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Sword of Darkness

Sword of Darkness

4.2 91
by Kinley MacGregor

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The new king of Camelot wears no shining armor: Arthur and his knights have fallen and a new king rules.

In the darkest forest...

A scared, forsaken youth has become the most powerful—and feared—man in the world. Ruthless and unrestrained, Kerrigan has long ceased to be human.

In the heart of London...

A spirited peasant mired in


The new king of Camelot wears no shining armor: Arthur and his knights have fallen and a new king rules.

In the darkest forest...

A scared, forsaken youth has become the most powerful—and feared—man in the world. Ruthless and unrestrained, Kerrigan has long ceased to be human.

In the heart of London...

A spirited peasant mired in drudgery, Seren dreams of becoming her own woman, but never expects that by fleeing her fate, she will meet her destiny.

Their worlds are forever changed...

Kerrigan's goal is simple: barter or kill Seren to claim Arthur's Round Table. Yet she is the one person who holds no fear of him. More than that, her nobility sparks something foreign inside him. In his nether realm, kindness is weakness and a king who harbors any sort of compassion loses his throne.

For countless centuries, Kerrigan has lived alone in the shadows. Now Seren's courage has forced him into the light that will bring either salvation to both of them...or death.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Lords of Avalon , #1
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Sword of Darkness

By Kinley MacGregor

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Kinley MacGregor
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060565446

Chapter One

Seren stood before the aged guild masters with all her hopes showing brightly on her face as they examined the workmanship of her precious scarlet cloth. They reminded her of a group of crows, swathed in black, gathered over their latest victim. But not even that thought could dampen her hopes that they each held in their gnarled hands.

For the whole of the last year, she had worked diligently on the scarlet cloth they examined, using every spare coin, every spare moment to prepare it. Like a woman possessed, she had dragged out her mother's old wooden loom at night and worked with only the firelight to guide her.

With every brush of her comb, every thread, she had felt the power of her creation.

It was perfect. There were no discrepancies in the dye or stitches. Truly, it was a masterpiece.

And if they accepted it, then she would finally be a journeywoman and a guild member. At long last, she would be her own person! All her dreams of freedom and of being paid coin for her hard work would come true. There would be no more days of working from sunup to sundown for room and board from Master Rufus, of having to scrub clothes late at night for Mistress Maude to pay for her supplies.

She could sell her own cloth . . .

She could --

"Not good enough."

Seren blinked at the harsh pronouncement as she stared at the four men before her. "P-pardon?"

"Not good enough," the master craftsman said with a curl to his lips as he looked at her work. "I wouldn't use it for a horse blanket."

Seren couldn't breathe as her heart shrank. Nay! He was wrong. He had to be. "But I -- "

"Take it," he said, tossing the cloth at her. "Come back to us when you're worthy of the trade."

The red cloth stung her face from the force of his throw. Unable to move, she stood there with it falling from her head to her arms. Instinctively, she held it to her even though she didn't know why she bothered to protect it since it was now worthless to her.

Her soul cried out in disappointment as all her dreams withered and died in the cold room.

How could they say such a thing about her work? It was a lie. She knew it. Her cloth was perfect.


She wanted to scream that word, but all the bitter disappointment gathered in her throat to tighten it and choke her until she could no longer speak. This couldn't be happening. It couldn't be real.

Someone came forward and pulled her away from the masters, toward the door in the back. Tears fell uncontrollably from her face as the harsh words echoed repeatedly in her head.

How could her cloth not be worthy?

"I spent all my time on this," she whispered, her heart breaking. "All my precious coin." She'd worn rags so she could buy the materials she'd needed to produce the cloth. She'd gone all winter with holes in her shoes, only to be told that all her sacrifices had been in vain.

How could this be?

" 'Tis not your cloth," the man whispered as he pulled her from the hall. "There are too many weavers here. They will admit no more to the guild until one leaves or dies."

Was that supposed to comfort her? To feed her? Nay, it did nothing but make her angry.

Damn them all for this.

"Take my word for it, child, you are better off without being in the guild."

"How so?"

He placed her hand on her cloth and gave her a peculiar look of warning. "You have much larger matters to concern yourself with than being an apprentice. Believe me."

Before she could ask him what he meant, the man pushed her out into the street. She heard him bolt the door behind her.

Seren stood there on the stoop of the guildhall with all her dreams shattered. She was an apprentice still, and so long as she bore that title, she couldn't charge a fee for her work. Couldn't marry. Couldn't do anything more than what Master Rufus or Mistress Maude told her to do.

She had no life to call her own. And from the looks of it, she never would.

Bitter anger washed through her as she stared at her perfect, useless cloth.

