Monday, April 4, 2011
Review: Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Devil's Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Publication: May 7, 2009
Goodreads Summary: As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.
Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.
But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years -- a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.
When I first stumbled upon the Billi SanGreal novels, my thoughts were - "Templar lore? Strong heroine? A little romance thrown in? Yes, please!" And Devil's Kiss did not disappoint.
Billi has been raised to be a fighter for the Knights Templar - she has been trained, tested, and accepted. But it is a hard life, and even when her one and only friend returns from his time away in training, Billi is still longing for a meaningful relationship. Enter Michael, who seems to be Billi's knight in shining armor - almost literally. He appears just in time to help Billi out of a dangerous situation, and he is clearly interested in her, much to Billi's delight and her father's consternation. But things are seldom as they seem to be. Soon Billi finds herself caught between Michael and Kay, her lifelong friend and fellow Knight. Furthermore, he begins to question what she truly wants out of her life. And in the end, a simple shard of glass could control the future for them all...
Talk about gripping introductions - Devil's Kiss has one of the most morbidly intriguing openings that I think I've read. And the action never stops. Whether the characters are fighting physically or emotionally, the intensity carries you through page after page. Chadda brought an old religious legend back and gave it new life. I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style; he didn't mince words, and yet it was still very refined. Refined though it may be, this book still incorporates the harsh realities of the Knight life, though in a compelling way.
I think the most intense relationship in this book was the one between Billi and her father. Though there was certainly an interesting interplay between Billi, Kay, and Michael, it was the familial relationship that was really explored and held the answers to some of Billi's questions. However, Billi and Kay certainly had their moments. The ending was something that I wouldn't have predicted and should definitely make things interesting in the next book!
Devil's Kiss was a compelling read, one that kept me up long past when I should have been asleep to read it. With it, Chadda achieved an excellent balance of action and introspection, adventure and respite. I'm looking forward to reading Dark Goddess!
Rating: 4 stars