Knight’s Curse by Karen Duvall
Released: August 23, 2011
Format: Trade paperback
Series: Knight’s Curse #1
Source: Personal shelf
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.
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It took me a while to decide to pick up Knight’s Curse. The cover copy sounded great but there was just something about it that had me putting it down when I was at the bookstore. But then, the other day, it seemed like the perfect fit so I ordered it and waited…and waited…for it to arrive. Thankfully, it finally showed up! And while I wasn’t compelled to read it in a single sitting, I did find it it be quite enjoyable. Here’s why:
The world that Karen Duvall has created is fantastic. I love the idea of an order of female knights and had no idea it was a real thing back in the day. (If you’re feeling nerdy, you can check out this site for some history.) I think it’s a very original setting for an urban fantasy/PNR series and I look forward to finding out what happens to Chalice next in Darkest Knight. (Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks Batman when they hear that title?) I thought the author’s take on gargoyles was particularly interesting but I won’t say too much to keep it a surprise for you all.
Chalice, the main character, has a fascinating backstory. Karen Duvall takes a trope — orphan learns about her family and special destiny — and makes it feel fresh. I really loved the opening scenes with a younger Chalice because we get to see the moments that really shape her relationship with Gavin and the Vyantara. I didn’t always like grown-up Chalice but I understood where she was coming from because of these great opening moments.
Overall, I thought Knight’s Curse was a great debut and I look forward to reading Darkest Knight, which I have on my e-reader right now!