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Announcing WiC Club: the most exclusive club this side of the wall. Join Now! Spoiler Alert! Spoilers in comments are hidden by a gray overlay. Chalice has unique abilities and Karen Duvall doesn't forget that. Those abilities come in handy for almost every scene and while they help her a lot, they can also be really inconvenient.
Mar 14, Kristie Elston rated it it was ok Shelves: dft-reviews. Jul 07, Kt rated it really liked it Shelves: received-for-review. 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 toget Chalice has been sent on yet another mission to steal a magical artifact by the man who kidnapped and enslaved her as a child. 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. Dec 04, Marlene rated it liked it. At age 13, Chalice was ripped from the only home she had ever known by an evil sorcerer and bonded to a gargoyle. The monks who raised her in the Lebanese countryside were murdered before her eyes so that no witnesses would be left behind.
Except Chalice. What makes Chalice such a prize? She was born with incredible skills, extremely acute hearing, sight, and smell, that require her to wear special contact lenses and filters just to interact with the world. Those extraordinary senses allow her to At age 13, Chalice was ripped from the only home she had ever known by an evil sorcerer and bonded to a gargoyle. Those extraordinary senses allow her to see into the unseen, to sense not just technical alarm systems, but magical ones. The sorcerer, and those he represents, train her to be a thief.
Chalice learns to steal magical, especially cursed, artifacts. And she can never run. That bonding to the gargoyle Chalice has tested the bond, and the potential transformation. She's come much too close to want to test that boundary again. But Chalice is more than just a thief with some boosted abilities. In Knight's Curse, by Karen Duvall, Chalice discovers that she is the modern-day descendant of an order of female knights that have existed since the Middle Ages.
And that she has a destiny--to gather all of her sister knights together to fight the order of sorcerers that has both cursed her and trained her. But first, she has to free herself. I enjoyed reading this book. I kept wanting to see what happened next. On the other hand, there were a lot of things about Chalice's story that bothered me. For someone who has been emotionally abused and isolated as much as Chalice has, she trusts much too easily. For one thing, she falls in love with the first man she meets, in spite of the fact that she discovers he is 1 a double agent for the bad guys, 2 years old, and 3 in love with her great-great-great-grandmother.
There are a lot of very neat ideas in this book, including, but not limited to; an order of female knights from the Crusades existing into the 21st century, an order of evil sorcerers, previously mentioned, guardian angels, fallen angels, gargoyles, fae folk, hellhounds, angel speakers, and saints who are still alive in spite of having been drawn and quartered nearly 1, years previously.
This story read like the set-up for a series. Possibly in the vein of see how the kick-butt heroine becomes the kick-butt heroine. Because she isn't there yet. And there are too many ideas in the soup right now. None of them are cooking terribly badly, but the recipe would probably be better with a few less ingredients and more attention paid to the parts that remain. Aug 07, Scooper Speaks rated it liked it. I would hear them, too.
Maybe even smell them. My abilities came in handy at times. This book has angels, mages and demons. It has a secret society of women warriors, slavery and gargoyles. Chalice worked my nerves. She is childish, self-centered and wishy-washy. On the other hand I really enjoyed her kinda love interest, Aydin. However, Chalice and Aydin as a possible couple was confusing. Sure they were sexually attracted to one another, but Chalice thought Aydin was in love with another woman and that he was the enemy for most of the book. Despite my disinterest in many of the characters, I did like the gargoyles.
Heck, the best parts of the book revolved around gargoyles. From their creation to the bond Chalice and Aydin had with them, gargoyles carried the weight of the book. We are shown positive and negative views of gargoyles and the bonds between them and humans. In the end, the book was okay. What made me like the book? Duvall was able to surprise me. Out of no where she pulled a major OMG moment out of her hat and it makes me wonder what else she is capable of.
Duvall has piqued my interest and I will read the next book which will make or break the series for me Aug 31, Cocktails and Books rated it it was ok Shelves: paranormal , blue-reader-ebook , netgalley. For thirteen years, Chalice has been forced to steal artifacts for the man who abducted her from the only home she ever knew.
