I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Knight's Curse by Karen Duvall
Series: Knight's Curse #1
Published by Luna on September 1, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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 is an extremely gifted individual with heightened sight, hearing, and smell. After she is abducted from her home in a monastery she is trained as a thief by the Vyantara, ’an international organization of nefarious magic users who profited from the sale of charmed and cursed objects I stole for them.’ She knows very little about why she is who she is or who her parents are but after finding out information about her who her mother is, Chalice is desperate to break the curse that keeps her a slave to the Vyantara.
This was an intriguing read from the very beginning, but once the storyline progressed and added new elements I was a bit thrown. View Spoiler » I wasn’t really expecting angels. Not what I thought this was about. « Hide Spoiler Plus with the weird details of her slavery and the gargoyle neck licking thing… well I’ve probably said too much already. Suffice it to say it was different, but not necessarily in a bad way, and was still interesting enough to keep me reading.
Chalice’s enhanced senses were an interesting concept, but her being able to ‘slide’ her contacts in and out was highly unrealistic. Where does she put them when she’s not wearing them? In her pocket? What about pocket fuzz? Don’t they dry out and shrivel up or anything? Where’s her travel bottle of opti-fresh or her mini travel case? Yes, I put a lot of thought into this even though it’s pretty inconsequential and they probably aren’t you average type of contacts anyways. I am a contact lens wearer for over 15 years though so I understand that contacts don’t slide in an out. And they do shrivel up. Okay, probably put far too much thought into it but whatever. It bothered me.
I enjoyed the various characters that were presented in this story… definitely added to the originality. The jewel-encrusted frog named Ruby was a cute addition. The ‘jewel-encrusted lie-detecting frog’ was a bit overkill though, but I did still enjoy her part in the story. Also, I loved the concept of the shape-shifting animal named Ling-Ling, but all I could think of when they said her name was ‘Ling-Ling the giant panda bear’.
I think the world building was lacking which is always a problem for me, especially when there were SO many supernatural creatures. There needed to be some development of some sorts, rather than just leaving it as the world we live in with supernaturals thrown in for good measure. The main characters weren’t extremely likable either and pair that with the lack of world-building and I wasn’t entirely overjoyed with this book. Okay, so in retrospect, I was being a bit knit-picky with this one but there were a lot of things that didn’t sit well with me. It was interesting enough but I’m not sure I’ll be continuing the series.