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The Convent of the Pure

(The Blood of Angels #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Secrets and illusions abound in a decaying convent wrapped in dark magic and scented with blood. Portia came to the convent with the ghost of Imogen, the lover she failed to protect in life. Now, the spell casting caste wants to make sure that neither she nor her spirit ever leave. Portia s ignorance of her own power may be even more deadly than those who conspire against ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Apex Publications (first published 2009)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  147 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of steampunk, fans of angel lore, fans of lesbian romance

A short but enthralling story, Convent of the Pure was a treat for my reading palate. This interesting take on angels and the Nephilim inspires eager anticipation to return to the intriguing world where science meets fantasy, in a time lost in the end of the 19th Century.

Reviewed for Bitten by Books.
Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 0
boobs: 1
bombs: 0
bondage: 0
blasphemy: 0
Bechdel Test: PASS
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: PASS
Please note that I only read about 15% of this book, then skimmed quickly through another 10% before I gave up on it. So my scores only reflect the first quarter of the book.

Again, I ask myself, "Am I reading the same book everyone else who gave these great reviews read?"

Usually, when I give up on a book because it's just not my cup of tea, I don't mention it on goodreads b
Christy Stewart
Sep 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Really fun mash up of classic themes with some bad ass women.

The illustrations were BEAUTIFUL.
Apr 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every one
Recommended to Fibrowitch by: Sara M. Harvey
Shelves: fantasy
Have you ever looked at the cover of a book and knew you just had to read it? Opened the book and by the end of the first chapter knew this was a book that was going to be read in one sitting no matter how long that took?

Only to be disappointed when you turned the last page because you were not ready to leave the universe?

Well Convent of the Pure is all these things and more. Sara tells us the story of Portia, a woman who is 'special' and has been trained to hunt fiends. Demons who hunt and hurt
Sep 27, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: signal, indie
Story of a demon-hunting nun and her undead lesbian lover. Points for creative use of tropes?

I think what annoyed me about this book was that the main character didn't actually do very much. She was menaced by some creepy things, she witnessed some atrocities, and she got handed a great deal of power for no reason internal to her character, but I can't think of any choices she made other than to not run away.
Tyrannosaurus regina
Lesbian demon hunting nun? Of course I had to check this one out, even though the cover gave me reservations. Unfortunately, it didn't really do it for me. Both the characters and the world felt very sketched in and inconsistent, the narrative jumpy, and the writing heavy-handed. There are some interesting ideas here, but they never get fully developed. ...more
Gregory D.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fresh, fast-paced occult horror novella of the Nephillim (children of fallen angels and mortals), necromancy and weird science, written in a way that evokes Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine and Jacqueline Carey, though without rising to their level of craft. The writing is crisp, evocative, the take on the Grigori/Nephillim fresh, although the Edwardian/Steampunk elements dont work -- beyond the clothing and the suggestion that motorcycles and cars a new-fangled, there is so much tech common to t ...more
Michele Lee
"I am Portia Gyony," she repeated, and the world bent slightly around the edges.

What would it be like to witness a battle between celestial beings? Sort of like The Convent of the Pure by Sara M. Harvey. Portia is a demon hunter and a Nephilim, a descendant of human and angel. Still mourning the death of her lover Imogen, yet protected by the ghost of Imogen, Portia is trying to complete her training to become a full member of the Gyony (demon hunter Nephilim as opposed to magic user or necroma
Patricia Eddy
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book by a friend who thought I might like it. It's the start of a series, The Blood of Angels. I loved the two main characters, Portia and Imogen. The two were lovers once, before Imogen died and now Imogen is a ghost, kept in this existence by a necromancer. This is a very short book, so I can't say much more without giving the plot away, but the two characters are the best part of this short, fast paced, and enjoyable story.

That's not to say the story isn't good on its own. I
Jan 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
Convent of the Pure's elevator pitch (or at least what I assume it's elevator pitch would be) seems like little more than a bunch of popular genre elements all tossed into the same pot: "In a steampunk world, a half-angel demon hunter and her ghostly lover must fight against corruption and betrayal."

The story itself is a lot more than that, though. All those elements are present, but the story is written well enough that it feels fresh and original in its telling.

My only issue with the book is
So far I've only had a chance to read the first chapter; I'm hoping to get more time soon. The review in Publisher's Weekly describes this novella as lesbian erotica, but it strikes me more as a good YA book with an unsuitable cover. So far, not quite the breathtaking beauty of A Year and a Day, but by the end of the first chapter I'm really dying to know what happens next.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Romance Fantasy story involving Nihilim which I read just after finishing Clockwork Prince - another book that fits that description. While this story wasn't badly told, it kinda pales in comparison before the others much more deeply imagined millieu. ...more
Julia Bauer
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Interesting and adult novel of fantasy horror. Unusual relationships and points of view not for everyone's tastes but one should have one book in one's library that offends everyone. this is actually a great story and you should read it with an open mind. ...more
Fran Friel
Aug 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An intriguing page turner with excellent character development that lends itself to some very juicy sequels. Can't wait for the next one. ...more
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think Publishers Weekly said it best that Convent of the Pure "cobbles together gothic steampunk fantasy and lesbian erotica in this romantic, necromantic tale." ...more
Phillip M
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
How evil can one get? Take over an orphanage and place the children in suspended animation tanks which, when wired together, can produce an even greater evil power. That’s what the hero, Portia, walks into with her sidekick and ghostly lover, Imogen, in this steampunkish world. This book has a good quick moving plot. Just when Portia prepares to battle the resident evil, an even greater evil arises. It then falls to the ghost of Imogen to muster forces from the beyond to save the day.

