Category Archives: Dark Fantasy

Light Dawning by Ty Arthur – Review

Title – Light Dawning
Author – Ty Arthur
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 228 Pages
Publication – May 2017
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom. As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.

Review

A once great city has fallen but rebels still plot from the shadows.. the problem is they are slowly being hunted down.

The four main characters in the book are Myrr, Tala, Father Erret and Casterly. Each has their own journey to follow but at the same time their paths will cross..but are they friend or foe..the line is blurred at times.

I really enjoyed the gruesomeness of the tale, there are some rather vivid moments that don’t leave you quickly and you are left in no doubt the author has a weird and wonderful imagination which works perfectly for a dark fantasy novel.

This book is all about the build-up. You’re expecting a rebellion to happen, for the main characters to rise and become heroes…well you’ll be waiting a bloody long time..that’s not this book.

It’s quite tense at times, you really don’t know where the author is planning to go but everything falls together nicely and the interwoven tales of the main characters work well.

Oh don’t you worry a battle is coming but it’s truly unexpected the plot that plays out. I read a lot of fantasy books and let’s be honest..quite a few follow the same pattern..not this one, it’s refreshingly different and that’s what makes it so good.

The dark nature of the tale is something that really gives this book an edge, theirs a darkness overshadowing all and it was fascinating reading Tala’s tale. I won’t spoil it but she does not have it easy. She has a power within her to open the door to beings from another plain and these guys aren’t pretty that’s for sure, how they are born into this world is pretty gruesome to say the least.

I think Tala was my favourite character I must say, but I enjoyed them all, a special mention has to be made of Casterly and his fate in life.. wow..twist alert..you’ll not see that coming.

If you are looking for an engrossing slow burn of a fantasy book, heavy on the darkness scale that you can really get to grips with then this is top-notch. For me the darkness overshadows all and I liked it.

Do I want to more from Ty Arthur? Yes please.

My thanks go to Ty for the chance to read and review the book!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

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Liefdom: A Tale from Perilisc by Jesse Teller – Review

Title – Liefdom: A Tale from Perilisc
Author – Jesse Teller
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 262 Pages
Publication – August 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

A zealous guardian in a peaceful city, Gentry Mandrake is a fairy unlike any other. Cast out and hated for his differences, his violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul. He hunts for belonging while fighting to protect the human child bound to him. Explore the mythical realm of The Veil, the grating torture of the Sulfur Fields, and the biting tension between power and purpose in this wondrous struggle against a demonic wizard and his denizens. Can Mandrake overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves?

Review

I’m a massive fantasy fan I’m not going to lie. To me there’s so many possibilities with fantasy but at the same time this means you’ve really got to hit a high standard to have me enjoy the story.. Well Jesse Teller certainly delivered.

Mandrake isn’t like other fairies.. he’s different in so many ways, and isn’t accepted by anyone. Little do the fairies know Mandrake is their champion and their going to need him very soon.

What really fascinated me about the story was the connection between the fairies and humans and how the actions of one could affect the other.

Because of this connection Mandrake knows his child Is in danger and not only does he have foes to battle in his realm he must also help save his child in the human world..but how can he?

It’s a magical tale. There’s lots of action but there’s a light-hearted feel at times as Mandrake deals with emotions that he’s never felt before.

What Teller gets spot on is the development speed of his characters versus plot..they develop naturally together and nothing is forced on the reader which means you can really get sucked in and enjoy this one.

I also really loved that some characters are a mystery and until the book develops you never quite know which way their loyalty lies.

Overall it’s very well written with fun and mesmerising plot that gives you just the right mix of action/non action scenes.

Often I find little things I don’t like about books, a certain word here or a development with a character that just didn’t feel right but this was perfect to me, no other word to describe it. It ticked everything I want and more.

A fast paced action packed entertaining read.

My thanks go to Rebekah Teller for bringing the book to my attention and provided a review copy. Loved it so much I paid Amazon for an official copy 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

The House at Divoro by Charlotte E. English – Review

Title – The House at Divoro (The Malykant Mysteries Book 7)
Author – Charlotte E. English
Genre – Fantasy
Length – 155 Pages
Publication – May 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

When Nanda shows up with a pressing invitation to a post-Solstice house party, Konrad is unenthusiastic. Eino Holt, their host, might have a taste for theatricals, but Konrad emphatically does not.

