Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dark Vow (Arcane, #1)” as Want to Read:
Dark Vow (Arcane, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dark Vow (Arcane #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  78 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Jaines Cord plans to kill the man who murdered her husband, even though killing a Bounty Hunter is said to be impossible. One bullet took away her livelihood, her home and her love. One bullet made by her. Fired from the gun she completed for the Arcane Bounty Hunter.

Obsidian wears the scars of disobeying the powerful Arcane Union. He barely escaped with his life and now l
Published November 1st 2011 by Carina Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dark Vow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dark Vow

Sweet as Sin by Inez KelleyStone Kissed by Keri StevensThe Mysterious Lady Law by Robert AppletonLying Eyes by Amy AtwellHunting Human by Amanda E. Alvarez
Carina Press Books
84th out of 117 books — 105 voters
My Name Is Rapunzel by K.C. HiltonOnce Upon a Road Trip by Angela N. BlountThe Forsaken by Lisa M. StasseHidden by Marianne CurleyJuliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Beautiful, Captivating, and Intriguing YA Covers
37th out of 124 books — 57 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 726)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jess the Romanceaholic
Just realized I never actually posted the review here. Oops!

This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: November 14, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Carina Press
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Warm

Believe it or not, I think the main thing that kept this story from getting a 4.5 or 5-star rating from me was the romance. I never thought I’d s
Nov 13, 2011 Melindeeloo rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-romance
(3.5 stars = I liked it) Dark Vow had a really great but sad hook. Jaines, who is apprentice to her blacksmith husband, ignores his rule to never serve an Arcane customer and the gun she works on and the bullets she makes for it are later used to kill her husband. Grief and guilt move Jaines to vow to hunt down and kill the unkillable Arcane Hunter responsible.

Dark Vow initially caught my interest because from the desciption it looked to be a steampunk novel, what it turned out to be instead wa
Jen (Red Hot Books)
Nov 13, 2011 Jen (Red Hot Books) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, sci-fi-romance
I'll say this about Dark Vow, it's definitely not like anything else I've read. The world is led by 10 Lords of various skills (such as Warrior, Carpenter, Hunter, etc.) Each man answers to a specific Lord, learns that skill and builds his life around it. A woman takes her husband's Lord.

Jaines is married to a man who follows the Smith. She and Lance work together in their gun smithy, creating weapons and ammunition for their small community. Lance is out of town when a Bounty Hunter enters the
Jacob Proffitt
Apr 24, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
Dark Vow is a romance set in a unique fantasy setting. The gods of the world are the ten Lords. Each Lord represents a profession that is organized into a formal union. Faith in the ten Lords is universal and built into both society and law. Union membership is also built into the law, including the ineligibility of women to join. That leaves women completely dependent on men for anything but the most menial work—backed by the full force of law. So when Jaines' husband, Lance, is killed, she los ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Wow!!! I don't normally read anything that falls into scifi or fantasy genres, but the premise of this grabbed my attention.. A woman in a somewhat western/fantasy world works as a gunsmithy and when a bullet made by her is used to kill her husband, she vows revenge.

The world is somewhat hard to explain in a review.. It's a rugged world full of horseless buggies and guns and farming. Thus, the western feel. But there's also ten different gods over different trades (for men only.. hrmph.) such as
Dec 05, 2011 Dinjolina rated it really liked it
Look at the pretty cover.
I mean, look at it!
And the blurb!

I had to get this book!
And I did, via NetGalley.

It was a superbly written and it showed how much imagination the author had.

But does my review still sound dull to you?

It does. Why? Because the book left me cold. I could not make myself interested. I wanted to get in to the world, but couldn't. Instead of reading on my kindle I watched clouds outside pretending to read...
It is fine and dandy to pretend-read when it comes to studying and dr
Dani (Pen to Paper)
Nov 28, 2011 Dani (Pen to Paper) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, review-books
Although it took me a while to initially get properly into the novel, I ended up being completely hooked by the story. I think the main reason that it was quite difficult to get into is because it's set in an entirely different world to our own, so there is obviously a lot to try to learn and understand at the beginning, such as the different lords and the significance of the Arcane. Once I'd gotten used to the premise of the novel however, I didn't want to put it down!

