Earl Of Darkness (Heirs of Kilronan #1) by Alix Rickloff
December 28, 2010
Paperback, 384 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I’ve been a fool twice over. And that makes what we’ve done here my folly. Not yours. So I can forgive your seduction. What I can’t forgive is your betrayal.”
Cat O’Connell has no idea why she was contracted to steal a diary from the Earl of Kilronan but her circumstances have forced her to do what she must for money. When the Earl catches her and realizes she alone can read the strange fae language of the diary he offers her a choice; translated the diary or go to jail. She chooses to help him.
The Earl of Kilronan is haunted by his brothers’ disappearance and his father’s murder. He feels the diary holds the answers. As he and Cat begin the translation they discover that the diary holds far more then answers and soon are swept up in a dangerous journey that will test the boundaries of reality and their love.
Earl of Darkness is the first story in the Heirs of Kilronan trilogy. A gothic regency with ties to King Arthur that sweeps you up in to its dark and delicious world. Smooth writing and a fast paced well developed plot seizes your attention right from the start.
We are given two story lines, the mysterious diary and a love affair that is doomed even before it starts. Running parallel to each other; intertwining and blending through out the book. Each filled with thrilling suspense and emotional anguish. I did feel that the over all arc loses out a bit to the romance in the story. I would have liked to have known more in detail about the Nine , their mission, and what really happened in their demise.
We learn that magic is only preformed in secret and those discovered using risk prosecution and death. Hiding in the shadows of society are the Others. Half fae and half human; each have a particular gift that marks them as an Other. Aidan Douglas (the Earl of Kilronan) recognizes that Cat is an Other just like he is. As they translate the diary it becomes apparent that Aiden’s father was one of the Nine Of The Inner Circle-a secret group that facilitated the return of King Arthur and used black magic to set it in motion. When a demon appears to take the diary, Aidan and Cat find out that this demon is among the walking dead and will stop at nothing to possess it for his master. Cat and Aidan flee Kilronan in an effort to outrun the demon and to try and discover who and what the Nine was and how it all figures into Aidan’s fathers death.
I found our hero and heroine to be quite forceful and captivating as they maneuver their way around each other. Both knowing that due to their circumstances in life, falling in love is not a luxury that either can afford. The chemistry that is between these two blazes white hot off the pages. It’s not a matter of if they will get together…but when.
Cat was a joy to discover. A gentile lady of the 1800’s she made a decision that cost her everything. Yet she isn’t a wallflower and didn’t drift off to die as the world assumed and hoped she would. She admits her mistakes and while it may not have been the right thing to do, she doesn’t wallow in her regrets. She stands firm to Aidan and doesn’t allow his lineage or personality to overshadow her wants and needs.
Aidan was a little harder for me to like. Ms. Rickloff draws him as the perfect 1800 male. Autocratic and demanding; he is used to getting what he wants and uses his strength and will to dominate and command those around him. His attitudes on some things made me cringe yet this is how he should have acted. Yet, there is a vulnerability to him that softens and makes him more endearing. He is truly caught between a rock and hard place. He needs to find out what happened to his family and also needs to marry for money in order to save the estate. Both become over shadowed once Cat comes into his life. He needs her like he needs to breathe yet his loyalty and his responsibilities make it hard for him to accept them together.
The journey Cat and Aidan travel is filled with pitfalls and traps that make this much more then a simple paranormal romance. I did feel that the over all arc loses out to the romance in the story. I would have liked to have known more in detail about the Nine and what happened in their demise. I also would have liked to have seen more history of the Others and how the fae play a part. Perhaps this will be addressed later in the series.
The secondary characters are as well thought out as our protagonists and I do hope to see them in future books. The ending is a mixture of hope and despair as you are emotionally catapulted through the pages. Ms.Rickloff ends it well; answering a few important questions yet leaves others wide open in order to continue this series. The second Heir To Kilronan to be released is Lord Of Shadows.
Earl Of Darkness is sure to be a hit with those who love dark romantically dominate paranormal romances.
This Series Includes
Earl of Darkness
Lord of Shadows – June 2011