This book i
Ruby Ridge
Oct 27, 2018 rated it liked it
"Harvey (A Year and a Day) cobbles together gothic steampunk fantasy and lesbian erotica in this romantic, necromantic tale." --Publishers Weekly, February 2009) " - I don't know what book he was reading but it must have been more exciting than 'The Convent of the Pure'.
A very confusing and bland angels and demons thing, dang, the Nephilim as characters are only slightly less boring than alpha werewolves and sparkly vampires.
Lets see how the next one goes - later.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok if very short. Probably all three novellas would make a decent book
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. I don't know if I'll continue reading the series. ...more
This was a free book on the kindle store I ended up finishing. That alone should explain the four-star rating, as I don't finish free books I don't like. Unless it's so bad, it's funny. I do have mixed feelings about this novella, but overall it was a very enjoyable read.

Just A Few Things I Took Issue With:

- The first chapter was off-putting. Nothing about the world is set up very well. Portia kills a monster we never hear from again, she speaks to her ghost-lover, and that's about it. Luckily,
Ian Macfarlane
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good read

A very good read, moves along nicely. Well written , a mixture of mythology,Greek,Hindu and Christian may have influenced the author,which is not a bad thing. Reminds me of Rider Haggard the Victorian novelist.
Keep up the good work.
Nov 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
I have sympathy for this book, even as I felt like my time was being wasted by reading it -- it's a very, very quick read, luckily. I can't quite remember on what recommendation I picked this up dirt cheap on Amazon. But I can remember many years of writing similar kinds of things: set-ups that had very little invested in the world-building or character-building or anything else that wasn't the 'hook'-y idea that had started me writing something. (Granted I'm probably still doing this; the only ...more
Donald Gorman
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
the author spins a fascinating tale of fantasy, wizardry and magic. there are elements of a harry potter-ish theme mixed with a steamy sense of erotica. harvey paints a beautiful portrait of mysticism and evil with colorful, lush prose that draws you in and holds you captive throughout this short but enthralling ride through vivid scenery with adept precision. still, she maintains a casual ease that makes the story float on air. the classic conflict between good and evil is fought with spirits, ...more
KV Taylor
Sep 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Really, I liked it better than 3 stars--yet 4 seems a little overboard. Sara M. Harvey is a great writer, I can't wait to read the second installment. The story is short, full of action, and peopled with a small cast of truly interesting and wonderful characters.

I think all that held it back for me was that the central relationship, that between Portia and Imogen, didn't feel real for me until the end. We're dropped into their lives AFTER a lot of action has already happened, and they keep telli
Laylah Hunter
3.5, mostly on the grounds that I think this suffered from being a novella instead of a novel; it didn't have room for as much worldbuilding or as much nuance of character as it could have, and that did it some harm. I did really appreciate that Portia's love for Imogen is not an issue for anyone in the narrative -- it simply *is*, without any need for a lesson on the evils of homophobia. Also quite fond of Portia's resourcefulness in fights, and the way that it really does feel like she's had s ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I started out not being terribly sure about this; too many unexplained things were happening at once. However...


The story of a Steampunk Buffy haunted by ghosts (literally) and undermined worse by her lack of self-confidence than by the betrayals of everything she holds dear.

I think I went through the last 3/4 of the book with the word "No!" on my lips the entire time, like when someone's telling you a particularly juicy piece of gossip. I only wished it had been
World of Diversity Fiction
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Notice: The reviewer has purchase its own copy and shared a honest review at World of Diversity Fiction

Title: The Convent of the Pure (The Blood of the Angels, #1)
Author: Sara M. Harvey
Cover Artist: Melissa Gay
Publisher: Apex Publications
Reviewer: Sean
Genre: Fantasy
Pairing: Lesbian
Length: Novella
Heat Rating: ♨
Rating: ★★★★½

The rest of the review can be read at World of Diversity Fiction.
Jodi Davis
Apr 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not a fan.

It's not that I'm NOT a horror fan - or sometimes like torture porn or some random tentacles - but this book just didn't hit any of my attractions and then also hit a few of my squicks.

Well written, for the most part - so, others may enjoy it more than I did, it doesn't really have any inherent big issues that aren't things I just personally don't like.
Oct 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: not-finished
A promising beginning, but I'm simply not sufficiently motivated to finish it, at least not for now ...more
Katey Hawthorne
Oct 02, 2011 added it
Shelves: lgbtq
Original rating/review here ...more
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