I have never read any of Anne Rice’s Vampire (although I have seen two of the movies based on them, Interview with a Vampire and The Queen of the Damned), but I have read her more recent fictional books on Christ and her memoir about her life and conversion. Her latest and very entertaining novel is sort of a conversion story of its own.
An assassin, Toby O’Dare, experiences a conversion so strong and life-changing that he is willing to do anything for God. He tells as much to God and the angel Malchiah, who sends him back in time to correct a situation in 13th-century England involving Catholics and Jews. Rice’s adept hand at historical research does for her angel stories what it did for her earlier vampire stories; her prose, plotting and detail keep the reader enthralled.
Rice fills Angel Time: The Songs of the Seraphim with teaching moments for thoughtful readers, and these instructive instances hew correctly to Christian teachings and the Scriptures. This may reflect on the author’s own life and conversion, though of course she was never as notorious a sinner as her character O’Dare.
He wants to make up for all the wrong he has done – the Christian God forgives even assassins, which most find difficult accept; as humans, we most often find a notorious sinner to be beyond forgiveness, but God does not work that way.
These “angels” are nothing like those of New Age followers. Her research into what Christianity teaches about angels includes having consulted the works of St. Thomas Aquinas and Fr. Pascal Parente’s book The Angels. Angels, according to Christian teaching, are disembodied spirits, and each is its own distinct specie. Various classes of angels or heavenly persons are mentioned in the Scriptures; St. Paul describes nine classes or ranks. Only three of the angels called “archangels” have names: St. Gabriel, St. Michael, and St. Raphael. In opposition to the good angels are the bad angels led by Lucifer, also known as “the devil” or “Satan” or by other names. According to Christian teaching, humans do not turn into angels when we die but become disembodied souls and will one day have
corporeal bodies again at the Resurrection.
Angel Time is the first in a planned series and stands highly recommended to those who want to read good Christian fiction and/or about angels.