With an interesting twist on the legend of Camelot, Cloak of Shadows (The Netherwalker Series, Book 1) by C.K. Dawn is where Camelot did exist but was destroyed to keep its secrets. The descendants of the Knights of the Round Table live on and defend people from the creatures that lurk within the shadows – the Netherwalkers. Readers are introduced to Lourdes ‘Lourdie’ Reese, a strong, fiercely independent seasoned hunter in the King's Court, and her spunky apprentice, 14-year-old Abigail ‘Abbey’ Thorne. These two are easily likable characters and the quintessence of strong female protagonists, a definite boon for me.
empath, she finds her father’s emotions to be the most distressing since her mother’s recent untimely death. Rachel’s letter had been handed to Emma on her seventeenth birthday, but remains on her desk, unopened. When new student, Mattox Daniels, transfers to her school, she is puzzled by the fact that she cannot read his thoughts or emotions. Popular with all of the other students, Mattox tries to win Emma’s affections, but she keeps him at arm’s length, hoping to first figure out the handsome enigma’s secret, including if Emma’s inability to read him means he is linked to the evil shadow that haunts her.
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Instead, the higher Ignis mages sent an army of their hell beasts into the coven. A powerful spell creating monstrous creatures made of only fire penetrated her home’s stone walls, waking everyone from their beds with screams of slaughter. Eve tried desperately to use her water element to help her guards and fellow mages as they passed by but failed. The Ignis Coven had used a dampening spell around her home as their army invaded.
“Dad!” Eve saw him through the smoke with a dozen of his own guards. A talisman glowed bright ice blue between his fingers as hell beasts disintegrated into ash around him.
“Eve, what are you doing? Why are you still here?” His eyes grew wide before narrowing in anger.
“I can help. Dad, I want to stay and fight!” She said rushing to his side.
Her father’s fierce visage that caused men to tremble softened when he quickly grabbed his daughter’s hands. The look in his eyes frightened her. “Eve, you can’t be here,” her father’s voice was hushed and pained. His softness melted into a resolute determination. Eve jumped when he called out, “Kane!” His Glaciem Coven leader tone returning.
“Yes, Sire!” Kane emerged from behind Eve. Had he been with her since the invasion began? She had been so distracted when the alarms sounded she lost count of how many of her guards had fallen in her frivolous attempt to find her father. Stupid, Eve! You got people killed, and for what? She looked behind her and the hallway was empty, all except for Kane. His massive form casting shadows on her small delicate one.
“Dad, I’m so sorry--”
“Take her! Out the northern tunnels, don’t stop for anything, and don’t tell anyone where you’re going; not even me.”
Lucian Riley put his hand above Kane’s heart and the talisman glowed a deep purple, “Understood?”
“Yes. Sire.” Kane’s words seemed almost defiant, but he complied. Eve wondered what spell her father had used. She’d never seen any of their talismans glow purple before.
“I love you, Eve.” Lucian raised the talisman to his daughter and its glow turned a brilliant ice blue once again.
“Dad, wait. No! Please let me stay--” Eve’s words dimmed as sleep threatened to take her.
“It’s you they want!” Her father’s words echoed in her mind, screaming their warning. Blinded by a flash of light Eve fainted into Kane’s arms...
Cloak of Echoes 5 STARS! Readers' Favorite
Cloak of Echoes is a short story by C.K. Dawn, and is the second book in the Netherwalker series. Rachel Kincaid watches while her newborn baby, Emma, sleeps soundly as she writes her daughter a letter. Wishing things could be different, Rachel is startled when lightning strikes not far from her home, but her fear quickly dwindles when Emma wakes, sensing her mother’s angst. Fast forward seventeen years: Emma wakes from a nightmare and hurries off to school, trying to avoid the people around her. As an
5 Stars! ~ reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
For as long as she could remember, Eve hated the Ignis Coven. Her beloved Glaciem had an uneasy truce with Ignis, but they never made it easy. The Ignis were always vying for dominance. Right now she could kill one of their witches with her bare hands if only they would show themselves.
Chapter 1: The Fire that Burns
The Glaciem Coven was on fire. Twenty-two year old Eve Riley ran through the halls of her home as ash coated her throat. The smoke’s heat scorched her lungs as she made her way to her father’s war room. All around her the walls that stood strong and proud throughout her life began to falter from fire and the battle she was now navigating. Guards of the Glaciem cleared a path as she ran, fighting and dying at the hand of hundreds of Ignis fire beasts. So focused on getting to her father, Eve barely noticed the bodies falling behind her.
Artwork by Mirella Santana
This story definitely pulled at my heartstrings, with every emotion felt within these pages. C.K. Dawn has mastered the art of presenting a short story filled with mystery, sorrow, intrigue, love and laughter, as well as an underlying evil presence which needs to be solved. Cloak of Echoes created more and more questions about Mattox with every single page, keeping me engrossed and wanting to read more. The main characters are quite likeable and the depth and background of both kept my curiosity piqued until the very end. I recommend this book for those who love a good mystery, paired with a slab of the supernatural.
2015 Bronze Medal
5 Stars! ~ reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Cloak of Shadows 2015 Award Winner Readers' Favorite
The beginning pace of the story is moderate compared to most YA fiction that I’ve read before. However, when Lourdie and Abbey go to Porthleven, England, the tempo of the pace starts to feel irrelevant as the storyline builds with suspense and becomes much more intriguing. The plot is solid; it is conscientiously written, well thought out and executed. Admittedly, I didn’t expect any less after the excellent prologue. At some point when you think you know what is going on, something else appears to derail your expectations. This holds good right up to and including the end.
Dawn’s writing style is well-targeted for YA fans and the story contains enough action, adventure, humor and emotion to draw readers in. With an ending that promises answers in the next book, Cloak of Shadows kicks off The Netherwalker series well. It will provide great entertainment for YA fans and may well recruit many more.