He's used her differences to his and his organizations advantage while making life for Chalice a living hell. It's on a mission for Gavin, her sorcerer captor, and his organization Vyantara, that she discovers there is more to the world she lives in than what she was led to believe. I was hopeful this was going to be another book that would sway my angel reluctance.
Unfortunately, it wasn't. Here's my issue with the story. Chalice is a woman that was abducted and abused by Grant, who has delusions of grandeur on ruling the magical underworld. He forces her to steal magical artifacts for this purpose. He's also managed to bond her with a gargoyle, which must lick her every three days or she'll die.
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Nice guy I should have felt sorry for her, having gone through all of this, but I didn't. Instead, I kept wondering why she didn't do something to change what was happening to her. Sure Gavin always seemed to know where she was and what she was doing, but at some point don't you figure out how to be sneaky just to get away from the bastard?
The "romance" between Aydin and Chalice was weird. She liked him, she suspected him of lying to her and then she liked him again. Then she suspected he was still in love with someone else. He was never more than outwardly friendly with her during the entire story, then towards the very end, they're is almost a declaration of love. I'm still confused about the Saint Geraldine, the angel talkers, the Fallen, the Vyantara and what the heck is going on.
There was no back history on who the Vyantara are or why they are doing what they're doing today.banclowmibullti.cf
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I'm sure others will enjoy this book, but there were one too many unanswered questions or moments were I was scratching my head to engage my interest. Sep 11, Vicky rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Chalice is the daughter of a Hatchet Knight and a fallen angel. The Hatchet Knights are a group of women, formed during the Crusades, who have special abilities.
She has to wear contact lenses, nose plugs and ear plugs when she goes out in order to close off the overload of sensory input. Chalice was born in a monastery and thinks her mom died giving birth to her. When Chalice turned thirteen, a man named Gavin comes to the monastery claiming th Chalice is the daughter of a Hatchet Knight and a fallen angel. The monks have no reason to doubt him since he has ways to prove his fatherhood but Chalice knows that Gavin is lying because she heard him talking to his men from miles away. Chalice calls him on the lie so he kills the monks and takes her captive.
Chalice is bonded to Shui, a vicious gargoyle. Gavin, a member of the Vyantara, masters of dark magic, controls Shui, and unless Chalice makes contact with Shui every 72 hours, Chalice will turn into a gargoyle as well. Gavin uses this forced bonding to control Chalice and she is forced to use her senses to be a supernatural thief. Her one friend in this mess is Aydin, a warrior from the Crusades who can turn into a ghost at will. But Aydin, like Chalice is bonded to a gargoyle named Shojin.
He shows her, though, that not all magic is bad. This is a fascinating story that kept me glued to it to the very end. It is also obviously part of a series. I want to find out what happens to Chalice, Aydin the warrior , Echo elf , Geraldine the saint and Quin psychic. The characters are realistic, the settings familiar enough for the reader to be comfortable with, and the problems Chalice faces laid out well enough to be believable.
Duvall is a talented fantasy writer with a vivid imagination who did her research. If I had any issues with the story, it was that it was too short. I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasies. When a man thought to be her father comes to claim her, Chalice knows something is wrong, but is forced to go along with this menacing stranger. She is taken to live with the Vyantara, a group of magic users who use Chalice, and others, to steal cursed and magical objects for their own nefarious means.
I expected pretty run of the mill urban fantasy, but the characters and world that Ms. Duvall has created really are rather unique and refreshing. They must maintain close contact or Chalice will actually turn into a gargoyle herself.
Aydin, the handsome sorcerer that is also a member of the Vyantara but on her side , is also bound to a gargoyle, but theirs is a very different relationship. She discovers that she is descended from an ancient order of female Knights the Hatchet Knights , and may be destined for greater things.
First she has to escape her curse and her evil captor. Nov 18, Charlotte Black rated it really liked it. If you like books about knights, crusades and the battle for light over dark evil then this book is for you! Desperate to break the curse that ens If you like books about knights, crusades and the battle for light over dark evil then this book is for you!
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. Review: In the beginning I didn't feel that Chalice had enough courage, she maybe had a little bit too much attitude for my liking. But the more you delve into the story the more you realise that she's changing. She learns how to hate, and also how to love. Aydin is a sneaky protector. There were honestly times when I thought he was betraying Chalice but then he does the unspeakable and saves her life while giving up his own.
