'Knight's Sacrifice' By Nita Round
A supernatural battle between good and evil.
When Catherine inherits her family funeral home, she takes on more than a regular undertaker would expect to. Dead people who aren’t really dead, a graveyard that seems to be the portal to the underworld, and a Necromancer who seems to have a personal interest in ensuring Catherine follows the rest of her family to an early grave.
Enter Cassie, who answers Catherine’s carefully-worded advert for some help. Cassie knows exactly who Catherine is, and what role she needs to play to save the world from hell literally breaking loose. But teaching Catherine all that she needs to know when most of it sounds unbelievable is going to be an uphill task. And all of that gets distinctly muddied by the undoubted chemistry between them…
I’m not normally a fan of zombie/ghoul stories, but because this one kept the gore to an acceptable minimum, I enjoyed this book as much more of a supernatural thriller than a zombie apocalypse tale. Yes, there are some mildly gruesome moments, but in the grand scheme of things, they fit without being gratuitous.
Both main characters are great to read – there’s a feistiness to each of them, for different reasons, that leads to some sizzling interchanges of dialogue and physical interaction. And that’s before the romance kicks in! The story itself is fairly complex, and I freely admit I lost a little of the plot in places, but for the most part the explanations of the various supernatural beings who are battling it out for domination of the world were well written. The pacing is good through most of the book, with only a couple of jumps in timeline or storyline that left me reading back a few pages to clarify where we were.
Catherine’s journey to learning and accepting who (and what) she really is flows well – she has a lot to take on, and it was good that she didn’t jump into it all too easily. It seemed perfectly natural that she was reluctant and scared. As counterpoint to that, Cassie’s frustration at Catherine was also understandable and written well – she knows what Catherine needs to do but she can’t force her, even though time is against them. The connection between them that comes about by force of their circumstances came across as genuine and natural.
There are some interesting side characters, and Cassie’s father stands out in particular. Torn between letting his daughter become what she needs to be, and stepping in to take over when he fears she can’t, he had an interesting cameo. It was a good twist that Cassie had her own personal journey to acceptance of who she really was too, and she wasn’t just there as Catherine’s tough sidekick.
A few punctuation and editing errors slowed things down in places, but overall it’s written well for what I believe is a debut, especially given the ambitious scope of the story. If this genre is your kind of thing, you won’t be disappointed.