The first novel in Catherine Kean’s Knight series, A Knight’s Vengeance brings us a tale somewhat familiar to any romance genre reader.
Geoffrey de Lanceau is a knight, the son of the man who once ruled Wode. His noble sire died, however, branded as a traitor. But never will Geoffrey believe his father betrayed their king, and swears vengeance against the man who brought his sire down in a siege to take over Wode. Lady Elizabeth Brackendale dreamed of marrying for love, but is promised by her father to a lecherous old baron. Then she is abducted and held for ransom by a scarred, tormented rogue who turns out to be the very knight who has sworn vengeance against her father. The threads of deception sewn eighteen years ago bind the past and present. Only by Geoffrey and Elizabeth championing their forbidden love can the truth – and the lies — be revealed about a knight’s vengeance.
I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that we’ve seen this scenario before: knight kidnaps damsel in order to right a wrong or collect on a ransom. Granted, it’s a very broad scenario, but still one that has been seen before. However, Kean is able to pull it off by adding her own unique twist to the story.
I have to say, for a plot line I am familiar with, A Knight’s Vengeance has some characters in it that I haven’t seen quite that often. For a change, the knight doesn’t automatically develop an emotional attachment for the damsel he has kidnapped. Of course he recognizes her beauty, but other than that, Geoffrey has no other feelings toward Elizabeth other than using her as a pawn to get his ancestral estates back. Through the course of the book, we’re able to see the subtle changes in Geoffrey’s attitude toward Elizabeth and how he adapts to his changing moods. However, I cannot say the same for Elizabeth. For how developed Geoffrey’s character seems, there really wasn’t any development for Elizabeths. Where we were able to see Geoffrey’s slow fascination, for Elizabeth it seemed to have happened abruptly. She hates him for using her against her father and then all of a sudden she loves him and is willing to sleep with him. For a woman who has had strong opinions throughout the entire novel, this abrupt change was kind of weird. It almost seems like Kean realized she needed to get her two characters together since we were 3/4 of the way through and hadn’t figure out a way to do it smoothly.
While I did enjoy A Knight’s Vengeance, it did bring to light for me the startling differences between traditional and paranormal romance novels. Usually, when you’re reading about vampires or werewolves involved in a relationship, there tends to be a little more action along with the courtship. I had forgotten that the action tends to take a backseat in the more traditional venue. While there was the battle that was alluded to throughout the novel, the execution was actually more of a fight scene than any kind of battle. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just different from what I have been reading lately.
Overall, I enjoyed the story behind A Knight’s Vengeance and I’m looking forward to the second novel in the series, A Knight’s Reward. For any fans of the historical romance novels, this is one I would recommend picking up, but only if you’re not looking for any real action.
A Knight’s Vengeance
A Knight’s Reward
A Knight’s Temptation