"What good are you?" she sobbed. By law, she couldn't even use the cloth to make a gown for herself. Only those of noble birth could wear the bright color. It was fit for naught but burning.

All was lost.

"Excuse me?"

Seren wiped at the tears on her face as she turned to see a tall, well-dressed knight nearing her. His golden blond hair brushed his incredibly wide shoulders. He was dressed in mail armor covered by a deep green surcoat that bore a rampant silver stag . . . The weave of said garment was not nearly so fine as her scarlet cloth, and yet she held no doubt it had been made by someone those beasts had granted guild status to while denying it to her.

Stop it, Seren.

The cloth he wore wasn't important. The fact that a man of his class spoke to her was. She couldn't imagine what he might want with her.

Making sure that she didn't offend him by meeting his gaze, she spoke in an even, calm tone. "Is there something I can do for you, my lord?"

He glanced behind him toward another handsome knight who looked close enough in features to be a relation of some sort. Only that knight had his blond hair cut shorter and wore a well-trimmed beard.

"Are you Seren of York, the weaver's apprentice?"

She cocked her head suspiciously, wondering how noblemen had learned her name and why they would know it. "Why do you ask me such, my lord?"


Excerpted from Sword 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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Sword of Darkness (Lords of Avalon Series #1) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 91 reviews.
XXXOOOBookwormOOOXXX More than 1 year ago
The writing is lovely and whimsical. The plot is distinctive and interesting. The biggest problem is the characters. I think that the heroine was too good and too bland. The hero didn’t develop enough to change sides from evil to good. The secondary characters were flat, too. I did find the switching of speech patterns from modern day slang to medieval speech distracting. I understand the point with the time travel, but it interrupted the dialogue flow. Ok, ok, I did really like the reference to Comic Con. Camelot has fallen. Arthur isn’t king. Evil has won and ruled for three hundred years. Now, there’s a potential game changer. A peasant woman is foretold to be the future mother of a powerful penmerlin. Whichever side holds the future penmerlin, wins all the power. The winner has the power over Camelot, Avalon, and the mortal world, past and present. The problem is that the evil king of Camelot has possession of the peasant woman. The king, who only wants to kill, isn’t so willing to kill this woman. I enjoyed this book. It's a twist on Arthur, Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. The idea behind this is creative and most enjoyable. Seren is lever headed likable. I liked Kerrigan too, I think he grew the most out of the couple. Seren and Kerrigan have a true connection and it comes across to the reader wonderfully. The pace is fast and kept my attention. The plot is complex and interesting. I look forward to the next in the series. I highly recommend anything from Kinely MacGregor (Sherrilyn Kenyon).   
harstan More than 1 year ago
King Arthur is dead and Morgen has placed amoral Kerrigan of the darkest shadows on the throne of Camelot Kerrigan, more demon than human, a soulless one that the Knights of the Round Table fear. The only hope for the future resides in a peasant Seren, but Morgen recognizes she, if allowed to grow, will be the next Merlin and a threat to her rule.----- Kerrigan captures the innocent Seren, who knows what she faces and boldly challenges her jailer even as she concludes that she must use her female charms to seduce Kerrigan in order to escape because wizardry will prove futile. Shockingly her courage and spirit reaches perhaps the last human cell inside Kerrigan¿s heart and to both their amazement the pure Seren and the evil Kerrigan fall in love, a feeling forbidden by Morgen.----- Camelot fans will want to read this terrific romantic fantasy, the Lords of Avalon¿s tale. The exhilarating story line contains a dark ¿villain¿ who has to choose between the redemption of love and the power of evil both very enticing. As always Kinley MacGregor insures the unbelievable seems plausible while also employing humor to enhance an overall dark plot. Fans of the series will appreciate the ¿cat and mouse¿ lead couple as love is the last enchantment either expected between them.----- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wether she writes as Kinley MacGregor or Sherilyn Kenyon - her novels are riviting, sexual and out of this world! She is a must to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon and was very excited when I found this book. As I expected it did not disappoint. From page one you are drawn in and I had to finish the book in one sitting. You fall in love with the characters, both their faults and strengths, and cheer them on for the entire story. I was also impressed with her twist on an Arthurian tale. I'm hoping that this will turn out to be another new series with many more books to follow. I can't wait to go out to get the next one to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not think I was going to like this book but picked it up since I have read and liked everything Kinley Macgregor/Sherrilyn Kenyon writes and needed something new to read. Have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed this book a great deal. The world inside this book is captivating and so different from what I have read before. The characters are interesting and have a way of wrapping you up in there struggles and rooting for them to overcome them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't think I was going to like this book, because I am not an avid fan of books about Camelot and King Arthur. However, this book completely bowled me over. I love the way Kinley MacGregor took the characters and made them her own. By adding twists and imagination to create a world so fabulous. I have read almost all her books and am waiting with anticipation for her to write another