March 21, 2012
Review: The Curse of Gremdon by Ciara Knight
Author: Ciara Knight
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press (Dec. 19th, 2011)
Get it: Amazon | B&N
NOTE: Story is for mature readers due to some sexual content.
In a world where marriage is forbidden, sex is only granted to male warriors, and the outer realm is full of murderous creatures, Arianna fights to protect the life of her only living relative, her brother.
Tardon, an elite warrior, is granted anything he desires by the Elders, but finds little joy in the voluptuous women presented to him. Born for the bloodlust found only in battle, complicated emotions emerge when he discovers his equal in the alluring warrior, Arianna.
Charged by the Elders with saving the castle from attack, Tardon and Arianna risk the curse when they traverse the vast outer realm to retrieve serum from the Tree of Life. If successful, the Elders have promised Tardon the right to marry and Arianna the cure for her brother’s death fever. Will their love carry them through or will the discovery of a great deception be their ultimate demise?
Arianna is the only female warrior but she's one of the best, if not the best. Tardon is an Elite Warrior who is in love with Arianna and he is unaware that she also has feeling for him. However, their love is forbidden. They are not allowed to have any kind of relationship. The Elders, who rule over the people, believe that for a female warrior to engage in sexual activity, it would diminish their fighting abilities so such an act is punishable by death.
When Arianna's younger brother, Mardel, comes down with the death fever, it throws her and Tardon closer together. The Elders, were they to know that Mardel had the fever, would immediately sentence him to death. But with the help of a healer and Saldor, an Elder advisor, they are able to keep the Elders from knowing what plagues Mardel. Eventually Arianna and Tardon are charged with going into the outer realm, where the Cursed (grotesque monster-like creatures) reside, to gather and bring back the healing sap from the Tree of Life. A journey which no one has ever returned from.
Okay, I just have to say WOW! This story is action packed from start to finish. There is a lot of fighting in it, as you might expect with the story revolving around two of the best Warriors in Gremdon. Whether it be fight training in the Pit, fighting against a Cursed attack, defending oneself from those who serve the Elders and control the people through magic. Just when you think Arianna and/or Tardon can relax for a moment, something else happens.
As you can tell by the cover, which might I add fits perfectly with the story, an amulet is an integral part of the story. Everyone wears them. Apparently the amulets contain some of the sap from the Tree of Life and is used for protection. But when Arianna's is cracked during a fight, she begins having visions which she thinks are just dreams ... until they become a reality.
There are a lot of characters involved in this story. Aside from Arianna and Tardon, you have Saldor who, as I mentioned previously, is an Elder advisor. Tardon feels that Saldor is after Arianna's affections and to be honest, despite him assuring her that he doesn't have those kinds of feeling for her, I still wondered if he had feelings for her, more than what he claimed. I liked the interaction between him and Arianna. He really does care for her. That, of course, created a conflict between Tardon and Saldor. Kendar is Tardon's servant boy who also wishes to be a warrior. I liked him because even though he's just a servant, he's honest with Tardon, even when it has to do with Arianna. And naturally I liked the main characters, Tardon and Arianna. Arianna is determined and strong and she doesn't give up. She does whatever she thinks is necessary to help everyone, not just those that she loves. Tardon is very much the alpha male character. Strong, take charge, caring, protective and at times over-protective and bossy when it comes to Arianna's safety.
Overall I felt this story was very intense, suspenseful, action packed, and at times romantic. And although by the time I was finished reading it I was wondering whether Ciara would write a sequel, it really isn't necessary. I felt that the story wrapped up nicely. That's not to say that another story couldn't be written. ;) I look forward to reading Ciara's other books at some point!
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** I received a copy of the book from the author for a giveaway win on GraveTells.**