While The Grigori Legacy series is not (and was never intended to be) religious in nature, it’s no secret that I built its world on Christian angel mythology. I must admit to having some trepidations about basing my back story so closely on foundations that are familiar—and precious—to so many. Trepidations, incidentally, which were not helped by my Catholic-reared husband’s only half-joking accusations of blasphemy! Oh, I know that controversy sells (case in point: Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code), but I tend not to be much of a fan of conflict…especially one that involves me. 😉
So why did I choose to forge ahead with the idea? I could have created a whole other world for my angels instead, so why play with the fire of people’s strongly held beliefs?
The obvious reason is that this was how the story unfolded for me, of course. But if I gave that as my only reason, it would be a cop-out on my part. The truth is, while I avoid conflict wherever possible, I’ve never backed down from a challenge, either. And the challenge of creating a world that was both thought-provoking and respectful of others’ beliefs was enormous. It meant following a millennia-old storyline closely enough to keep it familiar, while at the same time overwriting that storyline enough to make it my own. I did a lot of picking and choosing about what stayed and what went: Lucifer’s fall from grace, in; Hell as a place, in, but as a place of punishment, out; the angel hierarchy of choirs, in; strict adherence to the biblical descriptions of angels, out; and so on.
Most challenging of all was my decision to make the One (God) female—and to have her relationship with Lucifer be something more than simply that of God and angel. While I was aware that I could be stepping on a lot of toes, I wanted to explore the possibility of a more fallible side to humanity’s deity…a closer link between our human state of mind and that of a creator…and the enormous potential for things to go terribly wrong as they sometimes do when it comes to love and jealousy.
My efforts to walk the fine line between fiction and fiercely held tradition seem to be working. No one (other than my loving husband!) has accused me of blasphemy, and readers genuinely seem to appreciate the One as a woman. With two books still remaining, we have a ways to go in the overall story arc, of course, but so far so good. In fact, as this review shows, more than just good…and that makes me very happy (and yes, maybe just a little relieved! 😉 ).
So here is a question for you (because I’m curious this way): If you’ve read either/both of the first two books in The Grigori Legacy, did you find the angel mythology aspect appealing or disturbing? And if you haven’t read the series yet, does knowing the basis of my world-building make you more or less likely to pick it up?