one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had me interested in reading from the moment I turned the first page. I read it in two days straight and loved the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I haven't read too much of Gregor's historical romance novels or her novels written as Sherrilyn Kennon but I decided to give this a try and it was excellent. I read it in one sitting and am eagerly waiting the next one. The hero is appealing not only because he's super hot but because he's a tortured soul. This one is for readers who love a rogue with a good heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book & read it very quickly. I'm a big fan of the Dark Hunter series (written under Sherrilyn Kenyon), but this one was different & I thought, quite good. Actually, it contained a very dark, but very deep & likeable hero that you sympathized with - much like the DH books (at least they used to be that way - her last 2 weren't that good). The two main characters are likeable & the chemistry between them is good, altho I think she could have made it sizzle a bit more. Give it a try - I think you'll enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Superb reading! I love the books that when you pick them up you just can't put htem down. MacGragor (Kenyon) delivers fantastic adveture. I can't wait for the next Lords of Avalon book in this series. Twist and turns, amazing suspense, great story line to the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this book at the store and thought that I would give it a try. I couldn't put it down! The characters were wonderful! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. I've been looking for another fantasy series, and this one is perfect. I couldn't put it down once I started. I seriously can't wait until the second one comes out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books!! I could not put it down. I am anxiously waiting for the next of the series! For anyone who has not read it...please do! You cannot go wrong with MacGregor!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kinley MacGregor and Sherrilyn Kenyon are 2 names that I know I can depend on for a good read. Starting a new series can be a problem because loyal fans expect a certain type of story. I was a bit hesitant to read this but thoroughly enjoyed it. This series is a wonderful blend of the author's historical and urban fantasy series. It can stand on its own. It is always nice to see the start of a new series and just proves the depth of the author's talent that she has books in 3 different worlds.
Guest More than 1 year ago
kinley mcgrgor does it again. this book captures you from page one and you just cant put it down. the characters were well written and you come to love them all. if your looking for a great read look no further this one is it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book. It was excellent! If this is your first time reading Kinley Macgregor, you should also read her Sherrilyn Kenyon Darkhunter series. All of her books are Excellent!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hesitated to buy this book. Usually fantasy isn't something I care for but I do love Kinley MacGregor's books so I decided to give it a try. It was great!! I loved the characters. I cannot wait for the next Lords of Avalon. Although I'm still waiting for Lachlan's and Kieran's stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
IAmy More than 1 year ago
The current three-story arch in the Dark Hunter series is tied into Ms. Kenyon’s Lord of Avalon series penned under the name Kinley MacGregor. Being such a huge fan of Ms. Kenyon’s work, I decided to go back and give this series a try to get the back story for the other series. If you are wondering if you need to read this to enjoy Son of No One (SONO), no you don’t. I read and enjoyed SONO first and didn’t feel lost. Will you enjoy this earlier book in a different series, probably. I did. First off I want to point out the clever little author quote on the cover, you can see it on the picture above if you missed it. This feels very much like a Dark Hunter book. The writing style is the same and I was delighted to find the same complex and almost tortured characters as are in Ms. Kenyon’s other books. The book had the feel of being an early book in an author’s career, one where the writer is still working on finding a voice. Still enjoyable though, even if there are more cliches. Her quick-witted/smart-ass side kicks are present and delivered some of my favorite lines as scenes in the book. I liked Kerrigan and Seren. He was a pretty typical hero for this author; tortured past, poor destitute youth, parent that didn’t love him. Seren also came from a simple beginning, but had the love of a mother and a group of friends to make her life more bearable. Probably my favorite character in the whole book was Blaise and I so hope he shows up in future books. The world was interesting and I can see the groundwork for her later series the Dark Hunters being created here. I think there may even be some character and world cross-over with that series. The only issue I took with book was the integration of twentieth century terms, ideas and references. Kenyon explained them away, but I don’t think the story needed it. At times it was funny and cleverly done, but got a bit old and dragged down the story near the end. I look forward to the second and last book available in this series, Knight of Darkness. The last book it looks like has been pushed back in publication several times and is now due to come out in 2016. If I had read this series when it came out, I would be plenty pissed, but as it stand I am just going to enjoy the story now and hope it is eventually finished. 
OSfanbook More than 1 year ago
Love and adventure. Tortured soul. Great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not think this book was gonna be any good, but once i started i could not put it down till the last page. It was a awesome story it had me crying and laughing. I'm about to read book2 and pretty sure it will be great too....xoxo momo
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