Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: ‘I am yours. You are mine. We are one…’
Haunted Blade picks up a few weeks after Shadowed Blade. Kit Colbana battled for her life and is now recovering both physically and mentally, along with her friends. Kit has regained possession of her gift after Jude had it magically blocked and has learned more about her family and the reasons behind their hatred when her Aunt Rana comes to town. Now, a new danger has infested Orlando. An unknown assassin is murdering supernaturals. When the bodies begin to pile up and Assembly decides to fight fire with fire, Kit finds herself once again in the middle and if she isn’t careful, she’ll burn for sure this time.
I’m a huge fan of this series with its complicated female lead, strong urban fantasy elements, and thorny romance. I don’t recommend reading these out of order, the arc is long reaching and the characters evolve and bleed over into each book. Bites of humor and a deeply rooted romance help to alleviate the overall darkness of the storyline. A well-developed secondary cast adds depth and definition to the arc and to the main lead herself. Kit is a solidly built entity in her own right but is made stronger by those who stand beside her and against her. From the beginning, I have laughed, cried, and raged while reading this series. Since book four, we have known that the battle between Kit and her grandmother is coming and it will probably be to the death. Each installment has given us more clues in Kit’s background and lays the groundwork for the final showdown between Kit and her grandmother.
“If it’s yours then call it, old woman.”
As the story unfolds, a series of murders are rocking the supernatural community. Powerful vampires are being taken out by an unknown force. The Assembly’s solution to that problem forces Kit to relive a horrific time in her life as she is commanded by the Assembly to find the killer and stop them. Kit also finds herself in the crosshairs of one of the Assembly’s Regents when she refuses to do his bidding. Daniel’s picks up the thread left hanging from book five and continues it in here, focusing on strengthening the ongoing arc that will be taking us to the end of the series.
“There is a battle coming, Kit…I don’t know what set it off, how it ends, or anything else. But it’s coming. And soon.”
Kit has physically healed from her time spent with Jude but she still bears the scars and nightmares. Nightmares heightened by her grandmother’s threats of retribution. Luckily for Kit, she has an unknowingly built a strong base of allies who come to her aid when she least expects it. She still struggles to accept her worth; especially after the events in Night Blade, but she is slowly coming to understand that she is a person worthy of love, respect, and friendship, no matter what her grandmother or Jude tried to convince her of. I did find her attitude extremely antagonistic in this novel. Far more than normal. She fights against everything and everyone to her own detriment and I’m not sure why.
Daniel’s builds a layered storyline, intertwining old and new plotlines and allowing them to play off one another. A strong political base helps Daniel’s too close up a major story thread while opening a new one. Plenty of action and dialogue helps to keep the story moving along though I found the pace choppy and rushed at times. The first half is noticeably weaker than the second half. It’s almost as if Daniels was unsure what she wanted the main focus to be so multiple plotlines were opened only to end up going nowhere while others wander around with no solid development or resolution. Rapid head and scene hopping added to my confusion.
The ending is an action-packed and informative resolution that confirms war is coming to Orlando and Kit won’t be fighting it alone. While this wasn’t the strongest of the series, it is still an adventurous read and I am looking forward to book seven, title and release date to be announced.