What I love about books written by T.R. Hamby is that through her words, she places you so close to her characters that while reading you feel like you are sitting next to them. “King of the Wicked” is a fantasy story with true-to-life, likeable characters whom you immediately want to befriend despite them all having their unresolved issues.
Mel and Michael are brothers. And Angels. But they aren’t exactly angelic, at least not in the way we are used to think about angels. Nora and Gilla are humans and singers. And they also don’t do what modern women are supposed to do with their lives. Still, all four of them crave something normal, something that everyone seems to get so easily. They want to be happy, not really knowing what happiness means for them. And they don’t want to be alone, not really used to having healthy, fulfilling relationships with other people.
If you aren’t perfect, can you be happy? They seem to ask themselves this question all the time. That is before they meet each other. And then, everything changes for them. It’s a shame that not every change turns out for the better.
Nora lives in Rome. She follows her dream to become a famous opera singer. She meets Mel, rich, handsome, and with an air of mystery around him. Soon, she witnesses him doing something horrible, but she can’t condemn him since his actions seem justified. Their story of togetherness begins, and I don’t have words enough to express how sweet, deeply sincere, and, well, real their developing relationship feels while you are reading their story.
The tension between the brothers is almost palpable. Their past, which goes back not decades but millennia, hides tragedies and secrets. To humans, it might seem that the things they did to each other are impossible to forget or forgive. Still, Nora and Gilla aren’t ordinary humans. Maybe, it’s their own traumatic experiences from the past have influenced them in a way that made them able to see things from a different perspective.
“King of the Wicked” is the first book of the Banished series. It ends with a huge cliffhanger, and I can’t wait to return to Nora, Mel, and Angels who can sometimes be the most vicious villains.