Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda
Published Jan 2011 by Hyperion
A huge thank you to Pam for a copy of this book!
New enemies, new romance, and new horrors,
Billi's back, and it seems like the Unholy just can't take a hint.
Still reeling from the death of her best friend, Kay, Billi's thrust back into action when the Templars are called to investigate werewolf activity. And these werewolves are like nothing Billi's seen before.
They call themselves the Polenitsy - Man Killers. The ancient warrior women of Eastern Europe, supposedly wiped out centuries ago. But now they're out of hiding and on the hunt for a Spring Child -- an Oracle powerful enough to blow the volcano at Yellowstone -- precipitating a Fimbulwinter that will wipe out humankind for good.
The Templars follow the stolen Spring Child to Russia, and the only people there who can help are the Bogatyrs, a group of knights who may have gone to the dark side. To reclaim the Spring Child and save the world, Billi needs to earn the trust of Ivan Romanov, an arrogant young Bogatyr whose suspicious of people in general, and of Billi in particular.
Dark Goddess is a page-turning, action-packed sequel that spans continents, from England to the Russian underworld and back. This is an adventure of folklore and myth become darkly real. Of the world running out of time. And of Billi SanGreal, the only one who can save it.
My thoughts: What I felt may have lacked from Chadda's debut novel is made up for in the second Bill SanGrael novel :)
Still reeling from her epic fight with Satan and the lost of her best friend Kay, Billi focuses on her duties as a Knight Templar. She trains harder and fights more in order to forget recent events. But past meets present when Vasilisa, a child much like Kay, comes into Billi's life. Vasilisa brings along with her the Russian folklore of Baba Yaga. The Knight Templar and learn the ways of the old witch if they are to defeat her and save Vasilisa--and the world.
There was so much about this book that I enjoyed. I loved the setting of Russia. It felt new and different. If you know of any other books taking place in Russia, I'd love to hear about them. The folklore aspect of the story was very well-researched. Baba Yaga stories are some of my favorite fairy tales and I was really impressed on how Chadda incorpated the myths into his novel.
The new and old characters blended together lovely. I still missed certain people (cough, PERCY, cough), but the lost Romanov prince was a great addition. Billi is still kicking ass and the Knights Templar are still making medieval cool.
However, the best part of this novel is Chadda's ability to make you second guess any notion you can come up about the plot. Towards the end of the book, I was quite certain so many of my favorite characters were going to be gone by the end. I was pleasantly surprised--but still shocked by the conclusion.
Any lovers of history or fans of strong female protagonist would really enjoy the Billi SanGrael series!
Rating: 4 Stars.