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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Knight Awakened (Circle of Seven #1) by Coreene Callahan

In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him—dead or alive.

For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good—if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark.

Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic—and handsome—hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead.

Dramatic and fast-paced, Knight Awakened is a stirring love story between two people searching for a second chance in a magical world of assassins, warlords, unearthly beasts, and nonstop adventure.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 443 pages (Paperback)
Source: ARC sent by author
Publication Date: December 4th 2013
 A few months ago I was contacted by author Coreene Callahan to review the first book in her Circle of Seven series and as soon as I read the summary that she provided I knew I would be in for a real treat. However, the book got pushed to the side until last week when I finally (sorry Coreene!) got around to it and I am so glad that this was my second read of the year.
This book was everything I hoped it would be and more. Coreene Callahan created a wonderful story that is a fantastic mixture of historical fiction, fantasy and romance. This book is set in Transylvania during the 1300s and that added to the uniqueness of the novel. I have never come across a book like this before but I'm very glad I discovered this one.
The plot was wonderful. There's murder, fighting, secret societies,magic, romance and dragons all between the covers of this book. I loved the sense of adventure that I felt as I was reading Knight Awakened. There were so many plot twists that the author really kept me on my toes when it came to guessing what would happen next.
I loved the romance aspect between Afina and Xavian. Neither character was perfect and I thought it was wonderful how they fought their attraction to each other for awhile before they decided they were tired of the tension. As a couple I think they might just be on their way to becoming one of my favourite couples. They didn't have a case of the dreaded insta-love and I liked the way their relationship evolved as the story went on. Plus the fact that Xavian, who is the epitome of what an alpha male should be bent to Afina's whim was nice to see.
I thought the characters were great. Afina has a lot more to her than it seems especially in the beginning. I wasn't sure what to think of her when the book first started because I was afraid she would be a helpless damsel in distress but I was pleased to see that she learned just how strong of a woman, and mother she really was. Nothing is more important to her than the safety of those she cares about and it was lovely to see her realize how strong and brave she could be in the face of what seemed like insurmountable odds.
Xavian was the perfect alpha male for the role in Knight Awakened. He's a killer and has done some horrible, horrible things to other people but throughout the novel he redeems himself as he learns to love, comfort and protect Afina and her wee one a little girl of two years old names Sabine. He even goes so far as to attempt to protect Afina from the Goddess whom she now serves before he relented and accepted her role in both of their lives now.
The other characters in the novel were interesting too and while they don't appear in the novel for extended periods of time I did like reading things from their point of view and learning why they were after the couple.
Overall, I loved this book. I thought it was a fantastic read and I couldn't get enough of Afina and Xavian's romance! I highly recommend this to everyone looking for a different type of romance novel. This isn't the typical historical or paranormal romance but is a fantastic mixture of both genres with a lot of action. I can't wait to read more by this author and I'm very much looking forward to reading the second book in Coreene Callahan's Circle of Seven series.
I read this book for the following reading challenges:
Loved It!
★ ★ ★ ★★

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  1. This sounds like an awesome fantasy and yeah the synopsis draws you in, I am so glad you found it engaging and wahoo..two awesome reads in a row for you!

  2. Oh dang that sounds amazing! Love heroes like that who have dark pasts but really make up for it and win you over. Just added it to my shopping list! Great review Kimberly. Thanks for sharing the book with us :)

  3. I also listened knight awakened on Audible with Suzan Crowley as narrator and fell in love with this book. Cant wait for next book!!

  4. Great review. I really enjoyed your review. It's great you enjoyed the book. My father like the book you gave him to borrow


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