I saw this book featured on someone’s blog. The short blurb intrigued me and I went to the site and read the excerpt which really intrigued me. I immediately sent off an email to the Ace contact I have and begged for the book. The book was every bit as good as the excerpt promised. When a reader is done with a good book, an interesting book, she wants to share those thoughts with other readers. When I finished the book, I hopped onto the ‘net looking for someone, anyone who has read this book. Granted I got the book several weeks before the release date but someone had read it and would chat with me about it, right? Alas no. So finally getting to share my thoughts with people who may have read the book or will be reading the book is exciting for me.
Kate Daniels is a member of the Mercenary Guild. She hires out her sword and her magical talents to suppress those who are misusing their power. This is a world where tech and magic are competing for control. When the tech wave rises, magic subsides and vice versa. The fantasy construct is detailed and original. It’s a bit Renaissance society meets futuristic. Each City is assigned a group of knights from the Order of Knights of Magical Aid. In this world, there are also shapeshifters and The People (vampires) and humans.
Kate is a reluctant heroine. She is powerful, due to her lineage, but she doesn’t work well with others. She choose to be a Mercenary instead of part of the Order as her guardian and knight-diviner, Greg, wanted. But then someone starts killing different members of each group, including Greg. Before a full scale war breaks out between the Pack and the People and to avenge her loss, Kate Daniels must discover who is behind the murders.
I am first and foremost a romance reader. It takes a really good book to make me enjoy a story with no romance. While there is a slight tickle there between Kate and the Lord of the Beasts, Curran, the story focused on the fantasy construct, the plot, and Kate’s destiny in this world. The fantasy construct was something very original; very fresh. There are knights, protectors, crusaders, mercenaries, the Lord of the Beasts and vampires as I haven’t read in other books. The imagery is vivid; the dialogue smart.
I glanced around the room. The mood had changed. The game had ended, and their eyes burned like fire. The hair on their heads bristled, and the smell of murder was in the air.
“This is Slayer,” I said, holding the saber so they could see it clearly. The saber seethed, and luminescent tendrils of smoke clung to its blade. “It has had many names. One of them was Wolfripper. Push me and I will show you how it got that one.”
Curran turned to me. “Take one of mine again and I’ll kill you.” He said it in a conversational manner, matter-of-fact and flat, but in his eyes I could see a simple certainty. If he had to, he would kill me. He would not lose any sleep over it. He would not give it a second thought. He would do it and move on, untroubled by ending my existence.
The niggles is that Kate is a smart mouth and at times that gets her into trouble and she doesn’t always learn from this. During an encounter with Curran, Kate acts hastily and suffers a bad consequence from it. But in the very next scene, she is smarting off again which could have easily led her into more trouble. There were also some hiccups in the plot and some character motivations that I couldn’t explain but overall, this was an excellent start to a brand new series. Any fan of Patricia Briggs and Charlaine Harris would enjoy an afternoon with this book. A-