But then a corpse turns up, mutilated and hidden in a pantry cupboard. Konrad soon learns that the house at Divoro harbours many a dark secret…

Dark fantasy meets classic murder mystery in this seventh installment of Charlotte E. English’s Malykant Mysteries.

Review

Oh how I love Konrad.. I’m so glad we have another story to read. First off I must say the covers for the series keep getting better and for me fit the tale perfectly.

Followers of my reviews will know I’m a big fan of Charlotte’s work. She has to be my favourite writer so the bar is always set high.

Well once again she’s leapt over the bar set by the previous tale and has given me the best one yet.

What English always seems to get spot on for me is the balance between story and character development. In a short tale it’s not easy to make you enjoy the characters but English does just that, building on previous tales but at the same time a reader could easily pick the series up from here as we are given just the right amount of background info when setting up the scenes that it’s easy to understand the relationships between the main characters.

My favourite line of the book has to be “it was bad because he felt as fresh as an aged pair of socks, and approximately as lively” – Sounds like me most days ha

As I’ve said this is the best tale yet, English easily keeps the series fresh and interesting and I love the continuing development of Konrad. He doesn’t like to give much away but he’s a loveable character.

In this tale, as usual a body is found..but there’s a few strange twists that leave you thinking “What?” or “How?”. It’s these twists and turns that keep you hooked.

Again what I’ve always loved about the authors work is  the writing itself.. Never dumbed down but never overly complex, it might be a dark tale but the writing is suitable for young and old alike.

The suspense was killing me with this one right till the end and the page count means you can easily get sucked in and read this in one sitting or over two.

Konrad struggles  in the tale more than the last to keep his secret life just that..a secret so it was a great chance to see him put his different personas to use.

I can’t write a review on this book without mentioning Optapi and Eetapi, Konrad’s serpents who help him in his role as the Malykant, their dark humour makes them quirky and fun and I love when they show up. It’s a strange relationship between them and Konrad and for me it’s the best thing about the series..after the plot of course 🙂

The Malykant series is rather unique in my opinion. I’ve read nothing like it before and I just can’t get enough.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Spirit of Solstice by Charlotte E. English (@Charlottenglish) – Review

Title – The Spirit of Solstice (The Malykant Mysteries Book 6)
Author –Charlotte E. English
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Length – 92 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Konrad Savast is the Malykant: foremost and most secret servant of the God of Death. His job? To track down the foulest of murderers and bring them to The Malykt’s Justice. No mercy. No quarter.

Solstice Eve, and Konrad is dragged from his bed to investigate the murder of a local wine merchant. The man’s as dead as they come, but his spirit seems oddly unperturbed by his passing.

More victims are swift to emerge, all killed in the same brutal style — and all with strange, unheard-of reactions to the news of their own demise. Is it just the Solstice spirit, or is there something else afoot? Something stranger, darker and far more dangerous…

Review

I don’t know how Charlotte does it but this series gets better and better with each story.

Konrad is the Malykant, He seeks justice for those murdered and he has a growing group of followers to help him. My favourites being Optapi and Eetapi as always. Their dark humour always has me smiling. The relationship between them and Konrad is a strange one, I don’t think Konrad wants to admit it but as much as he doesn’t like the serpents he’d be lost without them.

This case is a very perplexing to start with..a man is found murdered but seems happy to be dead when the serpents bind him. Why?

More bodies turn up and the curiosity grows with each death.

Now I don’t want to spoil the tale by giving away too much detail but Konrad has to root out fact from fiction to discover the identity of the killer but the strange manner of the deaths means this isn’t a quick open and shut case.

I loved the injection of myths in this tale. Fantasy and myth blend so well for me and it made for an extraordinary tale.

What the author manages to do superbly well is that she builds on the previous foundations set in the series and develops the relationships. Konrad is still coming to terms with feeling emotions and in this tale it looks like having emotions might not be the best thing.

While I loved the original ensemble of characters I really enjoyed the return of Tasha, she’s very unique and I love the relationship she has with Konrad and the growing support she has to offer with her own set of skills.

