Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Knight of Swords

Nathan doesn’t know it, but he is on the verge of becoming a vampire. More than that, he was born to be the mate of his people’s Queen, her Knight of Swords.  As our story opens in 1890′s London, Nathan is being plagued in his nightmares by a gruesome vampire who is killing the young Lord’s past sexual conquests. Over and over, Nathan is forced to watch the vampire, Sebastian,  as he kills the women and harvests their organs. Each time, he calls out for a woman named Juliet.  We later learn, that’s the woman who will be Nathan’s mate.

When circumstances bring Nathan and Juliet together in the flesh, they realize their innate bond.  But they are intercepted by a group of men who explain that the couple is on the verge of transition to becoming vampires.  The conversation actually wasn’t as easygoing as that. In fact, we find out quickly that despite Nathan’s status as her mate, just about every vampire wants a chance to challenge him for Juliet’s hand.  And Sebastian is an ever-present threat.  Once the evil creature manages to get his hands on the young Queen, Nathan must take his place as the head of Juliet’s army to rescue her and finally claim her as his own.

When I started this book, I really thought it was going to be about the grisly murders Nathan was witnessing… sort of a vampire Jack-the-Ripper kind of story.  But it wasn’t that at all.  Perhaps because of my misconceptions, I had a really hard time connecting with the story in the first half.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like spoilers. But I do like to have a good idea of what a book is about at the onset. It makes it easier for my mind follow the characters’ journey.  I never really felt emotionally invested in Nathan or Juliet, individually or as a couple.  Perhaps, their psychic connection gave them a kind of instant-love, but it wasn’t a love or even an attraction that I was able to witness developing on-page. As a result, I felt like I wanted Nathan to succeed more because I knew he was supposed to, than because I had a fire in my belly for him.

The book did pick up in the second-half.  There was a good bit of action. There was sacrifice and betrayal.  But you need to be prepared for some dark developments and (for me) an unsatisfying ending.  I give the author credit for a new take on vampire mythology and a decidedly creative twist on the motives of our villain.  3 stars.

*This book was provided by the author for review.

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