August 2012, Urban Fantasy Romance
Berkley, $7.99, 320 pages, Amazon ASIN 0425247937 Part of a series
If you saw a book described as being about King Arthur, warlocks, sorcerers, and Avalon, what kind of book would you expect? Probably the same thing that I would and we would both be way off in the case of Master of Darkness.
In the description it did say that there were werewolves involved, so I knew that this book would be a different take on a classic. I just didn’t realize how different. Miranda Drake knows that her stepfather wants her dead. That is why she needs William Justice to be her bodyguard in the first place. Warlock is determined to destroy the alternate plane, Avalon, which exists in parallel to Earth but where werewolves, vampires, witches and the like are able to interact. If he destroys Avalon, Earth and humanity will go down with the ship.
Miranda and Justice know that only they can stop Warlock. Though Miranda and Justice don’t want to, they know that if they don’t create a stronger force, they won’t be able to stop him. Like it or not, they must ally with the knights and the magae. Unless he is stopped, Warlock will destroy all of humanity. Though they don’t want to trust Arthur as an ally, Miranda would prefer that to trusting Justice with her heart. Having grown up with her abusive stepfather, the idea of attaching herself to another Alpha male scares her almost more than Warlock’s plans for world domination and destruction. Only a near death experience, and sacrifice, opens her eyes to the differences between the two.
My one concern about this book was that much of the relationship seemed to have developed in the previous books. Or maybe it happened off page. I am not sure which, but the early development of the relationship was missing in this book. Once the book hit its stride, the relationship, its development, and the story were great, but up until that point, I was confused enough that I can’t see this book as a stand-alone. But that only makes sense. This book is the finale of a nine book series, so I wouldn’t expect it to stand-alone. The finale has to tie up any left-over loose ends. Whether or not this book did a good job of that, I am not sure, but the fact that it was an enjoyable world and good characters made up for any confusion I may have felt.
Overall, and I can’t quite believe I am saying this, I liked the book a lot. Once I realized just how different it was from my expectations, I figured I would be disappointed at every turn. The last thing I expected was to have the book glued to my nose as I eagerly read it. The world was unique and creative and the writing was engaging. Miranda and Justice had my attention. Well, Justice had it from the first…ummm…page! (You’ll understand when you read it!)
While this book was not the Medieval fantasy romance that I was expecting, I really enjoyed the Mageverse world. As this is the finale of the series, that means that I have a lot of “catching up” to do with the back titles. But this unique, sometimes a little wacky, but thoroughly engaging world is worth the effort.
-- Louise VanderVliet
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