Elidana, a farmgirl in the village of Val-K’thor, is resigned to her engagement to the local cobbler’s son. But the game in the forest is disappearing and hard times are befalling the village. When a mysterious figure appears one day in her family’s field and asks her to deliver a message to the town councilwoman, Elidana falls in love with the man, leaving the town to discover she is of angelic origin.
Outside Val-K’thor, nothing is as it seems, with new forces pulling the young woman in every direction. Will Elidana’s newfound abilities and determination be enough to stop Hashuk, the necromancer threatening the peace of Val-K’thor and Greater Earth? Can she trust her newfound lover, or does he have other plans for her? Will Elidana find the strength she needs to save everyone and everything she knows and holds dear?
The New Angels is a coming of age young adult fantasy novel, written by Harel Kopelman, representing his debut in the genre. Partly inspired by the Balkans' folklore, it tells us the story of Elidana and how she defies the expectations of getting married in the village, going on an unexpected adventure after the apparition of a mysterious older sorcerer.
In the fashion of a classical coming of age story, from this point, Elidana will be involved in a journey of big scope, abandoning for her first time the village and starting an adventure that will almost imply risking her life, acquiring new abilities in the process and finding a romantic interest that goes further than what she felt in the village.
Interestingly, many of the fantasy elements of this story seem to be inspired by Balkanic folklore, and a fair mix of Christian elements, such as angels and biblical powers; Kopelman uses them in a brilliant way to keep us hooked to the story.
The story flows well, and you never find yourself bored; it starts slow but once it picks it never stops. It has some flaws that can be attributed to this being a debut book, especially with how the secondary characters seem to never gain importance outside of being supporters for Elidana's story, but nothing that cannot be improved in next novels.
The New Angels is a good debut; an entertaining novel which has some differential elements that made me had a great reading experience. I'm curious to see how Kopelman's career evolves in subsequent books.