Billi's already fed up with her life when it takes a turn for the worse: her childhood friend, Kay, who is also a part of the Knights Templar returns home from Jerusalem. He plays a different role in the Templar - he's an Oracle, a psychic, and he's gone from a skinny and timid kid to a gorgeous and confident guy with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's can't get over the bitterness she feels about the fact that he left her with no word for over a year. And she's met someone new: Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else.
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, the Angel of Death, has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years - a cursed mirror powerful enough to bring down the Tenth Plague on humanity and 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.
Or this one?
After the great opening, the pace slows down for the next hundred pages or so, weaving the interesting backstory of the Knights Templar and Billi's character and her history with Kay into the present day drama. The lead characters are strong and memorable, and they come alive. At times, Billi's thoughtfulness turns to angst, but she's still a feisty heroine, her father is stern and demanding, and the mysterious Michael is larger than life. On character that annoys me is Kay. At times, he's too bitter and too arrogant and even too whiny.
The narrative is compelling and Sarwat Chadda makes modern day London seem mysterious and otherworldly, bringing a unique and superb atmosphere to life. I did find myself mystified as to why all the Knights except Billi were named after Arthurian figures (Arthur, Percival, Gwaine, Bors, Balin, Pelleas, Kay, Elaine)? I know there are, apparently, some modern conspiracy theories connecting the Templars to Arthur, but neither these theories nor King Arthur are mentioned in The Devil's Kiss, so it became a curious mystery to me.