I admit, until Lauren Dane’s Blade to the Keep was announced, I had no idea that it’s predecessor, Goddess with a Blade, was going to be the first in a series. So, I hadn’t read it…until Blade to the Keep was approved for review. Um, let me tell you how much of a fan of this series I now am. I LOVED Blade to the Keep and have fallen in literary love with our heroine, Rowan.
Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. She’s smart and strong and with the power of an ancient goddess in her belly, she’s the perfect candidate to re-negotiate the fragile Treaty keeping the peace between the Vampire Nation and the last line of defense for humanity, The Hunter Corporation. A meeting of the Joint Tribunal, and Rowan’s new status as Liaison sends her straight to the last place on earth she wants to be—The Keep.
Raised at the knee of The First, honed into a weapon by the Hunter Corporation, wielding ancient knowledge from the Goddess within, Rowan must navigate around bloodthirsty opposition among Vampires and Hunters alike to avoid an all out war that puts humanity in the crosshairs.
And she’s got to do it as she attempts to manage a politically awkward romantic relationship with Scion Clive Stewart during a trip back to a place she escaped nearly fifteen years before. No pressure.
Walking the path between her two lives has already made Rowan a pariah. If she leaves it to become something even more Other, she may lose even the shreds of home she has left.
If you follow any of my reviews, it isn’t likely a secret that I adore Lauren Dane’s writing. I have yet to read one of her books that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. Blade to the Keep is not an exception when it comes to loving Dane’s writing style. So, I won’t dwell on that. However, I felt that Blade to the Keep was definitely different than any of her other novels (well, to be honest so far the whole Rowan Summerwaite series is different) I’ve read previously, and I’ve read most of her other works. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, to me, it shows that Dane is a strong writer. Blade to the Keep is more of an urban fantasy novel (I believe this series will be classified as UF…or should be anyway *grin*) whereas most of her other series are PNR or a hybrid PNR/Fantasy and contemp romance. Also, while there is some smexy times, they aren’t as descriptive as Dane’s other works can be. I’m totally OK with this, as the super steamy smexy wouldn’t fit in with this series.
Also, we get to see a different side of Dane’s writing. Dane isn’t a stranger to some dark writing, but there is more of it, at least to me, with Blade to the Keep. Also, her heroine, Rowan, is impeccably written. I liked Goddess with a Blade well enough, and enjoyed meeting and getting to know Rowan. With Blade to the Keep, I really fell for Rowan. She is snarky, powerful, humble, and really…all around badass. I love these qualities in a heroine. Rowan doesn’t waste time on “what ifs” or any regrets. To her, things simply are. She deals with adversity with grace and handles her crap and moves along. She has a path, is clear on that path and anyone who isn’t on board with that can well, *&$@ off as Rowan would say. Yeah, her use of my first favorite “F” word clearly endeared her to me *grin*. She uses it almost as much as I do/would… I’d love to be Rowan’s friend, she’d be awesome to hang out with.
If you’re new to Dane’s writing, the Rowan Summerwaite series is a good place to start with only 2 books so far and a third due out this fall. For those of you who’ve already read Goddess with a Blade, I urge you to go ahead and order Blade to the Keep. You will not be disappointed. Dane’s writing is the same, yet different and Blade to the Keep will keep you turning page after page. My only disappointment is that it ended too soon, but the ending sets up book 3 in delightful fashion and leaves you wanting that time machine so you can read it RIGHT. NOW.