Devil of Gilding

Blake Duology (Book 1)

Christian - Thriller
264 Pages
Reviewed on 09/18/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

December Knight strives to share her imagination and Christian faith through her creative writing from an honest, real-life perspective, developing deep relatable characters, and vivid complex storylines with controversial themes. She is a proud alumna of Liberty University having obtained her Bachelor's degree Multidisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Creative Writing, History, and Theology.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite

Devil of Gilding (Blake Duology) by December Knight is a Christian thriller that is compelling in both characters and plot, written at an undated time in a small British territory when lords reigned their lands and their favor is sought. Lord James takes steps to find a governess from his deceased wife’s family, namely her cousin Adelaide. His young son, Toby, is susceptible to illness and it is best to educate him at home. James' younger brother, Clemit, is often on hand to guide and nurture Toby. Clemit’s connections through his job become vital when this family is threatened with a bitterness that plagues their freedom, happiness, and even life. One evil act to cover a jealous deed leads to an even more horrific event. The snowball effect is magnified as lie builds upon lie and malicious exploits persist.
December Knight draws a vivid picture of how bitterness can consume a person and those it touches. Devil of Gilding (Blake Duology) has multiple layers of applications woven within the plot. Mainly, no matter the trials or tribulation that come your way you must continue to trust and believe. Even if the answers to Toby’s prayers took time, his faith was inspiring. The pace and intensity picked up as the drama increased. Each character had their own unique voice and vice, written with issues we all face; jealousy, bitterness, love, and insecurities. This novel is both heartfelt and significant. The author’s ability to capture and lure the reader into her fictional world is mesmerizing. I was both in awe and disappointed when this novel ended. I am looking forward to getting the next book in this set, Fallen Angel.

K.C. Finn

Devil of Gilding is a work of pseudo-historical fiction family drama and was penned by author December Knight as the opening to the Blake Duology. In this first instalment of harrowing family trials and the very nature of evil, we meet patriarch James Black just as his wife Leah perishes. James and his brother Clemit devote their lives to James’s beloved son Toby, but when an outwardly sweet-seeming figure arrives in their lives, things are about to change forever. As the danger around Toby mounts, the Blake family faces a terrifying struggle for survival at the hands of a very unexpected form of evil. Perhaps faith is the only thing that can truly help them now.

Readers with a leaning towards heroes of strong faith are certain to enjoy the Christian backbone to this intense thriller from a bygone age. Author December Knight puts hard work into the ensemble of characters which make up the Blake household, developing their close-knit ties through intelligent dialogue, subtle narration, and emotive acts. James is the central figure to it all, relatable due to his trauma but inspiring for the faith and love he puts into his work, his life, and most of all, his son. Toby’s experience is harrowing to read, but the descriptive work is superb when conveying what the family goes through to survive. Overall, Devil of Gilding makes for a thrilling, page-turning read with some unexpected twists and plenty of secrets to uncover, and will suit readers seeking an epic good versus evil tale.

Astrid Iustulin

Devil of Gilding is the first entry in The Blake Duology by December Knight, and it has all the ingredients to thrill its readers. The story revolves around Toby, a young boy who becomes the center of his father’s and uncle’s lives after both of them suffered tragic losses. They have the best intentions, but when Adelaide Everglade becomes Toby’s governess, everything changes for the worse. The new governess has her reasons to be jealous, and her arrival casts a shadow on the serene family life. At some point, Toby disappears and dark forces surround him. Will his family be able to find him and take him back home?

Devil of Gilding is an enthralling read, and it seems to me that Knight considered every aspect of the story with extreme attention. Christian beliefs and tragic elements are equally important and well balanced. There is no monotony in this novel, which is remarkable both for its suspense and for passages that invite reflection. The story is easy to follow because it develops logically and consistently. The characters are well carved, even if they are less important figures. I like that Knight has taken the time to delve into their minds and describe their feelings. All the protagonists are fully-rounded, but Adelaide’s portrayal is superlative. This character has many shades, and her ambiguity makes her a fascinating figure, perhaps the most interesting of the entire book. I cannot wait to read the next part of the series, hoping it will be as fine as the first.

Rabia Tanveer

Devil of Gilding is the first novel in the Blake Duology by December Knight. This is the story of the Blake family who is not perfect by any means, but they are making it work. Set in Regency England, the story follows James Blake as he is trying to pick up the pieces of his life after his wife Leah died giving birth to his son Toby. Soon James’s whole life revolves around his little son and his brother Clemit. He knows that a little boy needs the attention of a mother, so he gets Toby the next best thing: a governess. Adelaide is Leah’s cousin and soon she becomes a part of their lives. However, tragedy strikes their lives again when little Toby is kidnapped. James is devastated and lost, but Clemit has an idea who had Toby kidnapped. All he has to do is convince his brother and catch the person behind it red-handed.

This is a fast-paced family drama that had me on the edge of my seat and ready for more. I loved the family dynamics, enjoyed how the two brothers showed different sides of the spectrum yet how much they loved each other. I enjoyed how one brother stood strong for the other when they needed it and how they rotated this strength whenever and whoever required it. The thrill and the suspense of the novel were literally alive. I was so invested in the story that I just didn’t want to stop reading. Although Clemit is supposed to be the troublemaker, I enjoyed his role more. He was somehow more relatable and believable to me. This is an entertainer!

Tiffany Ferrell

In the first book of December Knight’s series, The Devil Of Gilding, we are introduced to a nobleman named James who loses his wife Leah in childbirth while having their son Tobias. Distraught but convinced, James decides to go against the normal protocol of the time and raise his son himself. As Toby grows up, his father is frantic by the illnesses that leave him sick for weeks at a time but is very proud of Toby and sure that he will grow into a strong, good man. Toby is very enchanted by his uncle Clemit who is James’ estranged brother. The two don’t see eye to eye but they care for the young boy undoubtedly. James decides that Tobias is too fragile for school. He decides instead to hire a governess and tutors to teach his son. The nobleman has in mind a young woman named Adelaide, who is the daughter of the aunt that took Leah in when she was a young girl. Adelaide accepts the position as Toby’s governess but not with the intentions that one may think. Inside this woman, a war is raging between right and wrong, whether to give in to rage and revenge or to let the past be the past.

The Devil Of Gilding is certainly an interesting book. It’s written very well and has deep Christian undertones and lessons within its pages. Actually, I was halfway through the book before I even realized it was a historical Christian book. It definitely surprised me in a good way because Knight tells such a compelling story of this noble family. The characters are well written and likable. I can relate some of the characters to people who are in the Bible. There was one particular part of the storyline that was very intense but put the scriptures into a more modern and somewhat realistic setting for the reader to stop and think. I also had a love/hate feeling towards Adelaide. She would anger me but, at the same time, I found myself pitying her, hoping she has some sort of redemption. It’s very unusual for me to have so many mixed emotions about a character. I like that Knight’s book had that effect on me. I found myself continuing on, intrigued and hanging on each page as the story unfolded. I was a bit disappointed to be left with a cliffhanger but all it did was fuel my craving for more. I can’t wait to read the second installment.