Kira's day job is as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of themost lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission, dispatching teh Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she's got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside down in search of a millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira's hands.
Then there's Khefar, the dagger's true owner---a near-immortal 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit, looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow forces, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does,the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever....
I found this book thanks to Dark Faerie Tales and the Debut Urban Fantasy Author Challenge that's going on. So very glad I found the challenge and this book. The challenge has led me to some fab UF and this books is definitely in that group.
The premise of SHADOW BLADE was a new one to me, Kira has abilities to read items by placing her bare skin on the object. Sadly, this also means no close contact with people unless she wants them in a coma or dead. She's kept people at a distance all of her life, except for a trusted few and even they are kept sheltered from her touch and some emotional attachment. Kira has trained herself to be this way, for their sake and hers, but finds herself wanting to see what it would be like to touch one person...the Nubian, Khefar, owner of the ancient dagger she is protecting.
Khefar is tasked with a mission of protecting lives after an early lifetime of being a killing machine. The dagger was given to him by the Pharoah and it's never been out of his sight until now and he will do what it takes to get it back.
Khefar has a 'sidekick', though Nansee would be appalled to find himself called such. I think he was my favorite character in the book. He appeared as needed or as he felt compelled to appear in the guise of an old man, albeit an old man who could kick ass in the kitchen and in the fight.
I enjoyed the parts of the book where Kira has to deal with all of the paperwork after a Shadow attack. Bureaucracy is bureaucracy no matter if it's in the 'real' world or in the UF world and the author does a good job of showing Kira's disgust with that fact.
I am very pleased that this blend of ancient Egyptian mysticism and urban fantasy is the beginning of a series. There is definitely a story that needs telling and finishing. A story of good (Light) versus evil (Shadow). Shadow is definitely truly horrendous and Kira needs her wits and her allies around her to fight the darker side. This dark side also wants Kira to work for them and are doing all they can to make that so. And she is doing all she can to keep on the right side of Light.
Five sparkly Light diamonds.....