If you’re a fan of fantasy romance with unique world-building, a warrior hero and a heroine who is every bit his equal — look no further. Ciara Knight has created a culture that is not like any other I have read before. The people live behind castle walls, protected by prized warriors and magical amulets to fight the effects of the cursed monsters that threaten to destroy humanity. One scratch or bite and anyone can turn into that which they most fear. So the warriors must be rigid and single minded in their fight. There are no marriages or families. No children. And for the women warriors, no sex.
Tardon and Arianna are two elite warriors of the highest order. Each burns for the other. Not only is that completely forbidden, but neither realizes that their feelings are returned, until Arianna’s brother falls ill and she reaches out to Tardon for help.
I can appreciate that fantasies often show us there is more than one way for a woman to be strong, but it’s cool to see that sometimes she can be powerful in a physical sense as well. Arianna is every bit the warrior that Tardon is, but she doesn’t have to sacrifice her softness to be hard. She is vulnerable in her emotions. She can’t even see how he could want her, especially since his male warrior status has afforded him trained women who have seen to his pleasure. But her insecurities make it all the sweeter as we see the depths of his attraction and affection.
I don’t want to give away too much. I will say, though, I love it when an author can turn a story on its ear with a well-executed plot twist. The story arc managed to surprise me and it kept me engaged throughout. The romance is set to turbo-angst, which works for me in that “I’d rather die than live with out you” sort of way. There’s a minimal love triangle, though there is never any doubt who will come out on top. And while the sex is something you have to wait for, I found it satisfying once it came around.
I really quite enjoyed the book. But if plot holes are a big sticking point for you, beware. Even after the big reveal comes out, there are some unanswered questions, specifically in why the rules about sex and marriage were created –especially in light of the climax. I did bother me a little once I stopped to think about it, but during the read, I just kind of slurped it up like a melting scoop of ice cream.
It looks like maybe Saldor’s story is ahead. I am on board to come back for that.
*ARC provided by author via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Curse of Gremdon
by Ciara Knight
ReRelease Date: March 5, 2015
Original Release Date: December 18, 2011