Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: King of the Damned

Reviewed by Jen
The more I read from Juliana Stone, the more I enjoy her books.  This story centers around the fallen angel Azaiel and a witch named Rowan.

We've met Azaiel before.  He's part of the League of Guardians, a supernatural consortium that tries to keep the balance between good and evil.  But before that, he was an angel who betrayed his kind for the affections of a beautiful woman who eventually betrayed him --then was held captive for countless years in hell. Now, he's on a mission for his brother --the leader of the League-- who wants him to investigate the death of an old witch, Rowan's grandmother.

Rowan has spent the past six years of her life away from her hometown of Salem, trying to hide herself from a demon who has marked her as part of a family curse.  But when her grandmother calls, she returns home, only to find the old woman has died.  The demon has marked her whole coven in an effort to find her and now she realizes that it's time to take a stand and end the curse, once and for all.

Azaiel was at her grandmother's home when Rowan learned what happened to the old woman and she recognizes the power in him. So when he offers to help with her cause, she accepts.  Azaiel knows the demon who is after her is very powerful, so he calls the League for reinforcement --and Nico and Priest show up to lend aid.  From there, the story follows Rowan and the three men from the League as they work to reunite her coven and vanquish the demon.

The action was really good and the storyline was easy to follow. Even though this is the second book in the League of Guardians (which was a spinoff of the Jaguar books,) I think this would still work as a standalone.  The wordbuilding is solid and the pacing is good.  The real draw, though, is the romance.

Azaiel doesn't believe he can ever trust a woman again after what happened in his past. He is attracted to Rowan but doesn't want to act on it.  The more time he spends with her, the more she wears down his resolve.  She is a woman who is not afraid to go after what she wants.  And it's hard not to want Azaiel. It really takes a long time for these two to really act on their feelings, but the sexual tension between them is very hot. It's cool to see the woman be the aggressor here and I was very pleased with the payoff.

Azaiel makes a great reformed hero.  I like watching his struggle and his demons from the past.  Rowan is pretty bad ass too. She's a very tough and take no prisoners kind of chick. There's a great wealth of secondary characters too... I definitely want to know more about Priest and there seems to be a side romance brewing for Nico (maybe we'll see it from his perspective in another book?) I've got my fingers crossed.  --All this and a very satisfying ending.

Rating: B+

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon
King of the Damned
by Juliana Stone
Release Date: November 27, 2012
Publisher: Avon

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