Knight's Curse (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

Knight's Curse by Karen Duvall

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.

Chalice has been sent on yet another mission to steal a magical artifact by the man who kidnapped and enslaved her as a child. It should have been an easy job, just like the countless other ones, but things go very wrong and she is unable to acquire it. While her life has never been easy, at least there was a fragile truce between her and her master. All that changes after her failure and her world is quickly turned upside down. She meets Aydin who is very like her. Together they will work together to be finally free, because at this rate, the alternative is death.

Knight's Curse is a very refreshing book. In a genre that seems saturated with books that all muddle together because of similarities. Yes there are some familiar elements with angels and demons, as well as the fae. However the focus is more on gargoyles and the unique bond they have with humans. Anyone bonded to one is actually enslaved because if they do not merge with their gargoyle every three days then they will turn into one of the creatures themselves. Another aspect that made the book refreshing was the way Chalice's extremely enhanced senses were handled. In so many Urban Fantasies, the heroine will have these great senses, yet they are somehow able to conveniently shut them off for comfort. Chalice has no such "off" switch so she has to use nose and ear plugs, as well as special contacts just to be able to keep the sensory overload to a lessor amount. I found this to make her seem more realistic, and well human as the gifts were as much of a hindrance as a help.

I really enjoyed getting to see Chalice grow throughout this book. At the start she was so skittish and untrusting, and while she had good reason to be that way, she was so shut off to everything and everyone. She only looked for the worst in people and stubbornly felt all magic was evil. However as time went on and she was able to defy her master more and more she started to really open up. Of course a lot of that had to do with the charismatic Aydin, and her attraction to him. They didn't really get a chance to progress anywhere in a relationship together, but there is so much potential there. I'm really rooting for them in the next book even though the odds are highly stacked against them.

I enjoyed Knight's Curse as it was a great opening to a new series that read very quickly. There was just the right amount of world building, action and character development to make it a very well rounded book. The only thing I wish for more of would have been a little romance, but that isn't too much of a hindrance as it leaves room to grow. So, if you are looking for a new Urban Fantasy that is anything but "run of the mill" then Knight's Curse is for you.

(Received copy from Netgalley)


Pre-order from Amazon:
Knight's Curse (Luna Books)

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