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Darkness Awakened (Order of the Blade) by…
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Darkness Awakened (Order of the Blade)

by Stephanie Rowe

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Showing 5 of 5
I am not an easy sell on paranormals and was leery to read this. But holy moly this was a great read.

Stephanie Rowe has created a wonderful new series. Two thousand years ago Ezekiel and his twin brother Caleb lived with an abusive father. The King of the land was no better killing men and women just for the fun of it. Ezekiel fell in love with a girl who the King kidnapped. When Ezekiel couldn’t get to her at the King's castle it sent him over the edge. Ezekiel knew of a stream that would create mythical warriors. Ezekiel and Caleb drank from the steam and then went and defeated the King. But Evangeline died in Ezekiel arms. This caused Ezekiel to go mad and kill everyone in the kingdom including women and children. From this Ezekiel created a band of warriors called The Order that was to rid the world of evil. But Ezekiel in his madness became paranoid- began seeing evil in everything. Caleb decided his brother needed to be stopped and set out with his wife who he hoped would keep him from going rogue and 20 men to drink from the stream to create an army to defeat Ezekiel. Caleb and his army did defeat Ezekiel but at the expense of Caleb's wife. Caleb managed to imprison Ezekiel in a magical prison but he went crazy over the loss of his wife and his men had to kill him. Thus the legacy was born. The Calydon warriors’ purpose was the keep the world safe from evil and when needed to kill a Calydon warrior and/or his sheva (mate) when the Calydon warrior went rogue/mad after finding her.

Dante has been the leader of the Order for 700 years but with his death Quinn Masters is next in line. After a disastrous mission that left all of his young Calydon warriors in training dead and it looking like his best friend Elijah did it, Quinn knows he must figure out what is going on. After waking up from almost dying he heads to his cabin where Grace Matthews is waiting and he knows right away she is his sheva.

Grace Matthews is an illusionist. One who can call upon images to make those around her believe what she is projecting. Her sister is also one and has been kidnapped and Grace has come to Quinn for his help in finding her.

They both realize there is a connection between them but Grace refuses to believe that love can make a person go mad to a point of no return. All she wants is to get her sister back.

As the story progresses we find out how and why Dante and Elijah died and that the walls that are keeping Ezekiel in are crumbling and he seems to be controlling people on the outside. One of the men he is controlling is the one that took Grace's sister Ana. They also come across Dante's son Drew who they know they need to protect at all cost.

This was a great start to a new series. I am already all wrapped up in this world and can’t wait until Gideon and Lily's story which is next. I am hoping that Ana's story is the 3rd book.


( )
  CindySnS | Oct 26, 2016 |
Grace was an illusionist. A powerful woman who could project a reality that people believed in. But Grace hated her gift and tried everything she knew of to forget and not use it. That was until someone kidnapped her sister and was holding her for an evil plot. That's when Grace recruited Quinn, a Calydon warrior. And suddenly her world was turned upside down again. Only this time in an entirely different way. Grace wanted this man, and from the looks she was getting from him, he felt the same way about her. But Quinn was having an entirely different view of this woman, she was a danger to him and he needed to keep her as far away from himself as possible in order to save himself and her. Through ancient battles and near death experiences, the two began to bond and prepare to beat the most horrible fate the two could ever imagine...death at each others hands.
Really wished this book would have ended better. I was kind of left hanging...I understand the need to keep readers coming back for the next book in the series, but I really felt like things were left hanging. Not a bad start to a series though and I will be getting the next book. ( )
  wndy2011 | Oct 16, 2013 |
This book was bit of a mixed bag for me. There were parts about it that I really liked, but there were also parts that I really hated. I loved Grace's character. She was strong without coming off as a total B or being unapproachable, and I loved how she didn't just throw herself at the strong alpha or let destiny be decided for her. I liked some of the concepts in the book, such as the ancient warriors, how their weapons worked and the back story of Ezekiel. Quinn was okay, but sometimes he got on my nerves as a typical alpha male, complete with growls and possessiveness and talking like he was 25 even though he was 500 years old.

What I didn't like were the inconsistencies from one plot point to another and some of the convenient plot devices used example:They were in the middle of the woods with a need to be able to travel all over quickly at several different points, and lucky for them one of the new warriors introduced the chapter before can magically teleport people to wherever they need to go! There were also some odd things about the book that stuck with me and held me back from loving it, such as Oregon? Really? 2000 years of history, and its all in Oregon? Is this a future time, an alternate timeline / universe, or what? It was never explained. Some of the athletic feats of Quinn also made me groan - falling 60 feet, then leaping 60 feet to close the hatch; jumping up high into a tree.. I get that they are super powered warriors, but it felt so stretchy to me.

The author did do a good job of setting up the next book with Lily and Gideon Though I am not particularly interested in Lily's apparent talent as some sort of Calydon strip-tease dancer and I do have a sense that I would like Gideon more than Quinn.

The internal dialogue of Quinn and Grace was good in the beginning, but by the end of the book it had become dull and repetitive as they argued with themselves over and over again about the same issues. I found myself skimming in the hunt for the continuation of the plot. The plot was good, though, once you slog through everything else. It was a unique and interesting concept. I think if there had been more plot focus and less Quinn and Grace I would have enjoyed it more. I did like how the author dealt with the destiny issue with Quinn and Grace's final battle. Not sure if I will continue reading the series, but I am curious about Gideon.

