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Sword of Darkness by Kinely MacGregor

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sword of Darkness
Lords of Avalon #1

Kinley MacGregor
Medieval/Fantasy/Paranormal/Time Travel
Published in 2006

H/h - Kerrigan, the King of the fallen Camelot/Seren
Setting: England, from King Arthur's time to the present century.

Rean in June, 2011.
My rating:

                                                              [spoiler alert]
Alright, I'll try my best to keep the information in this book straight, which are a bit convulated for me wee brain! Otherwise, it's a marvelous book. I'm loving the story and the h/h, Kerrigan and Seren. There are things and terms sometimes seem a bit confusing but after reading the glossary of words once, somehow I can remember them enough to relate.

The story takes place about 600yrs after king Arthur/Arthur Pendragon's death. Camelot is under the rule of demons. Kerrigan (not his real name, he never had one; this is his title from the fey) is the demon king of the fallen Camelot, while Arthur's sister Morgen is the queen. Kerrigan's been alive for couple of centuries and lived among pure chaos and evil. He's never cared for another, always took what he wanted. But, he's hasn't always been like this. He'd been a human once with an awful childhood; his mother was a whore who abused him constantly. Kerrigan murdered her while she was trying to sale him to a few men for you-know-what. There was a scene where he thought about how hungry he'd go for days and the kind of treatment he got from people around him, was really tough to read. How he come to be with Morgen, a bit of it is described in the prologue and then throughout the story. But, ever since he's been in this dark world, he served and ultimately his power grew stronger.

Morgen is the queen of the fey, a sex-crazed demon harpy, who's truly malicious and pure evil. She's as ugly on the inside as she's fair on the outside. Her court is full of sex-crazed demon whores like her (most of them are m/f Adoni and former humans like Kerrigan) and it's all they do, apart from planning to rule the world and do evil things. Kerrigan's been one of her I-don't-know-how-many thousand lovers (but has stopped being that a longtime ago) over the centuries. Her son, Mordred has died many centuries ago but she wants to bring him back from the dead. So, she's hatched this plan, which involves Kerrigan and Seren.

Seren is a peasant girl, who loves to weave. The day she got rejected from a guild of the weavers, which has been a long time dream for her, she met two knights of the legendary Avalon, Gawain and Agravain. She couldn't believe them when they said she's the future mother of the next Penmerlin and ran from them, thinking they wanted to have 'fun' with her. On the way, a dark knight saves her and then, she's taken to a dark and gloomy place. She falls asleep and when she woke, she meets Kerrigan, the said dark night and realizes she made the mistake of willingly going into the clutches of the evil. Kerrigan knows the plan the knights of Avalon and the Penmerlin have for her. He and Morgen planned to take the Round Table from them, bartering Seren for it but their ultimate plan is to kill her. But as the days go by, somehow Kerrigan is beguiled by her gentleness, innocence and honesty. Seren also doesn't believe that Kerrigan is pure evil, she senses something different in him, something almost kind and utterly human. Kerrigan even defied Morgen for Seren (not that he was ever scared of her, just broke the 'truce' they lived with), not knowing Morgen's real plan, which is to keep them together as much as possible so that Seren's child is fathered by him, who would hold the power to revive Mordred. After a few so-called attacks from Morgen, Kerrigan takes Seren to Joyous Gard, Lancelot's resting place and keeps her there.

Seren is confused. She even planned to escape this dreaded place. She even got some tips from a so-called friend (sent by Morgen, of course), who told her that taking Kerrigan's star medal and the sword of immortality Caliburn and it's magical scabbard, will help her. For that she has to seduce Kerrigan. But, Seren is already enchanted by her dark knight. She wants to know him better; soothe his hurt, anger and the darkness she senses within him. No matter how he tries to tell her how evil he is and wants to stay away, Kerrigan has only been kind to her. He could've raped her but kept the promise he gave to her the first day. After coming to Joyous Gard with him and Blaise, his mandrake servant, Seren realizes she wants to be with him. Knowing that Kerrigan never recieved a gift ever in his life, she uses her only treasure, a scarlet cloth she weaved and embroidered for the guild and makes a tunic for him.

I loved many scenes in this book; one was seeing Seren crying for the cloth, Kerrigan goes back to Camelot and retrieves it for her. Also, the way he yearns for her innocent touch and words were amazing to read. But, when Seren takes the cloth to give it to Kerrigan, she got stabbed by him. It was some scene! Kerrigan was napping and she startled him. Blaise, who masquerades in his human form most of the times, saves Seren with his magic. Kerrigan felt helpless for the first time in his damned life, knowing his evil power is useless in this regard. After that, when Seren wakes up and finds herself alright, hot scenes follow and they give into the temptation. Even knowing he's got no tender feelings for her, Seren decides that her virginity would be her gift to Kerrigan.

Morgen comes back with her dragon and gargoyle troups knowing (though her demonic power of course) that Seren is pregnant already and attacks Kerrigan's castle. Kerrigan tries his best to save them using his own power but knows it's not gonna hold them much longer. In between, the ghost of Lancelot comes to Seren, tells her she's already pregnant and that Kerrigan will kill her and the baby once he finds out. Seren doesn't believe him and later realizes Kerrigan means to hold her baby for the power it'll be born with to help him rule the world. Seren is appalled. She promises Kerrigan that she'll do anything to save her son (yah, they all know the gender) from this atrocity.

Blaise is a very wise character. He gives both Kerrigan and Seren really worthwhile advices. He also senses something in Seren and after seeing the way she can weave and sew so effortlessly as she worked on Kerrigan's tunic, Blaise is sure she's got something magic in her. But, what it is, I'm not sure yet.
*************

WOW! I mean really, so so beautiful. This book, the last few chapters just took my breath away. Oh, Kerrigan! You're a sweet pea and I wanna hug you tight. And, Seren did prove herself. Even with all those 21st century head banging stuffs, it was a worthwhile read. I'm giving it a 5 stars with a wistful heart. *sigh*

As the story progressed, Morgen tried to break through Kerrigan's shield, the one he put with his powers to protect Seren and their unborn child. Though he repeatedly said he wants the child because he wants to rule the world, in truth, Kerrigan was confused of the feeling that Seren invokes in him and also, the dreams of a family that keep flashing through his mind. Then, at one point, it was revealed that Seren is actually a Merlin herself. Blaise and Kerrigan both tells her that though at first she doesn't believe it, later on, a few things about her mother and the loom she gave to her when Seren was young, convinces her that it might be true. The loom is magical, it's called the the Loom of Caswallan. In between, Lancelot's ghost, again, tries to convince Seren to kill Kerrigan and take Caliburn from him. When she doesn't give him, he puts a spell on her and then she tries to kill him but Kerrigan thwarts the attempt. Seren gets her first taste of dark power after touching the sword and begins understanding Kerrigan's state of being even more. Brea, a Celtic God, who is on the side of the  good and been fighting with Kerrigan for Caliburn, visits them then and asks Seren to give up the sword. He was probably who was masquerading as Lancelot's ghost. Seren denies his command. Afterwards, Kerrigan and Seren talk and make love. Morgen sends a gargoyle (former human, cursed by Morgen) named Garafyn to talk with him but the gargoyle tells Kerrigan that he'll help him escape if Kerrigan takes him and his stone legions with him. Kerrigan had no other option but to trust him, though reluctantly.

Later, Seren then asks Kerrigan to help her use her magic powers so that together they can fight Morgen. Kerrigan was weakening. Kerrigan tells Seren that he also possesses Merlin blood, he unknown father must've had it but didn't even know and that's why when he found Caliburn, it worked and Morgen took him in. Then, even though all his being revolted to take her innocence (in a way), Kerrigan does the ancient ritual of power sharing and gives Seren a portion of his dark magic. It was a crazy ceremony with blood taking/sucking and Seren sees a lot of Kerrigan's past through flashes; the same happens to Kerrigan too. The most beautiful thing to me was, as Seren lies in Kerrigan's arms, shaking from the violence of her new power, she looks at him and tells him she knows what his eye color was when he was human; it was a pure, crystal blue. Kerrigan tells her it was a long time ago. It was a beautiful yet such a melancholy scene!

Seren's mother visits Seren in her dreams, telling her she must look into her heart to figure out her destiny and things regarding Kerrigan. She gives Seren another star emblemmed medal, one just like Kerrigan's which is a token for anyone possessing Merlin blood. This interaction between mother and daughter was sad yet beautiful, too. Seren's mother also tells her that she's going to have a daughter. Next day, with the help of Garafyn, they escape to the 21st century, knowing in this century Morgen will have problem opening portals. Kerrigan conjures up a mobile home and calls out to Brea again. He tells Seren she must go to Avalon with Brea, which is the safest place for her and the baby. In private, he makes a bargain with Brea; Seren and his child's safety in exchange for Caliburn. Brea is totally speechless! But, it was done. Seren asks Kerrigan to come back to her soon and he promises with a lie about going to Avalon, to her. Very reluctantly but with his promise, Seren leaves with Brea for Avalon.

There she's fine but afterwards she understood Kerrigan lied to him about coming back to Avalon. The Merlin tells her its not possible since Kerrigan doesn't belong here anymore. In the meantime, Kerrigan goes to the shop where Seren worked and retrieves her loom and her scanty belongings. He was humbled seeing the way she lived. Then, he sends Blaise with those to Avalon, even gave away the star amulet, which can open portals. Blaise understood what Kerrigan wants. He also asks Blaise to make sure that Seren marries a knight and their child isn't born a bastard. After that, Kerrigan summons Morgen and surrenders .... Me, I was screaming, oh God, why???? :(

Seren was already beginning to balance her dark and good powers in Avalon, also kept Caliburn with her, always thinking of Kerrigan. The communication between Seren and Kerrigan through their thoughts and the longing it held was so good, I can't explain in words. Just thinking of them bring tears to my eyes. An archer of Avalon tells Seren that Kerrigan lied to her about traveling around the world and seeing places while dodging Morgen. Seren couldn't believe him. She calls out to Kerrigan, who remained silent. Seren realizes it might be the truth after all and that she has to do something, anything to save her love. Resolved in the plan to rescue him from that b*tch, Seren asks for Blaise and Garafyn's help and was granted. Even Elaine, a female knight of Avalon agrees to help her on this journey.

Kerrigan was being severely tortured by Morgen which was pretty hard for me to read. That b*tch, wish I could get my paws on her! Queen of the fey, my arse! I was thinking, once upon a time Kerrigan slept with this nasty harpy?! Ugh. Days of torture leaves Kerrigan almost dead and without Caliburn, he's become mortal once again. He also knows for a fact that he loves Seren with all his being. Then Morgen takes him to the center hall to had him killed by one of her knights. Kerrigan fought but knew in his state, he doesn't stand a chance. This is when Seren intervenes and the rest of it was a blast! I was impressed by the way she talks to the b*tch. The scenes that follow and the fights, they were great.... Then the epilogue, another beautiful part of the book. I adored it, simply adored it. Ohhhhh Kerrigan! To hear him call Seren "Lady Mouse" or "Little Mouse" ... *more sighs*

In the end, Morgen finds Kerrigan's successor and ... bla bla bla, as if I care about that b*tch!


Favorite Quote:

She glanced up from his lips to those dark eyes that smoldered with his fire. She remembered now what they had looked like as she'd seen him before Morgen had entered his world. "Your eyes used to be blue."

"That was a long time ago."

-Seren to Kerrigan

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Punya
I'm a simple girl. I love to read in my spare time and do reviews the books I read. I also write, mostly songs/poems, though I'm not published. I love music and traveling. Sometimes, I wish I could live inside a book, having my own HEA. :)
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