Knight of Darkness (Lords of Avalon Series #2)

Knight of Darkness (Lords of Avalon Series #2)

4.3 55
by Kinley MacGregor
     
 

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For countless centuries, I've been the assassin for the infamous Merlin, even though the woman who birthed me sits at the right hand of our enemy, Morgen le Fey. Now both my mother and Morgen have decided that it's time I take my place on their side of this conflict.

Normally, telling them no wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that the good guys I protect

Overview

For countless centuries, I've been the assassin for the infamous Merlin, even though the woman who birthed me sits at the right hand of our enemy, Morgen le Fey. Now both my mother and Morgen have decided that it's time I take my place on their side of this conflict.

Normally, telling them no wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that the good guys I protect think that I'm an even worse demon than the ones we fight. Hmm, maybe they're right. I have to say that I do enjoy maiming anyone who gets in my way.

At least until my mother gives me a simple choice: join Morgen's Circle of the Damned or see an innocent woman die. I'm all for saving the innocent, but Merewyn isn't as innocent as she seems. And she's none too fond of the fact that her fate is in my dubious hands. Personally I'm all for taking the easy way out, but leaving her to Morgen is rough, even for me. Now the only way to save both our lives is to face the evilest forces ever known—my mother and Morgen. And two people who know nothing of trust must learn to rely on each other or die: provided we don't kill each other first.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Kinley MacGregor creates another wonderful dark hero in this new romantic fantasy, the latest entry in the Lords of Avalon series. Varian Du Fey, hit man for Merlin, might just be the baddest of the bad, and no wonder -- his father was the traitor Lancelot, and his mother, the right hand of Morgan Le Fey. Raised on hatred and anger, Varian has grown into a powerful sorcerer, one of the few able to walk safely between Camelot and Avalon. But his mother, Narishka, has a plan to exploit his one weakness -- pity. Varian is kind to an old crone, who turns out to be the princess Merewyn, transformed into ugliness by Varian's mother. Merewyn is reverted to beauty, but on a timer -- she's got three weeks to seduce Varian, who has been trapped and tortured in a dungeon. But Merewyn has her own standards; together they make their escape, and after many spells and much magic, uncover the traitor who killed a Grail Knight and find their own safe harbor. Ginger Curwen

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061340918
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/08/2007
Series:
Lords of Avalon Series , #2
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Pages:
420
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.95(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Knight of Darkness


By Kinley MacGregor

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Kinley MacGregor
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060796626

Chapter One

"There's a traitor among us."

With a completely stoic expression, Varian duFey looked up from the desk where he was wasting time on a Sudoku puzzle to meet Merlin's worried gaze. As always, she was dressed in a long white medieval styled gown that was trimmed in gold, while her pale flaxen hair fell around her shoulders and down her back like a mantle of silk. Unlike the Merlin who'd served King Arthur, Aquila Penmerlin was lithe and young, with a beauty that was only surpassed by her intelligence and magick.

Scratching his chin, Varian merely arched a single brow at her agitated demeanor. "No shit, Sherlock. There's always a traitor among us."

Closing the distance between them, she cradled his chin in her hand and forced him to look up at her. Those cold blue eyes bored into him, and by the sharp turn of her perfectly shaped lips he could tell she didn't find his words amusing. Before he could move, she waved her hand in a circle before his face, causing a mist to form a ball in the air. As the mist swirled, it began to reveal an image.

It showed a man in his mid twenties lying facedown in a pool of his own blood . . . only the blood wasn't red, it was a dark sickly gray . . . as was everything in the picture. That told him that the body wasn't in the world of man or in Avalon. It was on the "other" side--the one that wascontrolled by unrelenting evil.

Beautiful, just beautiful. He could see right where this was heading . . . straight down a shitty road that ended with him getting screwed over.

Again.

He must truly be a masochist, otherwise, he'd get up right now, tell her to shove it, and leave.

If only it were that easy.

Varian narrowed his gaze on the man's body. Dressed in the chain-mail armor and dark surcoat that were common for mid twelfth-century -England, the dead man had one arm outstretched -toward an old stone building as if he'd been -reaching for help when he'd died. Not that anyone in that particular realm would ever stoop to help someone, at least not unless an obscene amount of money had changed hands.

But that wasn't what disturbed Varian, nor did he care that it was obvious from the bruises and cuts that the man had been severely beaten and tortured before death had spared him. What made his heart stop beating was the sight of where the knight's armor had been torn free of his left shoulder blade to reveal the tattoo of a dragon encircled by fire rising out of a goblet. There were only a handful of men who bore that mark, and their names were a very carefully guarded secret. More than that, they were men who'd been imbued with extremely strong magick. That alone should have kept the dead man safe from whatever had killed him.

"A grail knight?"

Merlin nodded as she released him and stepped back. "Tarynce of Essex. Morgen's MODs seized him before I could dispatch aid. They dragged him from his home in medieval England through the veil into Glastonbury, where they killed him."

Little wonder that. He personaly knew several of Morgen's minions of death, and they were a hardy bunch who lived for the opportunity to kill anything. To be unleashed against an original knight of the Round Table was something they would sell their own mothers for. There was nothing they loved more than to bathe in the blood of their enemies . . . or their friends either for that matter.

