by Sam Rook
The winged knights—magically altered humans—are the only ones defending the portal from Av'lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn.
Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av'lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming.
Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation.
With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.
"They’ll be talking about this for months you know," Sir Lanclor said with amusement. "Lady Kathryn, the brave knight who annihilates Daemons and challenges the great Sir Lanclor."
Kathryn snorted. "Don’t flatter yourself. I just saw your table as the lesser of the evils."
Sir Lanclor straightened. "I think you’ll find you chose wrong."
"Oh please. I prefer your blunt honesty to their honey-coated insults any day. The only reason some of them don’t call me an undeserving Earthling anymore is because they now know I can annihilate them with one spell."
"Fear is a powerful thing." Sir Lanclor closed his mouth flap and gathered his tray.
If everyone feared her, she’d never have anyone. Kathryn piled her utensils upon her tray.
"It’s also lonely as hell." She stood up and left the table without a backwards glance.
Depositing her tray on the counter next to the trash can, she exited the meal room.
"Lady Kathryn, wait." She glanced back to see Sir Lanclor hurrying after her. He caught up to her in a few strides and fell in beside her. "That conversation didn’t end like I intended."
"Oh, really? What was your intention?" Kathryn regretted the bitterness in her voice.
Sir Lanclor sighed in frustration. "You surprised me. I usually have time to think before I speak."
"You think before you speak?" Kathryn exaggerated her look of surprise as she glanced his way and his eyebrow turned down in disapproval. She heard him growl deep in his throat before responding.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Bio: Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.
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4 out of 5 stars
Hope by Sam Rook is the first novel in the ‘Knights of Av’lor’ series and centers around Kathryn Merlangton, who is mysteriously transported to a land called Av’lor, as is a State Trooper named Hal Summers. Amazingly enough, the beings there look like humans but have wings, and are engaged in a desperate struggle against demonic creatures. Despite skepticism, Kathryn and Hal strive to do what they can to assist in the fight while searching for a way to return to Earth. They may have hidden assets to contribute, but whether that will be enough to sway the final result will depend on whether they can utilize their talents and stay alive long enough to do so.
This exciting fantasy story has wonderfully inventive situations, intriguing characters and thrilling battle scenes. The alternate world premise is thought-provoking and the talents that the various characters display provide interesting twists to the story. There are creative things such as the switch between the roles of a mouse and a cat on Av’lor or the process of becoming a Knight and it will be fun to see what else is revealed about Av’lor. The world-building and exposition of facts is a bit erratic and more detail and background would be very useful but this is a nice introduction to an interesting fantasy saga and I found myself anxious to discover how things were going to turn out and needing a tissue occasionally. There are a lot of threads dangling that hopefully will be expounded upon in future stories and one should be forewarned that there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end, but the nice thing is that there is already a second book in the series available. I look forward to visiting this universe again and hope that there are many more tales in the series.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review