Publisher: Hyperion Books
Release Date: January 25, 2010 (USA release)
Ratings: 4 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
*SPOILERS FROM PREVIOUS BOOK*
After the death of her soulmate Kay by her very own sword, Billi SanGreal has thrown herself into the brutal regime of Templar duties with utter abandon. There is no room for feelings any more – her life is now about hunting down the Unholy. But when Billi and another Knight Templar are caught at the heart of a savage werewolf attack, only Billi survives – except for a young girl at the scene who Billi unthinkingly drags away with her as they escape. But Vasalisa is no ordinary girl. She is an avatar with an uncontrollable power – and it’s not only the werewolves who want her. Billi has to flee to the frosty climes of Russia, with a human timebomb who, it seems, could destroy the world . . .
While visiting London this summer, my one requirement was to visit a book store and pick up this book since here, in the United States, the book is not released until next year. I am extremely glad I did this. I loved Devil’s Kiss the first book featuring Billi SanGreal and I was really looking forward to seeing where Sarwat Chadda would take Billi next.
Dark Goddess, the sequel to Devil’s Kiss, was more than I expected, in a good way. Sarwat Chadda continues Billi’s adventures as a Templar Knight and in this book expands the world Billi lives in. I loved that this book took Billi away from London and brought her, along with the rest of the Templars, to Russia where we get to meet the Russians equivalent of the Templars. Russia provides Billi many more challenges and has her continuing to question herself and her duty as a Templar.
In the Dark Goddess, the events from the previous book have truly taken a toll on Billi. In this book, Billi, who still have those characteristics I love about her, such as her stubbornness and devotion to those she loves, has been deeply effected by the previous events in her life. Billi has grown as a character, and continues to grow even more because of the events of these books. I often forgot that Billi is a fifteen year old girl. She seems more mature that because of the harsh life she has been subjected to as a Templar. Even though Billi gets put through more events that have her questioning her beliefs, I love that she stayed true to herself and ended up growing up even more from her experiences.
One of my favorite parts about this book was that it took place in Russia and that in Russia we met a whole new set of characters. I must confess, I have a weird love of Russia and really would love going there and I was so glad that Billi got to go there in this book. I also really loved how Sarwat Chadda took the Russian myth of Baba Yaga and made it his own. I’ve read a few different takes on Baba Yaga and I really like his spin on her and how well it fit with the story. Along with just loving Russia, the characters Sarwat Chadda introduced to us in Russia are probably some of my favorite. I loved Ivan Alexeivich Romanov, even if he did fulfill Kay’s role in this book. Ivan is basically a male version of Billi, and I loved that what you see with him is not what you get. He is battling many personal battles, like Billi, and it was interesting to see his story revealed.
Overall, I truly enjoyed Dark Goddess and ended up reading it all in one sitting. I think I ended up enjoying this book more than it predecessor, probably cause it had Russia in it (just kidding). I found this book very enjoyable, and the ending left me wanting more since it was left opening, hopefully for a sequel to help resolve it. I was not disappointed in my buy in the UK and extremely glad I brought it. Definitely check this book out when it is released in the US.