"Did they learn anything from him?" he asked Merlin.

The worry returned to her brow. "I don't know. No one does, except the MODs or Morgen. That's why I need you."

How he hated those words. He'd long grown tired of being Merlin's tool. She was forever asking him to ferret out traitors and information from the other side. And when the traitor needed executing, that, too, was his job. Honestly, he wanted to absolve himself from these distasteful tasks. He was tired of being caught between Merlin and Morgen. "You don't need me for this."

"Yes, I do. From the way his armor was torn from his shoulder, it appears they knew to look for the mark. Someone had to tell them of it, and if Morgen has learned that, then she knows how to identify the remaining grail knights. We are all in danger, Varian. You are in danger."

He had to stamp down an extremely sarcastic "duh" at her dire tone. He was always in danger from someone or something. So what? Even now, he lived among his enemies, and they made no bones about the fact that none of them would mourn his death.

"You can't scare me, Merlin," he said quietly. "I'm too old for ghost stories, and I really don't give a rat's ass about Morgen or her flock. If they want to come for me, notify the undertaker. He'll need to stock up on body bags."

"Then you don't care that the rest of the grail knights are to be slaughtered like animals?"

He met her question with one of his own. "Should I?"

She shook her head at him. "As fellow members of the Round Table, they're your brothers."

Yeah, right. None of them had any more care for him than he had for them. If the tables were turned, they'd hand him over without a second thought. "Tell that to them."

Merlin reached out a kind hand to touch his forearm. She alone knew that kindness was one of the few things that could render him weak. He'd had so little experience with it that it baffled him, and he never knew how to react.

"Please, Varian. For me. You're the only one I trust to go inside Glastonbury and look around for information. I have a traitor who told Morgen about that tattoo and Tarynce. . . .



Continues...

Excerpted from Knight of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor Copyright © 2006 by Kinley MacGregor. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Kinley MacGregor lives a life of extraordinary danger...as does any woman with three sons, a husband, a menagerie of pets, and a collection of swords that all of the above have a major fixation with. But when not running interference (or dashing off to the emergency room), she can be found chained to her computer where she likes to play with all her imaginary friends. With more than ten million copies of her books in print, in 26 countries, she certainly has a lot of friends to play with, too.

Writing as Kinley MacGregor and Sherrilyn Kenyon, she is the author of several series including: The Dark-Hunters, Brotherhood of the Sword, Lords of Avalon, and BAD. With an international, cult following, her books have appeared in the top three on the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller lists.

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Knight of Darkness (Lords of Avalon Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
Bythesword More than 1 year ago
This was a great read, but very dissappointed in the writer for not finishing the series. What the use in having a series and not completing it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Maybe it's from all those math&science classes, but I could not get past the fantasy to enjoy the love story. All the strange landscapes and wierd creatures were just distracting. For example, Merewyn having motherly feelings towards a rock that was to grow up to be a gargoyle? What kind of nonsense is that? And what was the point of the triplets? How did they advance the storyline? And Blaise droning on for pages about Varian's personal history...I liked Blaise in 'Sword of Darkness' but not in this book. I was sort of hoping that Blaise would persue Merewyn and set up a conflict between himself and Varian-now that would have been an interesting turn! I've been reading MacGregors's books in order and I think this was really the worst. Sorry, but it's my opinion.
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IAmy More than 1 year ago
I have mixed feelings about this book. I’m not sorry I read it, but I wasn’t excited about the story. I almost gave it a two star rating, but after the halfway mark it did have some scenes that really worked for me and ended up boosting my star count for the title. This was another book written by Ms. Kenyon under a pen name, and while I can see her in the text I can totally understand why they went that way when releasing this book. The last one I read, Sword of Darkness, was more similar to her current Dark Hunter series then this one. Kinda. I think this book just bugged me in spots. So what didn’t work for me… There was too much reference to pop culture again. Enough, half the characters didn’t get the jokes and it just made the story lose credibility in my opinion. A little is okay, but this was a case of too much of a good thing and it weighed the story down. It died down about half way through the story, just around the time it picked up for me. I also had a tough time bonding with Merewyn. She wasn’t a typical heroine for Ms. Kenyon and I spent much of the book not caring for her much. I liked Varian, but didn’t love him. If Blaise wasn’t in the story it would have been a much more difficult book for me to get through. It wasn’t a total loss though. The characters did come around and grew in substance. They learned their lessons and became worthy of each other. There was an interesting man, Faran, that was in the last book as well. He had only a few short pages, but I so hope that he comes back in future books and we get to learn his story. We met up with the hero and heroine from the last book at the end and it was nice to see how they have fared. Over all I’m just not that excited about this little series by Ms. Kenyon. I’ll continue to read the next book and love the direction it is taking in the Dark Hunter world, but I think one reading is going to be plenty. Those that are thinking of reading this because of Son of No One… Not sure the call on that one. On one hand it is nice to have the back story, but you will be fine without it.
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Great book! This was the first book I read in the series, and I enjoyed very much. I do recommend this book to people who love books with romance, wizards, and half demons with a hinded gentleness. This book has it all: it has adventure, romance, and some comedy in this story.
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