Jaines is a really wonderf
Nov 23, 2011 Mariachiara rated it liked it
Trama: Jaines Cord era l'apprendista del marito un esperto fabbro specializzato in armi da fuoco. Aveva una bella vita, nonstante il mondo in cui vive non dia molta libertà alle donne, lei è stata fortunata si è sposata (giovanissima) per amore e suo marito èbuono e giusto. Se solo accontentasse il suo desiderio di portarla a vedere almeno una volta una grande città tutto saerbbe perfetto.
Mentre suo marito è via in cerca di lavoro in città, come ogni mese, in paese arriva un cacciatore Arcano. G
Home. Love. Books.
Jan 16, 2012 Home. Love. Books. rated it really liked it
To read this review and more like it please check out my site

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I really liked the premise of this book for one simple reason, it's about someone who was out seeking to get revenge and ends up having to decide if revenge is worth getting.

Jaines is a really interesting and intriguing character for a lot of reasons. Her husband and her worked as Smiths in the book and although warned by her husband that working
Aug 05, 2012 Jess rated it it was amazing
Whether you like sci-fi, steampunk, romance, western, mystery or a thriller as a preference to read... this fits them all. Wonderfully well written with twists and turns that follow Jaines our heroine on a vengeful journey to kill the man who murdered her husband. Learning surprising new facts along the way that question the past while looking to the future with a hope she didn't think she would dare to have; she has a reluctant, and not entirely wanted, partner in Obsidian. Their lives started ...more
Jenny Schwartz
Jan 20, 2012 Jenny Schwartz rated it it was amazing
Who else grew up watching "Little House on the Prairie"? I read the books, too. And then there were all the John Wayne Westerns Dad watched. When I opened "Dark Vow" by Shona Husk the setting sprang vividly to life — Western but with a fantastic distopian twist. I was immediately hooked.

No, that’s not true. It wasn’t the setting that hooked me…brilliantly conveyed though it was, using enough of the stereotypes plus a twist to have all the world building rocking in a novella length story. What ma
May 08, 2012 Tracy rated it liked it
Too Dry for Me
She was never supposed to do it. Jaines Cord should have very politely refused any orders for the Arcane Bounty Hunter. They were too dangerous. Too deadly. It is harder to refuse, though, when the dangerous male is standing right in front of her in the gun smithy she works with her husband. Even so, the Bounty Hunter's request for a very special engraving on a gun with a very evil feel chills Jaines to the core.

Too nervous to decline, and too mindful of the coin the order will bri
Maghon Thomas
Mar 06, 2012 Maghon Thomas rated it really liked it
I would like to thank NetGalley for letting me have a copy to read this one. It's different from what I have been reading lately. No shifters, or crazy vampires, angels.... however, there's magic, and I do love this. It's set in the back-in-the-days, and I mean, there are buggies and horses but no modern things like TVs and iPhones, etc. Rich have indoor plumbing, no phones, and you are getting it. Normally, I am a little hesitant to read a historical-type book, cuz I am too much of a big mouth ...more
Gemma (Passion for Novels)
Feb 07, 2012 Gemma (Passion for Novels) rated it really liked it
if you enjoyed this review look out for more at

I really liked this novel, it had an entirely new edge on fantasy fiction which I really enjoyed. It was interesting learning about the Arcane and their various abilities. We are drawn into the story by a tragedy, Jaines is a wounded protagonist who feels she must avenge her husband because of her actions in making the gun. This gun is unlike any other and I love the way the gun has its own feeling and the fact th
ARC provided by Carina Press on NetGalley!

I really liked this book. It's set in a slightly magical Wild West sort of world, where men follow one of the ten Lords according to their chosen profession. The only people who don't get a choice are women (who follow their husbands Lord) and the Arcane, who are gifted by the Arcane Lord with magic and forced to join the Union. Rogue's are hunted down and killed.

