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I Belong


Review: Knight’s Curse by Karen Duvall

Title: Knight’s Curse

Author: Karen Duvall

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Knight’s Curse (Book 1)

Publication Date: August 23, 2011

Format: Paperback, 315 Pages

ISBN-10: 0373803400 (Harlequin/Luna)

ISBN-13: 978-0373803408 (Harlequin/Luna)

Reviewed by: Kristie

Synopsis:

A skilled knife fighter since the age of nine, Chalice knows what it’s like to live life on the edge–precariously balanced between the dark and the light. But the time has come to choose. The evil sorcerer who kidnapped her over a decade ago requires her superhuman senses to steal a precious magical artifact…or she must suffer the consequences.

Desperate to break the curse that enslaves her, Chalice agrees. But it is only with the help of Aydin–her noble warrior-protector–that she will risk venturing beyond the veil to discover the origins of her power. Only for him will she dare to fully embrace her awesome talents. For a deadly duel is at hand, and Chalice alone will have to decide between freedom…and the love of her life.

Quick & Dirty: Dark Urban Fantasy where the bad guys always have the upper hand and a heroine that just wants to be good. A decent story but too many plot devices detract from the overall plot.

Opening Sentence: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I’d see them coming long before they hurt me.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I am a little on the fence about my review for Knight’s Curse. I love history and I really like it when an author takes something out of history books, especially something I’ve never heard of, and puts their own spin on things. Chalice was born the daughter of an angel and a Hatchet Knight. Hatchet Knights are basically female descendants of angels. They are born with special powers that they use to help defeat the evil in the world. Chalice’s mother died due to strange events at the time she gave birth to her daughter leaving Chalice to grow up in a monastery until the age of thirteen, when she is kidnapped.

Chalice is then raised by a very bad man, Gavin. He is a powerful member of the Vyantara, a secret society of sorcerers and thieves. Gavin takes advantage of Chalice’s unique abilities of hyper-senses to be a thief for the Vyantara. Gavin has Chalice bonded to a gargoyle in order to keep her under control. She can only be away from the gargoyle for three days before she begins to turn into one of them.

She has been dealt a bad hand but she tries her hardest to be good. She wants nothing more than to break her curse, get away from the Vyantara and claim her birthright as a Hatchet Knight. Her only help comes from her long lost father and her only ally in the Vyantara, Ayden, an immortal warrior who has been with the group for over 800 years and who is also bonded to a gargoyle.

The world-building in Knight’s Curse is simply done. There is no huge info dump, in fact, for two organizations that have been around for over one thousand years there is surprisingly little told about them. I think how little is revealed works for this story, just enough information is revealed to move the plot along.

Knight’s Curse is completely told from Chalice’s point of view. The plot moves along at a steady pace for the most part. There is a lot going on with the story that it did have me wondering how the story would end and which conflict would be resolved. I did feel the tone to Knight’s Curse was dark and despairing, it may not intentionally have been this way, but I felt Chalice was in way too deep with the enemy to get out. Her curse alone is bad enough but her only ally is also in deep with the Vyantara. The tension definitely runs high.

Knight’s Curse is a decent urban fantasy debut with a new twist on a historical group, truly evil bad guys and a heroine who just wants to do the right thing. It’s not a bad read but it is not spectacular either, it had potential but does fall a little flat at times. Knight’s Curse was a book that I normally wouldn’t have picked up off the shelf but I am pleased that I read it.

Notable Scene:

“Come on,” Ayden said, and took hold of my arms to help me out. My back hurt so badly that I couldn’t stand up straight. He grabbed my scarf off the floor of the SUV and draped it over my head, forming it into a hood that hid most of my face.

“That bad, huh?” I asked.

“Let’s just say we don’t want to upset the neighbor.”

A middle-aged couple walked by and after one look at me, they shrank back, their faces leeched of color. The woman’s gaze locked on to me and she took a cautious step closer. “Honey, I’ve got some cream that will clear that right up.” She handed me a business card, snapping her hand away the second I touched it. “Give me a call.”

I looked at the card. Avon.

I touched my face, fingertips running over scales the size of pennies. I wanted to scream, but my voice was locked in my throat. I’d never come this close to changing before. Agitation chewed at my nerves and I knew that if I could relax, I’d be able to slow the transformation process.

The Knight’s Curse Series:

1. Knight’s Curse

2. Darkest Knight

FTC Advisory: Harlequin/Luna provided me with a copy of Knight’s Curse. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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