Monday, February 13, 2012
The Curse of Gremdon by Ciara Knight
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Buy links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository
They were warriors whose job it was to protect the remaining citizens inside the castle from the creatures who bore the curse of the Gremdon. Once their family, friends and neighbors, the creatures were now flesh eating monsters with razor sharp fangs, long deadly claws, orange eyes and any scratch or bite would transfer the curse. As warriors, Arianna and Tardon lived under the strict laws of the Elders. Marriage was not permitted and female warriors had to remain chaste under penalty of death. The males were given “gifts” to appease their baser appetites. As love often does, it springs up in this very sterile and cold environment and causes deadly problems for our wayward pair. In order to avoid a painful, tortuous death, Arianna and Tardon must attempt a suicide mission outside the castle walls and deny the love they feel for each other forever.
Whew, that was a real page turner of a book, and I had serious doubts about how Ms. Knight was going to pull off an acceptable ending. She not only pulled it off but she did so with a twist that I NEVER saw coming. The story and characters are very dark with an underling thread of utter hopelessness. Disease and starvation are rampant and the reader must struggle with the issue of individual freedoms versus the good of society as a whole. Very deep stuff here. The strict authoritarian society squashes individualism and free thought, so our duo's romance has an incredibly rocky road. Arianna is willing to sacrifice anything for the well-being of her younger brother including her love for Tardon. Tardon is willing to sacrifice everything for Arianna, so you can see the problems that are bound to crop up. Meanwhile, diabolical plots are being hatched that are meant to ensure neither survives very long.
This is an epic story that will having you gasping, crying, cheering and smiling. This is not a book you can skim through, it is very detailed and things change very rapidly. Don't think for a second that you've got it figured out because I can promised you that you don't. It's almost like Lost, Lord of the Rings and Desperate Housewives thrown in a blender with just a pinch of Xena for taste. It made for a very satisfying read that I give a firmly stated "Kudos, job well done".