The Ebon Knight

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
396 Pages
Reviewed on 11/16/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Demetria Head for Readers' Favorite

In The Ebon Knight by James Wood, readers are thrust into a gripping tale where the lines between good and evil blur as Kelso Hart, an outcast Knight of the Light, and Ava Pentran, the youngest Princess of the Dark, forge an unlikely alliance against a menacing third power in the Eternal Conflict. As the wielder of the sentient sword Argenta, Kelso embodies a grim legacy of cursed Knights, while Ava, exiled and hunted, relies on her formidable battle prowess and a secret tied to the Furies. The duo must confront a new and insidious threat—a virus that transforms the infected into malevolent beings, indiscriminately targeting both Light and Dark. As Kelso and Ava grapple with their own wounds and disillusionment from the ongoing war, their journey becomes a test of trust and survival.

James Wood weaves a spellbinding narrative in a world of magic and madness in this urban fantasy. The Ebon Knight delves into the complexities of character, challenging preconceived notions of heroism and villainy. Wood's narrative prowess shines as he explores the evolving dynamics between Kelso and Ava, inviting readers to question the true nature of the Eternal Conflict. A thrilling blend of fantasy and suspense, this first installment in the Ebon Knight Chronicles promises an enthralling exploration of alliances forged in the crucible of chaos. The world-building and unique characters add so much depth to the story that readers may not want to put this one down. The Ebon Knight is a highly recommended read for fans of the urban fantasy genre.

Delene Vrey

The Ebon Knight by James Wood is the first in a trilogy of urban fantasy books that tell the story of a war between the Dark and the Light. Kelso Hart became a Knight of the Light when his sister and nephew were killed, but he became more than a mere Knight; he became the Ebon Knight. Cursed to wield the mythical sword, Argenta, he has the potential to be unstoppable, killing without conscience and discernment. Kelso, however, is a broken man, riddled with guilt for the death of his sister and nephew, as well as unwilling to give in and draw Argenta in battle. He has his father's guns, and they are working just fine. Princess Ava Pentran has been exiled from the Dark and has been hunting the scum of society who could ascend to become minions of the Dark. Together with her loyal guard of Furies, she has been quite busy. Kelso and Ava should try to kill each other when they cross paths. Instead, they are intrigued, and a strange relationship blossoms. They realize that something has infected the Dark, making them more sinister than usual. This Other poses a real threat to all parties, and Ava and Kelso will form the heart of the resistance against the Other. That is if Kelso survives the Furies who hate him for killing one of their own.

James Wood has written an adult urban fantasy with broken yet principled main characters. The events of the book take place over about three days and are filled with action and intrigue. The concept of Dark and Light forces striving to keep the balance in society with a third force influencing one side, making it stronger, is a great take on what happens in real life in many conflict situations. Many themes are touched upon in the story such as loyalty, sibling rivalry, child abuse, sexual abuse, and murder. The characters face their psychological problems while trying to save innocents and fight back the wave of evil that is clear in society. What becomes evident is that circumstances in the world today have influenced this layered and action-packed story. I like the writing style because clean language is used, with no profanity or swear words. Reference is made to violent acts, and some fight scenes are descriptive. A warning must be given that there may be triggers for abuse and suicide.

Stephanie Chapman

The Ebon Knight by James Wood is an urban fantasy featuring two opposing forces. Ava Pentran was an exiled princess from the Dark. Kelso Hart, a knight who serves the Light, captivates her. His lack of fear and acceptance that he could not defeat her made him different from her normal adversaries. Their paths converge when they both target an infected ghoul who has abducted a girl. When Ava learns he carries the infamous Argenta sword, it projects her intense fear to her Furies, Chandra and Jae. The Furies go into full frenzy mode. However, Ava saves Kelso by throwing him off the building, which is 27 stories high. Meanwhile, Ava’s older sister, Jesslyn, has watched the encounter. Enraged that Ava didn’t kill a known enemy, she follows Kelso home. She becomes further agitated when she is unable to attack him since his house has powerful runes protecting it. She wants to kill Ava and Kelso, but she must find a way past the enchantments.

