Will he kill the one who can save him… again? Happy Release Day, Vespar! *tosses confetti*
Okay, so I’m happy on every release day, but since Vespar was 2 years in the making, I’m especially thrilled that he has his day.
Some characters an author loves just because they’re adorable. I love Vespar because he’s a bit of a tortured soul. Unsure of why, all he knows is that he needs to kill… has to kill. He doesn’t know that he has lived a similar cursed life over and over ever since he signed an X on a parchment in the 1100s. He doesn’t know that the wizard Moriel who cursed him was a vicious SOB with a sick sense of humor. And mostly he doesn’t know why he has to kill.
Writing a character that has such a huge character flaw – I think we’d all agree that the need to kill is a flaw – was an interesting experience. He needed to be a character I and readers could connect with and yet be true to who he was. Not necessarily the easiest to write, but worth the while. It was a bit like forming clay into a statue and then taking that statue and sanding it down until the main flaw turned upside down and became his greatest strength.
The book gives you a brief look into the end of Vespar’s last life, which shows you who he was as well as gives a flashback into how he came to the curse. Then you get to know hard-hearted Vespar. Of course, I instantly threw his mortal enemy, an enemy he has killed in every lifetime, into his path and for the first time in his life, Vespar finds himself confused… After all, Marcolm seems a bit too good to kill.
Vespar sat in his darkened hotel room and stared at his laptop. He was uneasy. He’d killed countless times under orders. So why was this different? Until an hour earlier, he’d been parked outside of Marcolm’s—no, Rogers’s apartment complex. He had no idea why the kid’s first name popped into his head. You didn’t name a mark, just like you didn’t name an animal that was headed to slaughter. He listened in as his target laughed and joked with his buddies while they played some computer game. He seemed so… normal. Something Vespar had never been.
Maybe that was it. Rogers was one of those guys—the kind who laughed at Vespar when he was younger because he was different and kept to himself.
He narrowed his eyes and turned off his listening equipment. No more wasting time. The next day Marcolm Rogers would come to an end. For some inexplicable reason, Vespar knew he needed to make the kill quick. That was just as well. Vespar preferred to kill cleanly. He would get in, kill, mess up the apartment enough that it was noticeable, leave the picture, and disappear.
Then he would take the last part of his money and hide away from the world for as long as he could.
As he got into bed, he slid his knife under the pillow and clamped his hand over the hilt. He would fulfill his first contract, and the next time he would not be so affected. “That’s right,” he reminded himself as his breathing evened out. “I was nervous the first time I killed in the Army too. Once I have one down, the rest will be easy.” With that thought in his mind, he slid into the only kind of slumber he ever got. The uneasy kind.
What is your favorite type of hero? Or anti-hero as the case may be 🙂
About The Order of the Black Knights:
Every century has seen its knights. But there are those who are never seen. They do what must be done—what has to be done—when nobody wants to get their hands dirty. They are called the Black Knights. First created in the 1100s by the wizard Moriel, these men seem cold and hard, and it is said that some have no soul. But for each knight, there is one who can bring out the man who waits inside. The question is whether or not he will kill the individual before he figures it out.
Through the ages, they’ve conquered and ruled and taken what they wanted. And they have adapted to modern times. Instead of being bullies for hire, they have taken their skills further—the Internet, the CIA, government infiltration, hacking, special ops, assassination, but each one of them has a need they don’t understand—to squash, kill, or destroy.
If the Knight pardons his enemy, he will no longer be cursed. If not, he will continue to live the same life again and again, and each life will make him harder and more unyielding. And each life will make it less likely that he can be saved.
Special ops turned professional killer, Vespar McKauley is hired to take out Marcolm Rogers, son of his employer’s worst enemy. But Marc isn’t like any hit he’s ever done. He’s just twenty-one, he goes to a private university studying English Lit, and for fun he plays computer games with his friends. No drugs, no partying, no crime. The day he bumps into Marc and looks into his azure eyes, the world drops out from under him.
With his father in the Chicago Crime Syndicate, Marc and his mom have stayed out of the limelight, hiding from those that might harm them. He figures he’s safe at a small liberal arts university all the way across the country. Only midway through his senior year, he feels eyes on him and the shadows encroaching. Just as he’s about to run, he meets Vespar and experiences an instant attraction. When Vespar tells him he’s in danger and offers to protect him, Marc wants to believe him. But he’s been hunted before, and this time he isn’t sure he’ll get away. Especially when he finds out he is Vespar’s target.
Dreamspinner Press – https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/vespar-by-thianna-durston-7990-b
💫 Review by Debbie Attenborough
I can’t write a blurby bit, because I’m so so very pleased with this book!!
We get a little into how the series came about, by way of a small bit at the front of this book.
BUT more importantly……
We finally get more about WHY the Black Knights came about, and HOW Vespar, at least, came to be joined to them. We get that little bit of information at the beginning of this book that gives me what I was missing from books one, Gideon and book two, Matthias and it certainly made THIS book a far better read, for me anyway!
It does carry the same, meet, love, kill, rinse and repeat theme from the other two books BUT it came across in a far better way, and I didn’t notice the similarities in the story lines to books one and two, as much as I did between the other two books, if that makes sense? Yes, Vespar had met Marc many times in his previous lives, but their connection doesn’t seem as solid, it wasn’t given that “I’ve met him before” thing that was in the other books.
I loved, LOVED that it was way past half way before they gave into their feelings for each other. LOVED being made to wait for the main event. Loved that it wasn’t clear which way it would end, right til the end, loved that. Love being kept on my toes!
Told from both men’s point of view, in the third person is the best way for me to read a book. And I loved this book! Read in one single sitting.
But I wonder, who is next?? Whoever it is, and whoever writes it, I want to read it. Now I have that bit more information, I need more! Greedy, I know, but there you go, that’s me!
So, I can’t, in all honest, give it anything other than…
5 full stars
About the Author:
Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?
She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.
Find her online:
Website – http://mm.thiannad.com/
Blog – http://blog.thiannad.com/
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