The world building was thorough without an info dump. I always prefer when an author lets th
Dec 28, 2011 Alison rated it liked it

I’m not a great fan of stories that have women as an inferior gender, and the general population that finds this normal and accepting. Normally there is someone who objects, who wants to stand up for woman’s rights. But in Dark Vow this is just the way of it; a woman can’t work unless she’s sponsored by a man, either her husband or father. No one can work unless they’re members of the union, and women can’t be members of the union because their only real purpose is to marry and breed. I found it

Nov 06, 2011 Rhianna rated it it was amazing
Might be my favorite romance of the year!

Her husband always told her not to work for the Arcane and Jaines Cord should have listened. But how could she refuse to work for the Arcane Bounty Hunter who came looking for a skilled smith? A single bullet fired from the very gun she completed for him took her husband and now she's set on making him accountable. An impossible task that will change her life if the Bounty Hunter doesn't kill her too.

When Jaines finds herself stranded in a backwater town
Feb 05, 2012 Marlene rated it really liked it
Dark Vow by Shona Husk was an interesting kind of genre-bending romance. Emphasis more on the genre-bender than the romance. The world-building was really kind of neat, a sort of post-apocalyptic Western. It reminded me a little of a polytheistic Firefly, except with hellsteeds instead of starships. Whoa! I just had a vision of Mal Reynolds from Firefly riding Death's horse Binky from the Discworld. And it might fit.

The world of Dark Vow is definitely a post-apocalyptic Earth. Someone's grandmot
Lisa Phillips
Dec 03, 2011 Lisa Phillips added it
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers
Recommended to Lisa by: Netgalley
A well crafted fantasy that leaves you wanting more.

Dark Vow is a fantasy story, a short tale of a widow whose choices brought about the death of her husband. After in inappropriate proposition by the town's lawman, she burns her home and flees, vowing revenge against the bounty hunter who killed her husband.

On the way, she meets Obsidian, a mysterious man who is the very thing she is fighting against. But the two of them create a tenuous alliance, agreeing to help one another get what they want
Dana Alma
Jan 25, 2013 Dana Alma rated it liked it
Dark Vow by Shona Husk sends readers to a magical western-esk world with new and interesting elements. Husk has built a world both unique and appealing. The Arcane society is blanketed in mystery, lending an air of intrigue to this new world. I enjoyed the story but wanted a bit more romance, passion. The emotional journey Jaines took in the book seemed to take place at an unnatural pace. I will definitely read Dark Secrets, the next story in the series, a novella, in order to learn more about t ...more
This would be even better if there were going to be a 2nd book.....
Andrea Betancourt Salas
Andrea Betancourt Salas marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
LiteraryLover marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Alice Harris
Alice Harris rated it liked it
Jan 27, 2016
Deb rated it really liked it
Jan 27, 2016
Jessica marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2016
Tarryn Perinetti
Tarryn Perinetti rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2016
Jacquelyn Cade
Jacquelyn Cade marked it as to-read
Dec 31, 2015
Robin marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 24 25 next »
  • A Clockwork Christmas
  • Altered Destiny
  • Badlands (Badlands #1)
  • The Fallen Queen (The House of Arkhangel'sk, #1)
  • Photographs & Phantoms (Gaslight Chronicles, #2)
  • Tangled Past (Tangled #2)
  • Learning Curves
  • Collision Course (8th Wing #1)
  • Warrior's Rise (Warriors For Light, #1)
  • Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #1)
  • Moving in Rhythm
  • Hunting Human (Prime Legacy, #1)
  • Hammer Down (Children of the Undying, #1)
  • Glimmer (Nina Decker #1)
  • Tempt Me
  • A Waltz at Midnight
  • Lipstick on his Collar
  • The Lost (Sin Hunters, #3)
Shona Husk lives in Western Australia at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Blessed with a lively imagination she spent most of her childhood making up stories. As an adult she discovered romance novels and hasn’t looked back. Drawing on history and myth, she writes about heroes who are armed and dangerous but have a heart of gold—sometimes literally.

With stories ranging from sensual to scorching, she
More about Shona Husk...

Other Books in the Series

Arcane (2 books)
  • Dark Secrets (Arcane, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »