Blade of Darkness (Immortal Guardians #7)
Read: 26th – 28th October 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So what’s this book about?
Blade of Darkness is book seven (approx 541 pages) in Ms Duvall’s popular Immortal Guardians Series (currently 7 novels plus 2 novellas); a paranormal romance tale that I think could sit happily on an urban fantasy shelf due to some of the grittier content, set in our modern human world featuring a new twist on the vampire genre.
Immortals and vampires are both infected with the same virus, which lends them dramatically increased strength, speed, healing capabilities and enhanced senses. Vampires are humans who have been infected, whereas immortals are gifted ones who have been infected. Gifted ones are men and women who were born with extremely advanced DNA that lends them special gifts, such as healing, telepathy, precognition and the like. Vampires rapidly descend into madness when the virus damages their brains but Immortals don’t; their advanced DNA protects them from that aspect of the virus.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Dana Pembroke has been able to glimpse the future of those she touches for as long as she can remember. But she never saw Aidan coming. When the tall, dark Celt with the charming grin yet world-weary eyes walks through her door, the future she sees for him is one full of violence, danger, deception… and passion. Because amidst the terrifying battles that unfold in her visions, she also sees herself in Aidan’s arms and in his bed. Dana knows she should keep her distance, but the tender moments and laughter they share entice her even as she finds herself thrust into a world of vampires, immortals, and other preternatural beings.
Immortal Guardian Aidan O’Byrne has been hunting and slaying psychotic vampires for nearly three thousand years, so visions of bloody battles don’t trouble him. The battles Dana foresees, however, show Aidan’s brethren turning against him, so he can’t help but feel alarmed. While he spends as much time as he can with Dana, struggling to decipher her dire predictions, Aidan finds himself utterly smitten. Hope rises that he has finally found a woman who can banish the darkness and loneliness that plague him. But when vampires begin targeting Dana and a powerful enemy spawns chaos, will fate grant them time to find happiness together?
In all honestly, I don’t think that Blade of Darkness can be read as a standalone story, you’d miss the nuances of knowing the existing characters, understanding the dynamics of relationships and ongoing plot lines. As with most series, there are background story arcs that are concluded within this book while others are left to continue into the next one, and possibly beyond. Having said that, the romance aspect of the tale between Aidan and Dana is concluded by the end of this book in Ms Duvall’s signature HEA style and she does try to ensure her new readers aren’t lost by weaving more pertinent information about past adventures and existing characters into this story.
So, what did I like about it?
I really like Ms Duvall’s writing style and find her books very easy to read (but not so easy to put down! Lol!); she writes intelligent, engaging stories with a collection of well written characters, set against an imaginative world that cleverly mixes fantasy and reality, making it so easy to submerse oneself completely in her books. The pace of her stories is usually fast, full of action and contains a couple of plot lines which run alongside the main romantic story arc, but fear not lovely readers, she manages to pack this all in without making you feel overwhelmed, bewildered or lost. Blade of Darkness did not let me down.
I love books where the characters are not black or white, good or evil but a multifaceted mix of positive and negative traits and thankfully most of the characters within the Immortal Guardians world are like this. The fact that the characters within these pages have been written with personalities that we can see in the real world around us – even though the majority of them are mythical, paranormal beings – adds that level of believability to this fantasy tale for me. Like most avid readers, I need to see character development through a story; having to embrace qualities in themselves that they hate and/or having to overcome challenges to get their HEA be it emotional, social or physical and woah! there’s certainly enough personal growth going on in this story to satisfy even me.
I connect to a story more if the lead female character is intelligent, resilient and has a good sense of humour that’s similar to my own and I wasn’t disappointed here. Dana was brilliant, what an inspiring woman! We had already met Aidan from previous books and he had already gone from villain to good guy before we start Blade of Darkness but I enjoyed finding more about him in this book and loved the tension, distrust and uncertainty that Ms Duvall created in this tale. I liked the way that all of the characters in this story were written – even the villains of the tale – as I’ve said before, none of them were flat 2-dimensional creations, they all felt very real. Oh, and like most Brits I do love a bit of well timed banter – again I found myself COL (Chuckling Out Loud) throughout this book.
The mystery/thriller aspect of this tale kept me guessing, the action kept me on the edge of my seat, the romance between Aidan and Dana (and the other couples in the book) warmed my heart, the banter kept me giggling and the passion set my tummy a-tingling. *oh my*
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Nope – even though some of the more violent scene sent my emotions spinning, there’s nothing about this book that I didn’t absolutely love!!
So, basically what I’m saying is…
Loved it – couldn’t stop reading this book!
It had everything that I look for in a 5 star book; intelligent writing style that’s easy to read, main characters with depth of personality that I can like (or love to hate) and believe in, depth of character in the supporting cast, believable background story/setting and a balanced mix of relationship and/or romance to action scenes and sex scenes. I was left breathless wondering where Ms Duvall would take us next in this addictive series!
Due to the graphic nature of the violence and sex scenes, I would only recommend this book to adults who are not offended by this sort of content, so if you enjoy strong alpha heroes and independent capable heroines, tense and often traumatic and brutal confrontations and hot lust/romance scenes then give this book a go.
So, has my review of BLADE OF DARKNESS (IMMORTAL GUARDIANS #7) encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See BLADE OF DARKNESS on Goodreads.com