Passion: A Fallen Novel
Lucinda Price and Daniel Grigori. Two souls who have loved each other for millennia, despite the fact that Luce is cursed to die at around the age of 17. Every time Luce hits that fated age, she becomes a column of fire and dies in Daniel's arms. She is then reincarnated into another life, only to repeat the cycle. In Lauren Kate's first book, FALLEN, Luce and Daniel met and fell in love, just as they have through the ages. Except for one thing: Luce lives through it. Something is clearly different in this incarnation, though the curse hasn't been broken.
In TORMENT, Luce learns more about the war between the two factions of fallen angels and comes to learn that she will play some role in that war --- she doesn't yet understand her part, though. A group called the Outcasts are looking for her, too. Interestingly, Luce is also tempted by Miles, a handsome nephilim student at the school where she is hiding. But how could Luce be interested in anyone other than Daniel? She asks herself this very question, wanting to know why she is fated to love the fallen angel, and whether or not it's something she has any control over. She just knows that her love is, without understanding why. At the end of TORMENT, Luce steps through an Announcer headlong into her past, in an attempt to understand her love for Daniel and to see if it’s possible to break the curse that causes her to die.
This brings us to PASSION, Lauren Kate's third installment in the Fallen series, where Luce finds herself a spectator to her past lives, as earlier versions play out the same cycle of living, loving and dying --- all before she turns 18. She sees herself as a young girl living in Russia during the First World War, and as a nurse in Italy, a princess in Versailles and a servant in Egypt.
As Luce jumps from Announcer to Announcer, she is aided by a new character, "Bill," who takes the form of a small, unassuming gargoyle. Bill seems to be helping Luce learn about her previous lives, but he also appears to be leading her toward some goal of his own. It's clear Bill has an agenda, but Luce doesn't discover what it is until it's almost too late...and Daniel isn't there to save her.
While she is travelling through the past, Daniel is always one step behind her, never able to catch up --- which is perhaps how it should be. There are things Luce needs to learn on her own, without Daniel there. And Daniel has his own kinks to work out in the past --- like finding (or making) a loophole in the curse that could allow Luce to survive.
But with Bill --- who may not be as unassuming as he seems --- at Luce's side, who knows what might happen? After seeing the agony each of her deaths puts Daniel through, Luce becomes driven by a desire to release Daniel from that pain and almost takes a course of action (proposed to her by Bill, of course) that would destroy the love they share. And if she goes through with it, it wouldn't just be their love at stake, but also her soul...
PASSION delivers. In the previous two books, we understood that Luce and Daniel were fated to be together. Now, though, after actually seeing how their love played out through history, I found myself really rooting for their love to prevail. I would still like to see more of modern-day Luce and Daniel together, but understanding where they come from, and how Daniel has suffered with each of Luce's incarnations, makes their love all the more tangible. I'm definitely looking forward to RAPTURE, and I can't want to see if the curse can be broken so that Luce and Daniel's love will survive past Luce's 17th year.
Reviewed by Florence Seymour on June 14, 2011