Title: Darkest Knight
Author: Karen Duvall
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Knight’s Curse (Book 2)
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
ISBN-10: 0373803443 (Harlequin/Luna)
ISBN-13: 978-0373803446 (Harlequin/Luna)
Reviewed by: Kristie
“Betray your sisters or your lover. You choose.” After the warrior she loves saved her from a murderous gargoyle, Chalice watched helplessly as Aydin turned into a gargoyle himself. Now, free from the curse that enslaved her, Chalice pledges to join her sister knights in The Order of the Hatchet—and do whatever it takes to regain Aydin’s humanity and his love. What she encounters within their hallowed sanctuary is pure intrigue. Someone—or something—is murdering her sisters in their sleep, provoking fear and suspicion among the order. Meanwhile, Aydin, unable to stay away, starts haunting Chalice’s dreams, urging her onward. Ultimately, Chalice will be faced with an agonizing choice—one that will tear away at her newfound identity and force her to choose between duty and desire.
Quick & Dirty: Dark Urban Fantasy with a likeable heroine and a steady plot.
Opening Sentence: “You’re coming with me, right?” I asked Rafe when he opened the silver veil that separated the physical world from the realm of angels.
After the events of Knight’s Curse, Chalice has spent the last month in the light veil learning from her father how to control her gifts. Now that she has been released from her gargoyle curse and her evil mentor is dead, she finally has a chance to make a new life for herself. The first item on her to do list is to free Ayden from his curse, which leads Chalice to a not so surprising encounter with Shojin, the gargoyle that Ayden is bonded. With the gargoyle’s heart she finally has a chance to free Ayden but he refuses to end his curse.
After being rejected by Ayden, Chalice journey’s back to Colorado with her guardian angel Rafael. There she meets up at Halo Home, the home of her grandmother and grandfather. There are also Hatchet Knight’s living in the home, Chalice finally gets to meet up with her sisters, something that she has wanted to do since she learned of her heritage. Unfortunately just before she gets to Halo Home someone has murdered forty Knights’ in their sleep.
In Knight’s Curse, Chalice absolutely hated magic. It was a big cause of a lot of her problems but she is immune to some charms and curses which makes her the perfect person to handle the charms that Ayden has collected over the years. Chalice’s job at Halo Home is to teach her fellow sisters how to use magic to their advantage. The Hatchet Knight’s are dwindling in numbers and need all the help they can get to defeat the bad guys. A Hatchet Knight is murdered and Chalice brings her back with a charm. Then Chalice is nearly murdered herself but when a fellow Knight runs away with some of the charms Chalice takes it upon herself to go find her.
Ayden and Rafe join Chalice in her search for the missing Knight. Ayden believes he is better off helping Chalice as a gargoyle and he definitely comes in handy. Chalice tries to search for her missing comrade while trying to avoid the Vyantara from learning she is back in town. Chalice’s mission leads her to the black veil, the home of the Fallen angels, where she discovers a devious plan in works for the creation of a whole new order of Knights.
Chalice is still the resilient heroine that she was from Knight’s Curse. She never had family around her and now that she has seen what could be she doesn’t want to lose the family she could now have. She fights hard for acceptance while still remaining true to who she is. She is delivered bad news about her love life but she doesn’t care. She makes no excuses about being in love with Ayden even though he is not human anymore.
The world-building expands in this book to include the white and black veil, dimensions where angels and other creatures live. The plot is a little more straightforward in this book compared to the first book in the series. Darkest Knight does work well as a standalone novel. The main plot points are resolved by the end of the book, a few points are saved for later in the series. The tone is still one of doom and Chalice puts herself in another situation that I have no idea how she is going to get out of it.
In the end, Darkest Knight is a suitable follow up to Knight’s Curse. It is the tale of a thief turned hero who wants to help save the world from evil. Darkest Knight is an urban fantasy that has the potential to be a great series but so far just manages to ride the fence.
Rusty’s eyes narrowed. “Maybe what I heard about your mother was true.”
If she said one bad thing about my mother I’d make sure she lost more than just her powers. I felt the weight of the knife sheathed between my shoulder blades.
“What was that sorcerer’s name?” Rusty’s eyes rolled as if she tried to think of the answer. “Oh, yeah. Gavin. The Vyantara’s head honcho and your mother’s lover.”
I sprang at her.
It was totally impulsive and completely driven by some primal part of my brain. Anything having to do with my mother was a sensitive issue. To hear the name of that sociopathic sorcerer and my mother in the same breath sent me over the edge. I couldn’t stop myself.
The knife was in my hands so fast I barely registered my fingers wrapping around the hilt and my thumb springing the latch to pop the blade.
The Knight’s Curse Series:
FTC Advisory: Harlequin/Luna provided me with a copy of Darkest Knight. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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