Power always wins.
Imagine Camelot but in Gotham: a city where knights are the celebrities of the day, riding on motorbikes instead of horses and competing in televised fights for fame and money.
Imagine a city where a young, magic-touched bastard astonishes everyone by becoming king – albeit with extreme reluctance – and a girl with a secret past trains to become a knight for the sole purpose of vengeance.
Imagine a city where magic is illegal but everywhere, in its underground bars, its back-alley soothsayers – and in the people who have to hide what they are for fear of being tattooed and persecuted.
Imagine a city where electricity is money, power the only game worth playing, and violence the most fervently worshipped religion.
Welcome to a dark, chaotic, alluring place with a tumultuous history, where dreams come true if you want them hard enough – and are prepared to do some very, very bad things to get them . . .
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review and can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ok, so I just wanna start off by saying this book is AMAZING! Honestly everyone needs to read this. It blends the Arthurian legend we all know and love with an intricate and amazingly built urban fantasy world, and I completely devoured it. Art is the Bastard son of Uther, King of London, until one day everything changes and he finds himself dragged into a world he had no interest in. As the new King he has more than a few rivals, but it’s sometimes the people closest to you that you need to be wary of. Red is a Godchild, one of the few people who have magic, when she catches the eye of the Kings Champion she gets dragged into the world of the Caballaria. Knights that ride on motorbikes and settle the differences of the land in epic fights. The training is gruelling and takes its toll, but Red is in it for the long haul. She has a score to settle, one years in the making, and nothing will stop her from getting her revenge. Told from two alternating timelines and focusing on two main POV’s Blackheart Knights spans 19 years, but it isn’t until the last few pages that you understand how the two timelines merge together.
The scope of this book is honestly amazing! Art’s story spans a 19 year period, from his time as a lowly bastard, to becoming King and all that happens after that. He never wanted the crown, really wanted nothing to do with his father, especially after the rumours surrounding his conception. He has no eye for politics, tending to lead with his heart rather than his head. He wants to do what’s best for everyone, but when feelings are involved he can become a little blind to the truth… something that may end up being his downfall. Red’s storyline is set over a shorter period of time, starting with her first Caballaria fight and focusing on her time training to become a Knight. We know from the start that she has a plan, a score to settle, but we’re not quite sure what it is or who it’s with. Her power makes her something of a rarity, and she in unused to the spotlight but the more time she spends training, the more she struggles with deciding what she truly wants – her revenge, or to become the Callabra Knight she is training to be. Though Red and Art are different in a lot of ways, it’s their similarities that truly stand out. They both want better for the people of London, only they have drastically different ideas as to how to bring that about. They both fall fast and hard when it comes to romance, and generally pick the people they absolutely shouldn’t have relationships with and when spurned, they both get a taste for revenge that can’t be quelled.
Eve manages to weave in a astounding cast of side characters, all of whom have a part to play in the story. The interweaving of the characters between the two storylines is superbly done, you’re never quite sure how a person fits into the specific plot but once the pieces all start to fit together you can see the epicness of Eve’s foreshadowing. Blackheart Knights is a heavily character driven story, and I couldn’t help but bond with them all in some way, some may have a page and some may have more, but they all have a significant impact on the plot.
I can’t explain how amazing the world that Eve builds is. It has characters and events that hale back to the Arthurian legend we all know and love, but Eve took all that and made a world completely her own. A world filled with modern conveniences, Knights that ride on motorbikes, televised fights used to settle disagreements between people and magic. Because of the time period the story is written over, we get to see just how much of a difference Art makes on London. He has a lot of aspirations when he becomes King and plenty of people calling him naive because of it, but the changes he implements make a huge difference to the lives of the people living in London The people who haven’t really benefited from it are those with magic. Godchildren are extremely rare, most choosing to stay hidden rather than willingly getting registered. Red knows this more than most. The storyline is dark and gritty, there are certainly some scenes not for the faint of heart ( and a few smuttier ones thrown in also), but Eve really highlights the brutality of the world, and shows that no matter how righteous a King may be, no matter how much he wants to change the world for the better, there will always be people who will be left behind, made to feel lesser for being different
The beginning was slightly info dumpy, but not enough to make me stop reading, and you are glad for it when it comes to reading later parts of the book. In fact the intricateness and uniqueness of Eve’s world meant that I couldn’t get enough of the descriptions and world building. Her use of the two different plots and timelines is brilliantly done. You never quite know how, or even if, the two storylines will merge but when they do, they do with a bang. There are plenty of plot twists throughout the story to keep you engrossed, and by the end I found myself devouring the book, stopping only for work and sleep. It’s not a quick read, at over 400 pages it’s definitely a chunk, but Eve’s writing lends itself to a slower reading speed. This isn’t a book you can binge, but one you should savour.
This has easily made it’s way onto my favourite books of the year! Don’t be put off by the slow start and you will find yourself engrossed in a world filled with familiar faces in a not so familiar setting. Eve’s worldbuilding is off the chart and, after that ending, I need book two in my hands asap!