Author: Karen Duvall
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 08/23/11
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
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.
Plot: 3.5 Stars
This novel was a very unique Urban Fantasy. The author's gargoyles were completely different from any gargoyle I've ever read and I really enjoyed them even if Chalice's gargoyle trapped her in her current situation and was definitely not a good guy. The idea of the Vyantara and the Hatchet Knights was very intriguing. The author gave little bits of knowledge here and there, but I feel like I still don't know that much about the Hatchet Knights. Although a little bit is revealed about the past, almost nothing is revealed about the present day Hatchet Knights. Hopefully the next installment will elaborate on these women, because I'm definitely intrigued. The Vyantara, on the other hand, are a group of sorcerers with evil intentions. It wasn't difficult at all to root against them.
Pace: 3 Stars
This novel took a bit for me to get into. The first chapter was from the past, when Chalice was originally kidnapped. Then the story jumps to the present while Chalice is on a job. I didn't really learn much about Chalice or the world she is in until after she returned to Gavin after the job. And it wasn't until she met Aydin a few chapters later that I was turly invested in the story. The introduction to everything was a bit drawn out before the action started. But once the action started, it didn't stop and the pace of the novel picked up.
Characters: 3.5 Stars
Chalice was both a strong, kick-ass Urban Fantasy heroine, and a vulnerable young woman. Her world was thrown upside-down when she is kidnapped, and she tries to work around her restrictions as much as possible. Her super strong senses were very intriguing, but I felt like she didn't use them nearly enough. For something that could both help and hinder, they weren't mentioned very often. Aydin was a very interesting character. I really enjoyed how her introduced Chalice to many things that the Vyantara had kept quiet, and how he stretched the limits of his own gargoyle. Chalice's gargoyle can be a bit scary at times, and he's not very similar to Aydin's gargoyle. Gavin, the one holding Chalice, was not a good person. In fact, it was all too easy to hate him.
Cover: 4 Stars
The stained glass in the background is my favorite aspect of this cover. Not only does it add a riot of colors to an otherwise plain brown cover, it draws the eye. The angle of the sun coming through the stained glass puts a bit of a spotlight on the cover model, while leaving the rest of the cover in the shadows a bit. It's a very striking image. The cover model is a great depiction of Chalice. Her pose and her outfit scream kick-ass, and she doesn't let you down in that respect. The swirls around the title complement the text very well. Small embellishments that really work with a title are always great in my book.
Overall: 3.5 Stars
Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for review from the author.