Monday, January 6, 2014

Her Knight's Quest

Her Knight’s Quest by Alexis Morgan is the second instalment in the Warriors of the Mist series, following My Lady Mage.

Her Knight’s Quest picks up where its predecessor left off; the five Warriors of the Mist had concocted a plan in the hope of defeating Duke Keirthan and putting an end to his tyrannical rule aided by blood magic, thus fulfilling their quest.

The novel begins with setting Gideon’s plan in motion. According to the plan, Gideon and Murdoch are to stay with Lady Merewen and guard her keep from further attacks, while Duncan would pretend to be scholar seeking work as a scribe in the abbey to be able to gather information to defeat the Duke, and finally, Kane and Averel would travel to the city and seek work in the Duke’s palace. Keirthan would be quite interested in having a man like Kane who bears a dark mark on his face.

The first 10 chapters in Her Knight’s Quest shift between Gideon, the other warriors and Lady Merewen and events taking place at her keep, on the one hand and Duncan and Lady Lavinia, on the other. Starting chapter 11, however, the novel takes the reader to a new dimension in the story; Duke Keirthan. We are introduced to the Duke – whom we briefly met in My Lady Mage – and his history. The present Duke of Agathia is Ifre Keirthan, who, it seems, usurped the dukedom from his brother Armel.

Chapter 11 solves many questions that come to the reader’s mind over previous 10 chapters. It also solves the other characters’ frustrations and questions they voice. As dark and bloody as Ifre Keirthan is, many events come to light in this chapter, which has a climactic feel to it.

After chapter 11, the story continues to shift but not between two parties, but three, as Duke Keirthan becomes more involved in the story. Starting chapter 11, it is almost impossible to put the book down. The reader feels that all chapters are of extreme importance. 

Alexis Morgan’s tension build-up picks up pace. More mysteries are answered in chapters 13 and 14. Duncan and Lavinia reveal things about themselves that set the story in motion and that link different characters and parts of the story together. Starting chapter 11, momentum builds up and there is no stopping it till the end of the book.

Her Knight’s Quest differs from its predecessor, My Lady Mage, in that there is a lot going on everywhere with each of the characters; there are events taking place at Merewen’s keep, at the abbey, and with Duke Keirathan. We also learn about the Duke’s past, his rise to power or rather usurpation of the dukedom, and about magic, the duke’s dark blood magic and Lavinia’s pure earth magic.

Despite the constant rise in tension, Morgan employs occasional short romantic scenes and some humour. A single humourous line easily breaks the reader’s tension, giving them a bit of relief. Morgan is lauded for this in both My Lady Mage and Her Knight’s Quest.

As with My Lady Mage, Alexis Morgan ends her novel on a high note of anticipation. The reader feels as though they need to read all three parts consecutively without halt or pause.

It goes without saying that I can hardly wait for the Honor’s Price, the third instalment in the series.