Darkest Knight by Karen Duvall
Harlequin (March 27, 2012)
Trade: $14.95; ebook: $10.99
Favorite Lines: “I had no problem facing a dozen gargoyles or a dozen nasty sorcerers, but threaten to take my family away from me and I’m shaking in my boots.” (p. 152, egalley)
“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 .
Last year Karen Duvall introduced a woman named Chalice in Knight’s Curse. We learned Chalice was a slave and watched her discover her lineage and win freedom. She had help from a man named Aydin. A man who sacrificed his humanity in order to save her. Darkest Knight picks up a month after the events which culminated in Chalice’s freedom.
I had high hopes for Darkest Knight. It started out pretty good with Chalice determined to make her love interest human again. She finds help in an unexpected place, but it goes down hill after that. All sorts of bad things begin happening.
The reader learns about the role of knights and their guardian angels and gets to see Chalice introduced to her grandparents. Obstacles are thrown in Chalice’s path as she searches for the threat to her sister knights. And Aydin’s only hope of becoming human is threatened. You’d think that would be enough to keep the reader interested and invested in the story. It wasn’t enough for me.
It was okay. I had no emotional connection to the story and the story lacked depth. I didn’t care if Aydin became human. (It was his choice. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book.) I didn’t care if Chalice and Aydin advanced to the next stage in their relationship. (Hello, he’s a gargoyle.) I didn’t understand Chalice’s reactions to different situations, nor did I care. I even rolled my eyes as the character’s spoke. My reaction only got worse as the story progressed.
I will say that there was a major surprise revealed about a character. I didn’t see it coming. Unfortunately, it couldn’t make up for the cookie-cutter characters and lackluster story. I feel like 75 percent of the book was filler material. It showed the character’s relationship to one another, introduced and took away characters, but really didn’t do more than take up page space.
I know it sounds like I hated the book. I didn’t. I liked it less than an average book, but I never thought about putting it down and walking away. I’d suggest if you feel wishy-washy about Darkest Knight that you borrow it from your local library. I’d also suggest you read book one, Knight’s Curse, before starting Darkest Knight.