Knights of the Black Swan #7
by Victoria Danann
98,650 words Print Length: 291 pages
Publisher: 7th House, Imprint of Andromeda LLC (May 22, 2014)
E-Galley provided by author for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
When Sovereign Solomon Nemamiah lay dying on a beach under an overturned vehicle with his fiancée helplessly sobbing next to him, he made a vow to himself that he would refuse to stay in some arbitrary afterlife. He silently promised to return and finish what he started with The Order of the Black Swan and the love of his life. When the new Sovereign of Jefferson Unit begins saying and doing things that remind people of Sol, it raises suspicion in the minds of people who were closest to him.
Dr. Mercy Renaux is a new hire archeologist seeking to change her life and find something to blot out the guy she can’t forget. Sir Rafael Nightsong, bad boy member of the infamous Z Team, is the guy she can’t forget. When his team is assigned to escort the recent recruit to Bulgaria on a mission to contain irrefutable evidence that vampire exist, they both wish they worked for somebody else. VictoriaDanann.me
This book is perfectly paced; it drew me in from page one and kept me awake lo-o-o-o-ng past my bedtime. I noted this pacing as I was reading; when we would jump between character story lines, she would bring me back to the one she had dangled in front of me earlier at just the right time. Other members of Victoria’s cast of vampire fighting characters are in the background as the Black Swan Knights Jefferson Unit Sovereign, Sol and the Operational Administrator, Farnsworth, get the lion’s share of attention. Second up are Z team member Raif Nightsong and archaeologist Mercedes Renaux.
I felt the strongest themes to be the power of coincidence in any dimension, and humanity’s nature as the chess pieces of fate. There’s a lot of synchronicity. Mercy meeting Raif, and then meeting him again, and several more. You know, along the lines of oh-my-it-is-a-small-world-isn’t-it? I live in Maine where we seem to come up with a lot of events like that but these are really special co-inky-dinks that brings almost every aspect of the series so far together.
Victoria’s writing style is different, occasionally more of a storyteller around the fire imparting wisdom along with plot and character. In the seven books she’s written I have watched it smooth out more and more and become more professional.
These books MUST be read in series order to be properly understood and enjoyed. To this end, Victoria has placed the first book in the series on permafree status as an ebook. The books build out in linear time and each picks up its plot line from the place that particular story line ended.
Personally, I was pissed off that Victoria killed off Sol in the last book. I know she must have wanted to explore the race of supernatural beings who play a strange game of multi-verse chess, including the Loti dimension where the first book began. But, still I thought it was mean. Of course,m I also knew (from the epilogue) that he’d be coming back.
That’s important: for someone as jaded as I am, feeling anything like that about a character is a sign that there is something special in a series or in a book. I read a lot and half the time don’t recall the character’s names while I am reading; I simply reduce them to male love interest and female love interest. There’s rarely anything interesting enough to make me give a hoot. That’s why when I care I take note. And, while at times Victoria’s style was a little “tell-ish” I liked its exuberance and her unusual characters and ate all the books up as fast as I could. She writes without creative restraint; like someone who has quelled all the “you can’t do that” in her head.
Any review of a volume in the series is a review of the whole series. They are that interlaced. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the KNIGHTS OF THE BLACK SWAN and SOLOMON’S SIEVE. This is an indy-published book that opened me up to self-published authors (originally met through Bewitching Book Tours).
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