Sword of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor (aka Sherrilyn Kenyon) – 4 Stars

Sword of Darkness (Lords of Avalon, #1)Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

First in the Lords of Avalon series.

I own a print copy of this book.

Book Synopsis:

The new king of Camelot wears no shining armor: Arthur and his knights have fallen and a new king rules.

In the darkest forest…

A scared, forsaken youth has become the most powerful –– and feared –– man in the world. Ruthless and unrestrained, Kerrigan has long ceased to be human.

In the heart of London…

A spirited peasant mired in drudgery, Seren dreams of becoming her own woman, but never expects that by fleeing her fate, she will meet her destiny.

Their worlds are forever changed…

Kerrigan’s goal is simple: barter or kill Seren to claim Arthur’s Round Table. Yet she is the one person who holds no fear of him. More than that, her nobility sparks something foreign inside him. In his nether realm, kindness is weakness and a king who harbors any sort of compassion loses his throne.

For countless centuries, Kerrigan has lived alone in the shadows. Now Seren’s courage has forced him into the light that will bring either salvation to both of them…or death.

My Review:

The current three-story arch in the Dark Hunter series is tied into Ms. Kenyon’s Lord of Avalon series penned under the name Kinley MacGregor.  Being such a huge fan of Ms. Kenyon’s work, I decided to go back and give this series a try to get the back story for the other series.  If you are wondering if you need to read this to enjoy Son of No One (SONO), no you don’t.  I read and enjoyed SONO first and didn’t feel lost.  Will you enjoy this earlier book in a different series, probably.  I did.

First off I want to point out the clever little author quote on the cover, you can see it on the picture above if you missed it.  This feels very much like a Dark Hunter book.  The writing style is the same and I was delighted to find the same complex and almost tortured characters as are in Ms. Kenyon’s other books. The book had the feel of being an early book in an author’s career, one where the writer is still working on finding a voice.  Still enjoyable though, even if there are more cliches. Her quick-witted/smart-ass side kicks are present and delivered some of my favorite lines as scenes in the book.

I liked Kerrigan and Seren.  He was a pretty typical hero for this author; tortured past, poor destitute youth, parent that didn’t love him. Seren also came from a simple beginning, but had the love of a mother and a group of friends to make her life more bearable.   Probably my favorite character in the whole book was Blaise and I so hope he shows up in future books.

The world was interesting and I can see the groundwork for her later series the Dark Hunters being created here.  I think there may even be some character and world cross-over with that series.  The only issue I took with book was the integration of twentieth century terms, ideas and references.  Kenyon explained them away, but I don’t think the story needed it.  At times it was funny and cleverly done, but got a bit old and dragged down the story near the end.

I look forward to the second and last book available in this series, Knight of Darkness.  The last book it looks like has been pushed back in publication several times and is now due to come out in 2016.  If I had read this series when it came out, I would be plenty pissed, but as it stand I am just going to enjoy the story now and hope it is eventually finished.

 

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