James Wood writes a suspenseful story in which Kelso and Ava face death. While Ava was the epitome of darkness, Kelso matched her with his thoughts that he would die that night. Argenta often berated Kelso for being a coward and too nice. The italicized font defined the arguments between Argenta and Kelso. It was easy to see the emotional pain that filled Kelso’s mind. The Furies’ determination to ensure Ava’s survival was amazing to watch. It was never easy to determine if the Furies’ actions were really right or wrong. The plot was unpredictable, and it made me question if Ava could convince the Furies to accept Kelso. Wood wrote the action and character transformations in vivid detail. Ava’s change in physical appearance was terrifying to envision. The end was abrupt, leaving a good opening for a sequel. The Ebon Knight is an urban fantasy that proves there is a blurred line between good and evil.

Nino Lobiladze

The Light and the Dark are engaged in the old Conflict. The ordinary people, or sleepers, don't know about it. But if any of them awakens to the Dark or the Light, they start to witness this ancient standoff. Kelso Hart is the Knight of the Light. He wields a terrifying sword, Argenta, and does his best to resist its murderous nature. Kelso met the Dark Princess named Ava Pentran while trying to save his neighbor's daughter, fifteen-year-old Carmen, from a monster. Protected by the horrifying Furies, Ava is very beautiful and dangerous. Outlaws among those of their kind, Ava and Kelso, found unexpected solace in each other's company. Are they strong enough to challenge the Princess's wicked elder sister, Jesslyn, and to face the new formidable enemy? The Ebon Knight by James Wood, the first book in a series, is for mature fans of urban fantasy, adventure, and paranormal romance.

James Wood put his heart and soul into the world-building of The Ebon Knight. The unique mythology of the universe is very well-defined. The author explains the aspects of the Dark and Light realms from different perspectives, adding emotional depth to the action-packed, vibrant narrative. The Ebon Knight is a character-driven story with a range of three-dimensional characters. Kelso is a true knight in shining armor. Yet, mystery surrounds him and his role in the Conflict. Ava can be terrifying, but she has an overwhelming sense of justice. Brave Carmen is a wonderful secondary character with many other surprising features. James focuses on the relationships between the characters and offers a touching love story with an intriguing hint of a love triangle. The Ebon Knight is about building true friendships and making wise decisions, no matter how complicated the circumstances are. I highly recommend this first book in a very promising series.

Ruffina Oserio

The Ebon Knight by James Wood is an urban fantasy that takes readers on an enthralling journey filled with unforgettable characters and spellbinding intrigue. Kelso Hart, a withdrawn and somewhat good Knight of the Light, and Ava Pentran, a not-so-evil Princess of the Dark, are forced to form an alliance against a new and sinister power entering the Eternal Conflict. Kelso, wielding the sentient sword Argenta, and Ava, a fierce warrior exiled from her own dark kingdom, must forge an unlikely partnership in a world of magic, chaos, and malevolence.

Wood weaves a story filled with compelling conflict that shapes the characters' evolution. Kelso and Ava are wounded and disillusioned with their war-torn reality, a trait that makes them relatable and multi-dimensional. The interplay between their distinct personalities, their dark pasts, and the intricacies of the new threat presents an engaging and well-crafted plot that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. The intricate worldbuilding further immerses readers into this fantasy world, where a virus indiscriminately changes its victims into malevolent and chaotic beings. With elements of quirky humor and thrilling action, James Wood showcases unexpected plot twists and a cast of morally nuanced characters. The book will resonate with readers who enjoy surprising turns and compelling characters dealing with a solid conflict, a touch of dark humor, and an alluring blend of danger and forbidden attraction. Fans of urban fantasy looking for a fresh and compelling story will find themselves at home in The Ebon Knight. Wood's storytelling invites readers into an exciting world where heroes aren't always what they seem, and villains have more complexity than meets the eye.