Once again I’m shocked at how much Charlotte can fit into so few pages. At 92 pages this is exactly what a short story should be..It’s a full tale, fast flowing and easy to follow, no unanswered questions & nothing feels rushed.

Charlotte’s tales are dark and a mildly gruesome at times but are very enjoyable and well suited to a young adults and above. I think what I really enjoy is Charlotte’s use of language, it’s never dumbed down but never too complex to put a reader off either.

I’ve said it before but Charlotte is Queen of the short tales for me. She never sets a foot wrong and they’re perfect if you don’t have the time to read a longer length novel.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Secrets In Blood (Lake of Sins #2) by L.S. O’Dea (@LSODea) – Review

Title – Secrets In Blood (Lake of Sins #2)
Author – L.S. O’Dea
Genre – Dark Fantasy
Publication – April 2015
Pages – 498 Pages – Print Length
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

Trinity’s plans have gone horribly wrong and she is now fleeing for her life, but at what cost to her friends and family. Can she save any of them without sacrificing herself?

Hugh Truent, an Almighty, learns of Trinity’s escape and that she is the offspring of two different classes which is supposed to be impossible. If it’s true, it would be the discovery of a lifetime, but he needs scientific proof. In his quest for answers, he soon realizes that there are those who will kill to keep this find a secret.

Trinity’s struggle to survive in a society based on absolute segregation of the different classes along with Hugh’s dogged determination to find the truth at any cost, sets into motion a collision between the groups that shatters the foundation of their world

Review

This is the second book in the Lake of Sins series and it built greatly on the groundwork laid in “Escape” the previous book.

Trinity’s quest to find out what happens to the producers once they are removed from camp continues and she’s put in even more danger as more people become interested in her.

She’s being hunted now as her parentage has come into question and the idea of interclass mating is explored.

This is gruesome fantasy writing..There’s a social structure to this world the author has created and those at the top take advantage of those they see as beneath them. But there’s a very gruesome and disturbing secret that some of the upper class called Almighties don’t even know about.

For me what I really found interesting is how similar the underlying topics are to real day issues. The social structure with those in power controlling everything, racism against those different to themselves but as we find out.. just like in modern society.. Perhaps the differences are only skin deep.. Below the surface everyone is more similar than they would like to admit.

I have to say I liked this one a lot, it really did get better as it went along but with such a defined social structure I felt the pace was a little fast.. there’s a lot to take in and you really need to give this one the time it deserves. With so many different classes and characters I was left wanting.. not in a bad way.. just as soon as you feel you’re getting to know one of the social classes you switch to another and the whole idea was that interesting I really wasn’t ready to move on.

Another positive for this book is that I think the author has a very easy reading style of writing. No stupidly big words to slow you down, you just get faced paced gruesome fantasy.

Something I talk about a lot in my reviews is did the book hook me in..this one did just that but it keeps you hanging on.. it pulls you in with its intriguing plot then throws you back out to digest for a while and just when you think your safe another bit of gruesomeness is thrown in to reel you back in.

Overall I enjoyed it a lot. There’s more to come in this series so I’m looking forward to see what direction it takes.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work

Where the Waters Turn Black by Benedict Patrick (@benedictpaddy) – Review

Title – Where the Waters Turn Black
Author – Benedict Patrick
Genre – Fantasy
Publication – 16th November 2016
Pages – 227
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

When gods and monsters battle, her music will not protect her…

The Crescent Atoll is a remote string of tropical islands, connected by long canoe journeys and a love of stories.

When Kaimana, a young ocarina player, discovers the lair of a taniwha – a legendary monster – she finds herself inspired. The song she is composing about their encounter will be her masterpiece, but her disturbance of the beast attracts the ruining gaze of the god of war. She must convince the taniwha to trust her if they are both to survive.

Where the Waters Turn Black is a standalone novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. Inspired by the myths and legends of South Pacific island cultures, this book is perfect for those seeking fantasy stories with a hint of the unfamiliar.

Start reading today to discover this epic tale of friendship, gods and monsters!

Review

After Benedict’s previous work They Mostly Come Out At Night I was left wanting..wanting more of his work. Fortunately for me and you the author hasn’t kept us waiting long..phew.

