I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Garnet Dagger by Andrea R. Cooper
Series: Legends of Oblivion #1
Published by Crimson Romance on March 25, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Forbidden to cross the Elvin barrier into human lands, Brock cannot sate his curiosity. Cursed by a vampyre bite that forces him to feed on the life-essence of others, he is unable to touch another without taking their life. Chained by prophesy, he must find a witch, pierce her heart, and draw her blood for his cure.
Celeste must escape the monks who have held her prisoner for years. Her magic has been kept dormant by her captors. An ancient powerful Warloc craves her powers. If he succeeds in devouring her magic, she and the world will die.
When Brock falls in love with Celeste before realizing her demise is his cure, will love triumph over his desire to be healed? Will he risk everything to save her from a Warloc, an oath breaker, who also wants her dead?
My Initial Reaction…
More than anything, I was swept away by the creativity of this book. Cooper satisfies your expectations, by giving you elves, vampires (which she spells vampyre), and witches but then she topples those expectations by making each fantasy creature so different from anything you’ve read. And to mix it up, she throws in a few you’ve never heard of. This book drew me in and I had a hard time setting it down when it was time to go to bed.
The story centers on the quest of an elf, named Brock, to heal his lands, save his people, and cure himself of his curse. Brock finds humans interesting and longs to see more of them. His curiosity lands him in serious trouble, though. One day traveling in human lands (despite strict orders not to cross the elven barrier), Brock encounters a vampire and is changed by the vampire’s bite, igniting a set of prophecy fulfilling events with him right at the center, whether he likes it or not. The fate of his people and their lands now lie in his hands – to save them he must pierce the heart and spill the blood of one witch, whom he must find using a magical garnet dagger. On top of that, he has been cursed by the vampire’s bite; he sucks the life force from all whom he touches.
He finds Celeste, a witch gifted with healing powers, but imprisoned by monks and eventually he learns that she is the witch of the prophecy. But not before they’ve each saved each other’s lives, gotten to know each other, and started to fall in love. Not to mention they are constantly fighting for their lives against all sorts of magical creatures, sent by an evil warlock determined to twist the prophecies to his will. The action is thrilling, the creativity constantly surprises, and the romance will touch your heart. This is not one of those insta-love scenarios where you find yourself rolling your eyes at the incredulity. The situations that Brock and Celeste are thrown into shape their relationship in very believable, topsy-turvy ways.
I do have a few minor complaints that keep this book from being a 5 star read for me The moments of prophecy were sometimes confusing for me and I had to slow down and reread them to fully understand what was happening. Likewise some of the action scenes snuck up so quickly that I found myself reading back to find what transition I had missed. Sometimes it was there, but a bit awkward and unclear. At other times it was missing altogether. The author also has a habit of writing fragmented sentences, missing the subject- usually the “I” – for example: “Told them of the human clothes, and sneaking out.” I don’t mind, this style from time to time for effect, in fact I even like it. But it was overused in my opinion (you can open almost any page randomly and find one) and didn’t have the desired effect most the time. These shortcomings certainly wouldn’t keep me from recommending the book or reading another one by the author, but they do distract at times.
Although this story is told from Brock’s point of view, it was Celeste that I was addicted to; when I was reading sections with her in them, I could not put the book down. Celeste is a strong character, whom you can’t help but fall in love with. I loved the way she handled people, from strangers she encountered on her travels to Brock himself. She may have suffered for years as a prisoner forced to heal her fellow prisoners, just so that they could be tortured further, but she is not a victim. Her time behind bars, cruelly starved and tortured, have made her strong and compassionate, not weak or hardened. She also manages moments of humor, making her the perfect character for me.
Brock, on the other hand, has had an easier life by all accounts, and is weak for it. Don’t get me wrong – his Elven strength and speed, combined with his deadly vampiric touch make him a force to reckon with on any battle field. But he is infuriatingly weak-minded at times. I can’t tell you how many times at yelled at him and wanted to reach into the book and tell him what to do. But he does have moments of clarity and at those moments I love him as a character. His conflict comes through perfectly (if not infuriatingly at times) and I really felt how he struggled to make his decision.
Cooper is very skilled at making you care about characters; in fact, a few showed up in the story for little more than a few pages and already I cared about them and their fate (for example, Laurel, whom you’ll meet in chapter twenty-one). The side stories and characters are few, but when they do appear they only add to the story.
This is a great, refreshingly creative story. The characters are well-written and the story has several unexpected twists and turns that will keep you hooked until the end.
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