The truly honourable dead cost him dearly - he really is the knight in shining armour. The writing is captivating, the flow of the story is steady and continual, leading you on to a heartbreaking but exciting outcome. Of course, there has to be a book 2 because the story is still incomplete. But its certainly one that I can't wait for. Overall I found it compelling, exciting, emotional and you certainly want to root for the good guys. But who will win in the end?? Will Aydin and Chalice ever finally find their love?
We shall have to wait and see Jun 15, Jenn rated it liked it Shelves: urban-fantasy. The cover copy sounded great but there was just something about it that had me putting it down when I was at the bookstore. But then, the other day, it seemed like the perfect fit so I ordered it and waited…and waited…for it to arrive. Thankfully, it finally showed up! I love the idea of an order of female knights and had no idea it was a real thing back in the day.
Incidentally, am I the only one who thinks Batman when they hear that title? Chalice, the main character, has a fascinating backstory. Karen Duvall takes a trope — orphan learns about her family and special destiny — and makes it feel fresh. I really loved the opening scenes with a younger Chalice because we get to see the moments that really shape her relationship with Gavin and the Vyantara. Oct 19, Danny rated it liked it. The setting is truly intriguing and interesting, as we follow Chalice who has been kidnapped by a dark sorcerer when she was very little.
In order to keep her at bay, he cursed Chalice which makes her impossible to leave. Chalice has a very intriguing background and I found her magical talents and heritage refreshing and magical, also I loved the twist with the curse! With the addition of Aydin the story moves on and as usual, I became even more invested!
I need a good romance and love story in between those mysteries and Aydin is the perfect man! I loved him and when he agrees to help free Chalice. The love felt too fast and unbelievable for me, which was very sad and drew me back a bit. Also, some dialogues felt a bit off and were kind of awkward… Bottom Line: This was definitely a great start in a new series and despite my complain about the romance I will definitely pick up the next.
This one ends with such a horrible cliffhanger that I simply have to get the next one in a series too. Jul 07, Wendy Hines rated it really liked it. Chalice has had a rough life. Born to an angel and a Hatchet Knight, a female descended by angels with special powers, she should have had a nice life. Unfortunately, her mom dies giving birth to her and Chalice grows up in a monastery. When she turns thirteen, she is kidnapped by Gavin, a powerful member of the Vyantra, a secret group of thieves and sorcerers. Gavin treats Chalice horribly, bonding her to a gargoyle so that she can never leave for long.
If she is away from her gargoyle for more Chalice has had a rough life. If she is away from her gargoyle for more than three days, she turns into one. Gavin wants to use Chalice's superb talents to steal a magical artifact. He has spent years training her to hone her powers. Wanting to break away from Gavin and the Vyantra, Chalice agrees. She wants to claim her birthright of being a Hatchet Knight and only another who is also bonded to a gargoyle can help her. His name is Aydin, a warrior and her protector. He's sexy, sweet and totally in love with Chalice and will do whatever it takes to keep her safe.
Chalice is a sharp and intelligent heroine who wants to do the right thing, even though she's been put into some bad situations and does what she has to do to survive. Aydin wants to keep Chalice safe, help her steal the artifact and out-wit the Vyantra, but will he lose her if she succeeds? Fans of urban fantasy fiction won't want to miss this one! Jul 14, Jessie Ageless Pages Reviews rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed , fantasy , supernatural-fiction , tales-of-fae-and-faery-tales , arc , netgalley-arc , series-completed , nephilim-angels-demons , reads , reviews. A break-neck romp set in a world populated with gargoyles, nephilim, demons, and angels, Knight's Curse was a fun diversion for a couple days.
Chalice is special, with unique abilities "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I'd see them coming before they hurt me. Maybe even smell them," she says in the first chapter b A break-neck romp set in a world populated with gargoyles, nephilim, demons, and angels, Knight's Curse was a fun diversion for a couple days. Maybe even smell them," she says in the first chapter because she is the descendant of a human woman mating with angels. In this world of Duvall's, those women who mated with angels and bore their apparently only female offspring were of an order of Knights existing since the Middle Ages.