We are back in the wonderfully dark and exciting world the author has created full of gods and monsters that will send shivers down small children’s backs.

I loved this book. It feels like a fairytale.. but not the Disney kind.. the true kind.. think The Brothers Grimm. Myths told to scare the little ones come to life and change the life of one person in particular..Kaimana.

From the opening sentence I knew I would enjoy this – “There’s a monster in the village” and this author has a real knack for creating the weird and wonderful that switches on my brain giving me the blissful feeling of using my imagination to see this world myself.

The tale is fast paced..would have liked it slowed down a bit so I could really enjoy the world and people the author has created but saying that the author has fit in a lot of content into less than 230 pages.

So you’ll want to know a bit about the book..

First off one thing I really loved about the author’s previous work and this one is how he separates the chapters with little tales, myths, folklore from the world he’s created. I’ve not read anything like it before and it really shows off the author’s imagination to the fullest.

Kaimana is part of a traveling group of performers. She has the knack but hasn’t reached her full potential yet. When the group heads back to her former home this is a chance to see her parents but she’s kind of an outsider in her own home since she didn’t follow in the family footsteps.

This feeling of being an outsider is what I think draws her to go searching the woods when she’s told a monster is lurking..she just doesn’t think of the consequences .

After disturbing the creature the travelling group are asked to leave and they head out to their next destination.. little do they know the taniwha has become connected to Kaimana.

Kaimana is certain this connection is what is needed for her to become a legend..to create a song that will be shared for generations.

Along the way on this adventure we meet gods..good and bad..and more monsters. We even see the Magpie King make an appearance :).

I won’t spoil the overall plot for you but this was another well written tale from a strong author that you should definitely keep your eye on.

The tale is one of friendship & loyalty and the fantasy edge really makes this one hell of an interesting book to read.

Another plus for me is that the book is written in such a way that even though it’s connected with the previous tale you don’t have to have read that book first, you can read them in any order.. Although I’d strongly suggest you read it at some point..Damn it was good.

I can’t wait to see what Benedict comes up with next!

The book is out today! To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review the book

Bloodwalker by L.X. Cain – Review

Title – Bloodwalker
Author – L.X. Cain
Genre –  Dark Fantasy
Length –  284 Pages
Publication – 4th October 2016
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Lightning flashes. Another child disappears…

Zorka Circus’s big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, children vanish.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. He must find the culprit before anyone else disappears and his home is destroyed by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravedigging ghouls. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict code, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer’s trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable…

Review

I can honestly say this one surprised me… the synopsis only scratches the surface of the tale and the twists that played out definitely had the shock factor

Two stories collide in this tale. The first being Sylvie, she’s a bloodwalker..although not a very good one. By some bloodwalkers would be classed as special but others look down on them. They help deal with death and I just loved how each chapter started with a quote from the bloodwalker handbook.

Rurik on the otherhand is a security guard working for the circus. When we are introduced to him you quickly learn he’s not an average man. He manages to put together the pieces to learn someone involved with the circus has been kidnapping children and he sets out to put a stop to this

Sylvie and Rurik meet when Sylvie and two other bloodwalkers are due to be married. The wedding takes place at the circus as one of the clans elders is married to the owner

From here things start going wrong fast..

Sylvie makes a ghastly discovery but has no time to tell anyone..Rurik is so driven he sees guilt everywhere and can’t risk confiding in anyone so goes it alone at first to find out who is committing the kidnapping

The author takes their time to reveal the truth of the tale..adding twist after twist to throw you off the truth. The plot was superb.. I couldn’t fault it..

These twists and turns meant there was a great chance to develop the characters which I really felt the author did well. Development is probably the most important thing for me.. I want to feel like I know the character and  I definitely felt like I knew what motivated the main players in this tale

This is dark fantasy at its best for me, right up until the end I had no idea how the tale would play out which kept me hooked in page after page.

Major plus point for this tale has to be the very unique plot. I won’t spoil it but this author has a brilliant imagination..i can’t even put into words how unusual and fascinating the tale is.

Overall a cracking dark and gruesome tale that held a lot of surprises. I don’t think I’ll forget this book in a hurry. 100% would read again

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work

The book is out today! to find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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