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As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.
Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.
But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years -- a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.
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Sarwat Chadda was brought up on the adventures of the great medieval heroes like Saladin and Richard the Lionheart. His passion for storytelling grew from his love for the history, culture and myths of Europe and the Middle East.
Sarwat used to be an engineer, working on projects like the Channel Tunnel and Hong Kong airport, but now he writes full time. He has travelled widely, from China to India, from Nicaragua to Yemen, but there's no place like home, and home is London.
Devil's Kiss is his first novel. You can visit Sarwat online at www.sarwatchadda.com, or visit Billi online at www.devilskissbook.com
Starred review. Chadda's fast-paced debut introduces 15-year-old Billi SanGreal, who is drafted into the modern remnants of the once-great Knights Templar by her fanatical, emotionally distant father, leader of the order ("How was school?" he asks while she's still "covered in slimy gore" after an exorcism). Though skilled in weaponry and educated in obscure religious history, Billi is a poor fit for the Templars: the lone girl in an otherwise all-male organization, of Muslim extraction but surrounded by Christians and lacking the unblinking ruthlessness required by the eternal war between the Knights and the forces of darkness. Nonetheless, she finds herself standing between the Angel of Death, Michael, who has become blinded by imagined glories of enforced salvation, and the multitude of innocents Michael would happily slaughter in the name of God. Scenes of spiritual warfare are gripping (and often gruesome), as is the undercurrent of supernatural romance. Chadda offers an original take on familiar creatures like vampires, the undead and fallen angels, but it's Billi's personality and tumult of emotions that will keep readers hooked. A promising beginning to both this series and Chadda's career. Ages 13-up. --Publishers Weekly, September 7, 2009
This fast-paced debut novel introduces readers to a modern London in which humanity is threatened by the hungry dead. The Knights Templar, an ancient order now operating in secret, is all that stands between the regular world and supernatural threats-and loner Billi is the only girl ever to become a member of that order. It is not a position of honor, however: her father, leader of the Order, demands ridiculously high standards without ever giving her a word of support, comfort, or love. Instead, he praises Kay, once Billi's best friend and possible love interest. She longs for a normal, simple life, which will have some readers sympathizing with her, while others more familiar with the genre will realize long before Billi does that normal is well outside her reach. Urban fantasy readers will also see plot twists before they are resolved. Chadda does an excellent job of drawing on Christian, Jewish, and Muslim folk stories to create the mythology for this world. Billi's mother's Muslim background and her father's oddly secular Christian devotion provide the book with a feeling of authenticity, as those traditions are meshed over the course of the book. The open ending leaves room for sequels, and Billi's growth makes her a more appealing narrator for future installments. Devil's Kiss will certainly find an audience, despite its prickly narrator.-Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT --School Library Journal, November 2009
Forget the jacket blurb's come-on to paranormal-romance fans, this is an old-fashioned high-octane horror tale, dripping with ghastly portents, eldritch violence and an embittered heroine facing down the looming Apocalypse. Billi SanGreal has been training since childhood to fight alongside the remnants of the Knights Templar, the mysterious medieval order founded to oppose the dark powers. Now dwindled to a handful of battle-scarred men, none is more grim and cold than their master, her father. Billi takes comfort in her friendship with the young psychic Kay, but when he carelessly invokes a long-dormant evil, she must confront a force more powerful, more monstrous, more tempting than anything she could imagine. The glorious splendor of the Templar mythos is deftly contrasted with the squalid dreariness of their present, illuminating the refuge they find in the cleaner, simpler problems of ghouls and werewolves and the fleeting beauty of innocence they so brutally defend. But Billi, in her anger-from simmering to white-hot-and her pain-physical, emotional and spiritual-dominates the story with gritty, fierce humanity. Love, loss, betrayal and sacrifice, leavened only with the bittersweet grace of doing what must be done. Deus vult! (Horror. 12 & up) --Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2009
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Book Description Disney-Hyperion, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1423119991
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