( )
  ce_kilgore | Apr 27, 2013 |
This book was bit of a mixed bag for me. There were parts about it that I really liked, but there were also parts that I really hated. I loved Grace's character. She was strong without coming off as a total B or being unapproachable, and I loved how she didn't just throw herself at the strong alpha or let destiny be decided for her. I liked some of the concepts in the book, such as the ancient warriors, how their weapons worked and the back story of Ezekiel. Quinn was okay, but sometimes he got on my nerves as a typical alpha male, complete with growls and possessiveness and talking like he was 25 even though he was 500 years old.

What I didn't like were the inconsistencies from one plot point to another and some of the convenient plot devices used example:They were in the middle of the woods with a need to be able to travel all over quickly at several different points, and lucky for them one of the new warriors introduced the chapter before can magically teleport people to wherever they need to go! There were also some odd things about the book that stuck with me and held me back from loving it, such as Oregon? Really? 2000 years of history, and its all in Oregon? Is this a future time, an alternate timeline / universe, or what? It was never explained. Some of the athletic feats of Quinn also made me groan - falling 60 feet, then leaping 60 feet to close the hatch; jumping up high into a tree.. I get that they are super powered warriors, but it felt so stretchy to me.

The author did do a good job of setting up the next book with Lily and Gideon Though I am not particularly interested in Lily's apparent talent as some sort of Calydon strip-tease dancer and I do have a sense that I would like Gideon more than Quinn.

The internal dialogue of Quinn and Grace was good in the beginning, but by the end of the book it had become dull and repetitive as they argued with themselves over and over again about the same issues. I found myself skimming in the hunt for the continuation of the plot. The plot was good, though, once you slog through everything else. It was a unique and interesting concept. I think if there had been more plot focus and less Quinn and Grace I would have enjoyed it more. I did like how the author dealt with the destiny issue with Quinn and Grace's final battle. Not sure if I will continue reading the series, but I am curious about Gideon.

( )
  ce_kilgore | Apr 27, 2013 |
In some ways this book is just like any other Paranormal Romance of its ilk. The Calydons are a group of hot as hell, rough and tumble defenders of the innocent, just like J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, Elisabeth Naughton's Eternal Guardians, or Zoe Forward's Scimitar Magi. And like these other PNRs the Calydon's run into their soulmate (insta-love anyone?), the one person who they simply can't resist. Don't we all love these stories? That's why we read PNR, right?

What the Order of the Blade series is, that the others aren't, is ALMOST a parody of the genre. Like the Brotherhood or Guardians, meeting one's soulmate throws one hell of a wrench in the Order members' works, but unlike them this fact is sitting forward and centre as part of the plot. The Maji meet their soulmate and still go about their mission, the Calydons exist and are the hard-asses they are because of their need to avoid those same soul mates. They and the men who love them are who they hunt instead of demons, vampires or the eternal dead. (At least in this first one.)

It is so central to the plot that it enables the characters themselves to acknowledge it and joke about it. I liked that. It made for some really funny moments, quotes like this one: “You know, you’re hot and you’ve got that badass manly man thing going and I’m crazily attracted to you, but honestly, I suspect you’re going to be a little too bossy for my tastes. Thanks for the offer on the whole love-me-die-for-me thing, but I’ll pass.” Or how about this one, "I'm an Order member. We're specifically chosen because we're so damned trustworthy. We're like Labradors." Ha, I laughed at that one.

Now, by the same token the whole loyal trustworthy thing was beaten into the ground a little bit. At 15% through the book I thought, 'oh that's romantic.' At 90% through the book, when Quinn and Grace were still harping on about how much they trust one another and would be there for each other always, I thought 'oh God, I get it already! Move on.' I loved that Quinn was the type of man he was and that loyalty was a big thing for him. It was what Grace needed most too. I just got a little tired of being told about it.

The book had enough of a plot to keep the pace moving and an interesting assortment of side characters, though I wish I'd gotten to know them a bit more. I had a little bit of trouble with the whole Illusionist thing. I understood how the mind could be tricked into believing in an injury, but how was clothing convinced to tear? It has no consciousness. Grace's illusions felt more like actual physical manifestations than illusions. Really this is a small point, maybe even semantics. I enjoyed the book enough to buy the second one, Darkness Seduced. ( )
  SadieSForsythe | Jan 18, 2013 |
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The Calydons are a race of ancient immortals cursed with a dark side. Each Calydon is destined to meet his soul mate, to be so drawn to her that he is unable to resist bonding with her through the rituals of his race, but their destiny is to destroy each other and all they care about the moment their bond is complete. 

Quinn Masters will stop at nothing to rescue his rogue teammate. To save his blood brother and ensure his brand of justice triumphs, Quinn will break every rule of his kind and partner with the sensuous, courageous woman destined to be his ultimate destruction. 

Haunted by a brutal past, Illusionist Grace Matthews will risk everything to save her kidnapped sister, including putting her life in the sinfully capable hands of an immortal warrior whose ravaging kisses and intense passion propel her ruthlessly toward a fateful destiny she can't afford to believe in.
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