My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There are a lot of demands on the first book in a planned series, introducing multiple characters, backstories, locations, etc. This book does a solid job with all of these although I felt that the descriptive prose was a bit excessive and it seemed over long, like 50 pages could have been cut. This was probably mostly due to the nature of being the first book so it’s forgivable. A young woman named Catalina Riviera, well trained in martial arts, is rescued by a convent of nuns after her family is slaughtered in a raid. The nuns are warriors themselves, protecting underground springs with metaphysical properties, and Catalina is a welcome addition. Catalina assumes a Zorro-like disguised identity called the Black Rose, a crime fighting vigilante in her efforts to bring the persons responsible for her family’s murder to justice. A bevy of interesting characters are introduced, some unlikely alliances, a couple of twists, and an explosive climax all contribute to a satisfying read.