Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Once again, Jane Austen's beloved masterpiece is being infiltrated with supernatural beings...although this time instead of violent, un-dead zombies or blood-sucking vampires, Jane Austen's characters are intermingling with guardian angels and heavenly hosts. Setting her story in Spartanburg, South Carolina in the year 1989, author Robin Helm begins The Guardian Trilogy by introducing readers to Xander (Darcy), Chief of all Guardian Angels, as he receives his new and mystifying assignment of protecting the soon-to-be-born Elizabeth Bennet. After spending millenniums as the guardian of countless important and influential people in history, Xander doesn't understand God's purpose in sending him to guard this baby from an unknown and seemingly ordinary family. But God has special designs for Elizabeth Bennet and these plans include his chief guardian angel Xander...
Those who believe, know that a guardian angel is appointed to every follower of Christ. These angels protect their charges from harm and shield them from attacks by Satan and his demons. In this series, angels can read minds and transform into humans if needed– strikingly beautiful and physically perfect humans. They have supernatural physical strength and of course, they can fly. But one thing they don't experience are human emotions like love, anger, jealousy, and pride. While they have the capacity, angels don't always have the impetus to experience these feelings.
What an awe-inspiring and uplifting novel! It is hard for me to decide which I loved more: the Christian inspiration and faith that is reverently portrayed in this novel or the achingly beautiful romance! With scripture quotes and references peppered throughout the novel, there is much to be gained (spiritually and intellectually) from reading these pages. Robin Helm is extremely well-versed in the Bible and knows exactly what verse or scripture is needed to supplement her story!
Now before you go thinking this novel is too preachy, let me just tell you a little about all the conflict, action, and romance that takes place throughout! The conflict is as old as time, but with new players; Xander and Elizabeth's family are God's faithful servants, but Wickham and his cohorts worship everything that is dark and sinful. The action surrounds the Xander and Elizabeth as Lucifer, the son of perdition, plots to destroy God's plan. And the romance, although a little one-sided right now, looks like it will blossom into something amazing real soon!
Poor Xander struggles with his new-found feelings of love, jealousy, and rage – especially when Elizabeth becomes old enough to date teenage boys! I loved witnessing Xander lose his temper, betray his feelings, and fight his growing attachment to Elizabeth. As an angel, he knows he can have no relationship with her and he believes it would be a sin against God for him to love her.
Does this series parallel Pride and Prejudice? Judging by the first novel, not so much. Perhaps there will be more parallels in the next installment. Although there are many of the same characters: Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Jane, Charlotte, Wickham, Caroline Bingley, several of them are quite different in personality from the originals. Moreover, the plot does not seem to be following the plot events of Pride and Prejudice, but this in no way impedes the pleasure readers will derive from this novel.
Be prepared to be deeply moved by this riveting and radiant novel! And might I suggest having your credit card handy, because upon finishing Guardian, you are going to experience an all-consuming desire to start Soulfire (my review coming soon)! I can hardly wait to see what happens next between Elizabeth, Xander, and Wickham!