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Review: Her Knight’s Quest by Alexis Morgan

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Her Knight’s Quest
Author: Alexis Morgan 
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Signet
Warriors of the Mist #2
ISBN: #978-0451239594
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley

About the book:

     For centuries, five legendary warriors have braved battles shoulder to shoulder. But now they must divide and conquer as lone champions against evil. 
     Duncan, a scholar at heart, is drawn to an isolated abbey rumored to hold the answers to countering the terror unleashed by Duke Keirthan. Inside the cloistered walls lies the hidden collection of forbidden lore on dark magic. But the real key to the salvation Duncan seeks—both for the people of Agathia and his soul—is the abbess herself, Lady Lavinia. Hunted by the duke, who seeks to harvest her powers, Lavinia knows Duncan wants to help her. But can she trust the tortured warrior with her secrets?
     In the end, it is only by joining forces that they can save not only those they are sworn to protect but each other.

What Im talking about:

     Duncan is one of the five fabled Warriors of the Mist who sleep within the River of the Damned. When a darkest began to descend over her estate, Lady Merewen called forth these ancient warriors to help rid the land of evil. At the end of the first book, My Lady Mage, Duncan set out in search of answers to help destroy their enemy. At the beginning of Her Knight’s Quest, Duncan is en route to an abbey which is rumored to hold ancient, magical texts. He is playing the part of a scholar looking for work as a scribe.
     Lavinia is the head of the abbey and sworn to protect the secrets within its walls. She is all to aware of the evil at hand and the man at the root of the dark magic, Duke Keirthan. Lavinia is able to perform magic of her own, including scrying for visions of what the future may hold. So when the magic waters share more than one image of Duncan, Lavinia realizes he will be someone significant in her life.
     Her Knight’s Quest is the delightful sophomore story in the Warriors of the Mist series. After providing basic framework for the world and mythology in her first book, Ms. Morgan takes the time to further explore several of the characters, including backgrounds and talents. There is a much deeper explanation of what is occurring to the land and its citizens, plus there are several scenes from the POV of the Duke – providing excellent insight into his desires and motivations. I was drawn in by the additional details and supplemental mythology regarding the magic at hand. Despite the fact there is a lot of new information provided, the plot progressed forward with an exciting intensity.
     Although I would classify this series as fantasy, romance is a crucial part of its core and story lines. In Her Knight’s Quest, we witness the pairing of Lavinia and Duncan. However, there is also follow up with Merewen and Gideon, the primary couple from the first book. In addition, we witness the beginnings of a relationship between Murdoch and Alina, who we also met in the first book.
     Lavinia and Duncan feel sparks of attraction right from the start, however both are duty bound and feel there is no time or place for any type of relationship. Their first kiss is sexy, yet hesitant, knowing that their responsibilities come first. Both Lavinia and Duncan appear simultaneously mature and innocent, able to focus on task yet full of wonder from the brush of romance. The juxtaposition of these seemingly conflicting needs creates a smoldering desire brewing beneath the surface.
     As the pair grow closer, they individually struggle with the conflict between duty and heart. One of my favorite scenes involves such conflict. The pair disagree on the direction the other should take – and whether to leave the abbey. Yet when it comes down to it, Duncan pushes to claim and love Lavinia, even if they may never see each other again. Both put their heart out there, knowing love may be lost. The scene was emotionally intense and passionate.
     The conflict between duty and love is echoed in the other romantic relationships within the story. Although Merewen and Gideon made peace with the fact that once the battle is over, he will have to return to the river and leave, the pair shared tender moments in Her Knight’s Quest as the realize the truth of the situation. This sentiment is echoed in a touching scene between Murdoch and Alina. I adore Alina’s courage in sharing her feelings with Murdoch, and for Murdoch to graciously accept her offer rather than push her away “for her own good.”
     By the end of Her Knight’s Quest, I was thoroughly hooked on Ms. Morgan’s series. The fantasy elements and overall mythology are engrossing and exciting. The added components brought forward in this book helped to enrich the overall story arc. In addition, the character development was stronger in this book, and I have come to care for the Dammed Warriors and their companions. I admire that both persons in each of the pairings is willing to give one-hundred percent of themselves and their love, even knowing that heartache is ahead. I look forward to finding out how the Warriors of the Mist fair against the darkness of Duke Keirthan.

My Rating:

 
Liked it – recommend (B+)
 
Purchase Info:
Her Knight’s Quest (Book 2)
Reviews in the Series:
My Lady Mage (Book 1)

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