Reviewed by Elizabetta

TITLE: A Knight To Remember
AUTHOR: Anne Barwell
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
BLURB: “The last of your line will be in the embrace of a dragon.”

Aric, Crown Prince of Astria, has been brought up to believe that all dragons are evil. But when he speaks with one, he finds himself questioning those beliefs. The dragon tells him to find a sword in Sherwin Forest to save not only his kingdom but also his sister, Georgia, who must otherwise wed the prince of a neighboring kingdom.

At the start of his quest, Aric dons a disguise and meets Denys, an archer and herbalist who lives alone at the edge of the forest. Denys agrees to guide Aric into the forest, but then Georgia appears, revealing Aric’s true identity.

However, Aric learns he is not the only one keeping secrets. Denys has a few of his own that could change both of their lives forever.

REVIEW:

Dragons! Magic swords, mages, enchantment spells, action, and adventure. All packed into this little fantasy. The author takes us on a journey through enchanted forests on a quest to unite two kingdoms.

While the world-building in “A Knight to Remember” is good, it does occur to me that the story seems familiar… We have the main character, Prince Aric, who is on a quest for a magic sword held in Sherwin forest. It is prophesied that this sword will allow whoever finds it to unite the kingdoms of the land in peace. On his journey, Aric, posing as a King’s knight, meets Denys, a mysterious, young man of many skills. A handsome man who seems to have some magic mojo himself —he may or may not be a mage— and is willing and able to take Aric through the enchanted forest to retrieve the sword held there in a stone statue. Hmmm…This story skirts around the 20th century Arthur/Merlin legends but adds some twists. Here, Aric has a plucky twin sister, Georgia, who decides she must join him on his quest. And Aric’s quest is instigated by a visit from a Black Dragon who tells him of the sword and his destiny to claim it.

“This wasn’t some feral animal, or a mindless beast. (Aric) could see its   intelligence reflected in its dark, slitted eyes.

‘The only way to fight magic is with magic… You must seek the Sword of Sherwin… (and) save your kingdom…’

The dragon opened its wings. Aric gasped. They were the length of several men, black cobwebs of fine leather and scale… The dragon took   to the air, gliding, hovering above him, its movement graceful, majestic. Something about it called to him, touched him.”

All in all, the adventure is enjoyable, there are skirmishes with some pursuing bad guys, and clashes with evil magical creatures. But there is nothing really astounding here, and I do have an issue with the main character. Aric comes off as a bit of a ditz. He’s on this dangerous, important quest but time and again, he has a habit of daydreaming or getting lost in thought at the most critical moments. He isn’t the strong, focused leader that I’d want in such a story, and so I found him a bit frustrating. In fact, Georgia is much more centered, clear-headed, and capable when confronting danger. I kept wondering at her constant presence… she certainly acts as a damper on Aric and Denys’ budding attraction— yet, here they are, traipsing the forest with a sister in tow. But, Georgia is handy with a bow (she recalls some of Tanith Lee or Tamora Pierce’s heroines), and she does, at one point, conveniently disappear when some personal time is needed. Denys, the mysterious forest man, is also more interesting… he’s an expert archer, and his bow has an intriguing engraving on it which matches the tattoo on his lower stomach — the meaning of which becomes evident in a nice twist to the story. When Aric finally gets a chance to touch that tattoo, sparks fly and the guys go into a kind of sexual heat.

The author has an easy-to-read writing style and a plot which, except for one sex scene, could fit in the YA fantasy genre. (In fact, if I were a teen and this were my first fantasy/shifter story, then I’d probably love it more.) While there was nothing really new here for me and I didn’t find Aric and Denys’ connection especially compelling, “A Knight to Remember” was a pleasant read. If you love dragons, magic, and some adventure in a fantasy read that is light on sex, then give this book a try. Apparently there will be a sequel which will pick up a year after the end of this one.

Elizabetta’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

PRE-ORDER LINK: Dreamspinner Press

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Elizabetta is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: ELIZABETTA’S REVIEWS
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