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Knight Awakened (Circle of Seven) Paperback – December 4, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Callahan (the Dragonfury series) opens a seven-book series with a prophesy that "out of the ashes seven warriors shall rise." In 1331 Transylvania, the evil Vladimir Barbu hires ex-assassin Xavian Ramir to get rid of Afina Lazar, protector of the Amulet of Orm. The amulet is part of an ancient ritual that would crown Barbu the Lord of Transylvania. Xavian needs Barbu's money to support his mountain holding, where he protects those who escape servitude, as he did when he could no longer stomach conscription into the Al Pacii death squadron. However, after seeing Afina's courageousness in battle and her protectiveness as a mother, Xavian decides to "liberate" her as well. Their intimacy awakens Afina's magic and their link allows them to fight the darkness slowly killing the land. Callahan deftly weaves a fresh tale of good versus evil, gathering a unique fighting force, including some were-dragons, that will keep fans eager for the upcoming sequels.

From Library Journal

On the run from evil Vladimir Barbu, who needs her in order to be crowned Transylvania's king, high priestess and healer Afina Lazar and her orphaned niece, Sabine, have so far eluded capture. Now hired killer Xavian Ramir is on her trail. Yet when he catches up with Afina, Xavian discovers a truth he never expected, and his plans change abruptly. He knows he can never hand Afina over to Barbu. A reluctant heroine who finally embraces her powers and a hero in need of redemption find healing and love in this complex medieval fantasy that has foot firmly in both fantasy and romance camps. VERDICT: Assassins, shape-changing dragons, and plenty of action drive the plot of this magical romantic fantasy that will keep fans of the subgenre on their toes and nicely launches a seven-book series. Callahan (Fury of Seduction) lives in Canada.
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Product Details

  • Series: Circle of Seven (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (December 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612183034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612183039
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As the only girl on all guys hockey teams from age six through her college years, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write about them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics, but whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked, good fun.

After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, she finally succumbed to her overactive imagination and returned to her first love: writing. And when she's not writing, she's dreaming of magical worlds full of dragon-shifters, elite assassins, and romance that's too hot to handle. Callahan currently lives in Canada with her family and writing buddy, a fun-loving golden retriever.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 148 people found the following review helpful By Kindred VINE VOICE on October 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Let's face facts here. Romance novels are either full of romance and love or sex, but this one walks a fine line between the sex and... well, not romance. Our heroine, Afina finds herself hiding out from the standard evil overlord, Vladimir Barbu who is, well, I'm not sure who he is, while she raises her sister's daughter. He wants to be the king or something, and then there's the evil something or other who trains assassins who are usually kidnapped boys. And Barbu wants Afina- at first I assume dead, hence sending out the assassins, but then he wants her to be his bride, maybe? Because she has magical powers although she apparently doesn't know she has them, or what releases them. It's a romance/sex novel, guess what releases them. And then there's Xavian, one of said assassins, do you bet he kills Afina or falls madly in lust? Hmm?

There is also secret family, an extra character or twelve who seem fairly wasted and enough fight scenes to satisfy the bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, I was busy trying to imagine traveling on horseback for days with a toddler. Sounds like the vacation from hell. Guess it's a lucky thing that one of the killer assassins likes to moonlight as an au pair, so the child virtually disappears from the second half of the book.

But it's a fine book if you can read the phrase- `traitor in my trewes', over and over and not snicker, and if you think a man who can only think of sex when he sees his beloved as romantic. Personally, I got to the point that I wanted to spray him with a water hose to calm him down.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By JLW VINE VOICE on October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The idea behind this novel intrigued me, so I quickly added it to my Vine list. When it came, I instantly started to read it;however, I quickly began to lose interest. While the concept of the story with a hero assassin is exciting, the characters themselves fell flat.

Our hero, Xavian, is a top assassin who was stolen as a child and raised to be a killing machine by an evil man. After learning to kill effectively, he manages to escape, and he now just kills for hire. After being hired to bring in our heroine, Xavian decides to investigate before bringing her in. He is instantly attracted to her and decides to keep her. This sounds like a good premise for a romance novel. Where this author fell short was getting me to care about the characters themselves. I just didn't feel connected to them or feel like I understood why they did and said the things that they did. I am all for love at first sight stories, but the author just didn't pull it off in this novel. On a different note, I was a little confused, at first, with all the crazy names and many characters. This wasn't a big deal, but it made this a little bit more difficult read.

Overall, I loved the premise, but I just didn't care enough about the characters to continue this series. If you are still intrigued, pick it up at your library.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By BookMonster VINE VOICE on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Overall, this is a good read. The plot is complicated, there are a LOT of people to keep track of, but it's interesting and the setting is fascinating.

Here comes the big "however". So this is supposed to be a romance, love and mushy stuff and all that, but it seemed to me anyway to be mostly about lust and sex. Every time Xavian looks at her all he can think about are the various ways he could be having sex right with her. I'm all for passion, but it got to the point of being ridiculous.

Because there are so many characters to keep track of - there is not much character development. A lot of them are glossed over, you are introduced but you never hear from them again, and if you do it's pretty much just to check in. Right now they're doing this. Don't really learn much regarding motivation and any back story is pretty much just about our two main characters.

I loved the idea of this story, but honestly thought the author bit off a little more than she could chew. Seemed "heavy" and didn't flow as well as it could've. Still a good read, keeps you interested and entertained, but I would say this is more of a book you rent from the library than one you add to your own personal library...if that makes sense.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Matlack VINE VOICE on December 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Well, I picked this up based on it's recommendation that my previous reading choices are heavily in Fantasy with wizards and alternate universes, etc. This book also had the audacity to tout itself to fans of George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice & Fire" series. Those are the readers who need to stay the furthest away from Coreene Callahan's books for reasons that will be glaringly obvious from the first few pages based entirely on her writing style.

Secondly, this is primarily a romance/bodice ripper in the truest sense of the term. A lot of clothes were sacrificed in this book for the sake of pulsating passion and/or attempted rape. Indeed the hero, Xavian "stiffens" right from the beginning when he first lays eyes on Afina and rides that high level of arousal all the way to the "awshucks" happy ending.

My gripes with this story, really has nothing to do with the story itself. The author faithfully follows the formula for writing a successful romance novel as faithfully as theWriting a Romance Novel For Dummies guidelines provide. i.e. the hero with a troubled psyche afraid to be close to anyone, a trembling heroine with overwhelming and confusing awakened desires who eventually loses control after she is "rescued" multiple times. And a bad guy with every possible bad whim on his mind. Quite frankly, this is what sells and this is what we want to read to take our minds off of our real lives.

No my gripes were with the writing. The story takes place in Transylvania in 1331 AD to be precise and yet every single character, no matter their rank in life spoke as tho' they were in Regency England.

It drove me nuts!
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