Her mother was deliberately murdered and Chalice kidnapped at thirteen by an evil organization think the mafia with mojo , she was cursed as a means of control- every three days Chalice must make contact with her gargoyle, Shui, or be turned into a monster like him for all time. Chalice herself failed to engage me, or make me really care about her story.
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I wanted to like this character much more than I did. By all means, I should love her: she's smart, snarky, sarcastic, good with a blade, and fierce. Why don't I? Read here to see why. Jul 11, Nita rated it liked it Shelves: urban-fantasy , read , arc. I love the world Duvall created here.
Her use of gargoyles and other creatures - angels, the fae, etc. Our main character is Chalice. She has been the prisoner of an evil group called the Vyantara, who covet magical objects. They force her to use her powers of super sensitive senses to steal magical objects for them. To keep her "loyal" and from running off on them, they have bonded her with a gargoyle. If she does not check in with her gargoyle every few days, she herself starts I love the world Duvall created here.
If she does not check in with her gargoyle every few days, she herself starts to turn into one. So the ideas and world Duvall created are fantastic. It was the characters I had problems with - more specifically the emotions and dialogue. The dialogue was very generic to me.
The characters did not have their own voice. Same with emotion; Chalice would tell me she was feeling a certain way, but I did not feel it. Gavin, the man Chalice reports to, is supposed to be very evil. But between the emotions he expresses and his dialogue, he did not feel evil to me. The characters did not have very unique personalities. The book ends with a satisfying conclusion and a set up for the next book.
I am interested to see where Duvall is taking this series. I hope she fleshes out her characters; I would love to enjoy the next book. ARC provided by NetGalley Nov 02, Pamela Todd rated it it was ok Shelves: fantasy , paranormal , romance , read-in , ebook. Chalice grew up in a monastery after her mother died after childbirth, and only met her father when he returned to claim her, and ensured she could never leave his side again. Chalice knows the man is not truly her father, but there was little she could do to overthrow him. Chalice is bonded with a gargoyle and cursed, so if she is parted from him the curse will turn her into one herself.
Chalice is trained as a thief to procure artefacts and objects of mythical power. The time comes for Chalice to decide what she has to do — give in to the dark side, or take a leap of faith and shoot for the light. The light romance between Aydin and Chalice was tender and steamy all at once, and left the reader aching for more. An awesome read for anyone who loves modern day fairy tales and legends. It was hard to breath, my lower body ached, and a hurtful memory from when I was 14 began to plague me. My mom arrived one day when I was working on one of the most violent scenes in the novel, and she could see I was agitated, depressed.
At the time I assumed it was all my fault, but it was not. I poured a lot of these emotions and memories into the book. This has been in our country for a long time, this white nationalism and misogyny. My own personal belief is that the humanities can teach us how to become better people. Are we broken beyond fixing?
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The Cassandra also became unexpectedly timely when Hanford started popping up in the national news again, this time for leaking nuclear waste tanks and, most recently, for attempted shut downs of Hanford watchdog groups. Sharma Shields : I grew up very sheltered from the truth of our history, regional and otherwise. What we should not do is draw a line between our present selves and our history; the two are inextricable. It is easy to be lazy, complicit.
So easy. But we are educated humans, capable of imagination and empathy and hopefully social evolution. By acknowledging our darkness, our propensity for violence and greed and cruelty, maybe we can begin to imagine shedding it for something less harmful. Is such evolution possible? Near and far there is failure. There was a great article in the New York Times recently about women in politics, about how they must rise as a group effort and not individually.
Now we just need all of us to unify somehow. BS: You, I believe, are one of our great writers working within magical realism and weird fiction. To realize my own smallness shrinks the ego, and along with it shrinks my many anxieties and being an anxious person, this is a much-appreciated consequence. I become most enthralled in the writing process when I surprise myself, when I wind up somewhere I least expect. I love the metaphorical wiggle-room the fantastic allows us.
Metaphor is my jam, both writing and reading-wise. In The Cassandra , compared to my first novel, I wanted the focus to be less on the fantastic and more on the historical, given the absolutely alarming research I uncovered about Hanford.
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