Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sword of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor

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.

It took me a long time to get into this book. I'm not sure if that is because I don't tend to read a lot of fantasy or Arthurian books and therefore for me it took a little while to get used to the concepts or because it just wasn't that good!

Given that this book was the first book in the series, there was practically no world building at all. I guess that the author was working on the assumption that everyone knew the Arthurian legend and would therefore understand what was going on, but I spent the first half of this book confused. The main thing that I didn't really get until the end was the fact that all the Lords of Avalon can time travel, but this wasn't really explained until after there had been a few twentieth century references, such as the fact that Morgen (Queen of the Fey who has taken over Camelot following the demise of her brother, King Arthur)loves INXS and plays it regularly, as well as a couple of phrases that were used at various points in the first couple of chapters that really threw me. It wasn't until much later in the book that I got it, and that it didn't just feel like convenience for the author to be able to use modern cultural references instead of having to work a little harder and give us enough details to take us to their time.

Anyway...onto the characters. Our hero Kerrigan is truly evil, King of Camelot and owner of the Sword of Caliburn, which makes him virtually undefeatable. When he "rescues" Seren from the Knights of Avalon, she has no idea that she has just made a huge mistake that might cost her her life. I liked Kerrigan...he was no rake who can be redeemed - he was confident in who he was, and if he was lonely he didn't really take too much time to think it through. When he meets Seren, he is struck by her innocence and her goodness, and it doesn't take him too long to take advantage of one of those (although to be fair she does basically offer it to him on a platter). For me though, the relationship developed far too easily for Seren, and far too completely, in a much too short a time. Within pages we learn of Seren's destiny, but until about two thirds of the way through we didn't know why that was her destiny, and why she needed to take her place in either Camelot or Avalon.

The end of the novel was very abrupt as well, but it is a bit hard to say more about that without spoiling, so I will leave it at that for the moment.

There were some very clever ideas, and it will be interesting to see how MacGregor follows these ideas through in future books. Hopefully, now that I have read this book I will have more of an idea of what is going on earlier in the next book.

In the meantime, I will be waiting for the next Brotherhood book.

Rating: 3/5


  1. I learned my lesson with this author. I have Born In Sin in my TBR for a few months now and I can't finish it. lol.

  2. See I liked Born in Sin! She is very inconsistent in my opinion.

  3. Oh, lol, well I don't know, there's something about NiS that has me all ugh about it. I think it's the damn heroine.

  4. I'm all about the here and Sin was just so tortured and just great!

  5. i hated this book. i think i gave it a negative rating on our

    i disliked all of the things you mentioned, but i couldn't find enough redeeming qualities to make me enjoy it. i spent the entire story pissed off. lol

    i am sort of curious to see if she can build a better story next time, though. i suppose i'm just a glutton for punishment, eh?

  6. Yes..I will be back for the next one as well...but I am really glad that I was not paying for this book.

  7. I agree that if you are not totally familiar with legends and all that, it is very jarring and difficult to get up to speed with a book and its storyline.

    I find it incredibly annoying. I do so like authors who give me detailed glossary entries, nice story intros...It makes a better reading experience for me.

    Thanks for the review!

  8. Okay, I have to be contrary here. I LOVED this book. Although I didn't realize it was the first in the series, cause I immediately went out to find more and was silently cussing my library and bookstore for not having any. But, now I'm gonna have to re-read it to see if I really liked the book or just the world that was created with it. HMMMMM.

  9. I liked this book, I don't remember why but I remember that I did like it and am very much looking forward to the next one.

    But the book that I'm MOST looking forward to is Lochlan's book from her MacAllister books, she said she was goign to write it but when, she needs to stop writing horrible DH books and get back to the Brotherhood/MacAllister stories...I want to find out what happened to Keiran, who the Scot is and Lochlan needs his own damn book!


  10. Yes definitely! I am not even sure when she plans to get around to it! But I wish she would hurry up!

  11. She should ABSOLUTELY not quit writing DH books. I love those things. I haven't read any Brotherhood stuff so I need to find some and read them.

  12. I haven't read any DH books!!