking havoc in the world of men.

And the deadline is very tight. For once they gather the pieces they have two days to reach a remote spot on the day of the vernal equinox (which happens at high noon of course.)

To really throw a wrench into the search, a demon who’s been unfortunately released from being imprisoned in one of the stones is calling dark minions to his side to hurry the end of the human world. The demon, whose name is Legion, is getting the apocalypse started: just a touch from his hand and normally good people become his ravening slaves and commit atrocities at the drop of a hat.

The humans and the sanguinists are working feverishly to head off the end of humanity as they constantly battle evil in many forms and try to keep ahead of the demon who is close on their heels, no matter where they go. But the path to salvation is strewn with rocks so, as with all good thrillers, there’s not only plenty of fights - everyone’s got an agenda, and we find out some very interesting history about the early life of Cardinal Bernard.

The three, who must bring a stop to all this, travel everywhere gathering clues: the labyrinthine subterranean catacombs beneath the Vatican, Elizabethan alchemist John Dee’s old laboratory in Prague, the oracular site of Cumae near Naples, St. Mark’s cathedral in Venice, a hermit’s home in the Pyrenees, and a quick foray for one of them into Egypt. The finale takes place in a hidden valley in Nepal.

This is a terrific culmination to the previous two books: Blood Gospel and Innocent Blood. (click here for review) The end is a freaking whopper. In a scene as dramatic as anything previous in this series, Erin and Rhun face the dark beauty of Lucifer during a total solar eclipse.

Most of all, I really liked how the authors devised not only the meeting with Lucifer, but what Lucifer decides to do once confronted by the words of the Blood Gospel: a Gospel actually written for him. For me, it was not only a terrific concept, but a very satisfying conclusion. ~~ Sue Martin

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