The Dark Knight
By Elizabeth ElliottPublished by: Bantam/ Random House Publishing Group Publish Date: June 26, 2012 Genre: Historical romance Source: E-galley provided by Edelweiss My Rating: Blurb from Goodreads:
At long last, Elizabeth Elliott—the bestselling author of The Warlord and Scoundrel—returns with a medieval romance that will take readers’ breath away.
Thief, assassin, and master of disguise, Dante Chiavari is the most feared mercenary of England’s King Edward. On one last assignment, Dante must play the part of a chivalrous knight to steal Avalene de Forshay from her family and thwart the ruthless Faulke Segrave, who would wed Avalene and use her to spark war between Wales and the crown. Upon seeing the beautiful and innocent young maiden, however, the mercenary suddenly finds himself at the mercy of his own intense desire.
When Avalene meets the handsome knight she knows only as Sir Percival, he sweeps her off her feet even as he spirits her away from Coleway Castle. Their escape is wrought with risks and perils, but Avalene will find that the greatest danger lies in losing her heart. And after the truth is revealed, Avalene fears that she may never again be able to trust the dark knight who has come to mean more to her than life itself.
I enjoy reading historical romances, but I was looking for a change. When I saw The Dark Knight was from a medieval time (instead of Regency of Victorian), I was excited to pick it up and give it a try. I am glad I picked this book up, I thoroughly enjoyed the The Dark Knight and I found a new-to-me author to watch.
The Dark Knight is an alluring novel that transports readers into a medieval English world full of deceit, intrigue, romance, and just a hint of magic.
It took me a little bit to really get into this book. The book begins with the King’s Assassin, Dante Chiavari, visiting his mentor, a mystical magician who gives Dante his new mission. It took me a bit to understand just who this mystic was to Dante and to the story. As the book continues, it becomes clear, but in the beginning, I was uncertain. The mystic, Mordecai, is a mentor to Dante and also an advisor to the king. Mordecai predicts the future and helps guide it. Dante gets his mission, to kill his enemy in Italy and to abduct a woman to keep her marriage from threatening the King’s reign. While I was a bit confused about the mission in the beginning, it proves to be integral to the story. According to Mordecai, Dante’s actions and choices on the mission can drastically affect the future for both himself, and for the country.
Dante Chiavari is a dark man, he is a deadly assassin, loyal to King Edward of England. Dante had been wrongly exiled from his home in Italy and was trained by Mordecai to become a killer. For most of his life, Dante’s purpose was to destroy the man who murdered his parents and ruined his life. Once Dante accomplishes this, his purpose in life is not as clear. When Dante pretends to be Sir Percival to abduct Avalene de Forshay, the attraction between them is strong and Dante begins to think more on what he wants his future to look like. As for Avalene, she is surrounded by people who only want to use her, for either her beauty or for her lineage. She doesn’t know who to trust, and when she learns of “Sir Percival’s” betrayal, she doesn’t know if she will be able to trust any man again.
Avalene and Dante’s relationship develops at a steady pace. They have a definite attraction to each other from the beginning, but they both have doubts and obligations the keep them from falling into a serious relationship. Avalene is betrothed and she believes her father has her best interests in mind, but after absconding with Dante, she realizes that her reputation will be ruined. Dante has to figure out where Avalene would fit into his life, the life of a monster. In the meantime, Avalene’s betrothed tries to kidnap her back from Dante and there are significant political implications to whoever Avalene winds up marrying. There is a lot going on in The Dark Knight, plenty of adventure, some sizzling romance, and intrigue that kept my interest throughout the book.
As the story progresses, so do the characters. Avalene discovers that there is more to Dante than a cold-blooded killer, and she begins to see the bigger picture. She looses some of her naivety and learns the value of having faith in the right people. Dante learns to see himself as more than a killer, he begins to see that maybe he can actually find happiness in his life.
The Dark Knight is an excellent read. There is a highly developed plot, with interesting sub-plots and enough intrigue to keep me fully engaged in the story. The romance was excellent, it was believable, tender at times, and also sizzling at times. What really cinched the Dark Knight as a good read for me was the hint of magic that Mordecai the magician brought to the story. I would not classify this book as paranormal by any means, but there is that touch of magic that makes the romance, adventure, and intrigue really stand out.
Readers who like slightly darker romances will really enjoy this book. I recommend The Dark Knight to historical romance readers as well. I am definitely looking forward to read more by Elizabeth Elliott in the future.
The Dark Knight releases June 26. You can pre-order now from: