Yet another high fantasy book for review, this one written to be a bit darker than your average "sword and sorcery"…
Legacy of Darkness
For hundreds of years, the Vaians waited for revenge. It was deserved. Many of their kind were killed when mankind drove them out hundreds of years ago. The Vaians don't just want their land back, though. They will spill blood, and take souls, to get what they want.
One of their own kind, Haelyn, knew what the Vaians were like, and what they wanted. Pregnant, she escaped, desperate to give her child the kind of life she knew she could never have. With the help of Idirin, her bodyguard, she left the Vaian lands. Soon after, she died. Vaians cannot simply leave their lives behind. Haelyn knew this; she sacrificed herself, so that her daughter would not be brought up in her world of bitter isolation.
Twenty years after Haelyn's death, the Vaians returned. Idirin had promised himself he would be ready for them. He was not.
Join him in his desperate quest to save the life of Haelyn's daughter, before her estranged father can kill her. Join Idirin's headstrong daughter, Arroryn, a thief with a reputation and the willpower to match it. Together, as the only influential fae left in human lands, they have to unite the races against a threat that many believed had died in to legend.
Under the apathetic rule of the unscrupulous King Ryn, a man blinded by greed and ignorant of his sons' feuds, the final battle between the Vaians and mankind will begin. Legacy of Darkness introduces the reader to this world, and to the struggle Arroryn and Idirin face.
They have to stay alive. Otherwise their souls, and the souls of all mankind, are doomed.
My Review: 3 Stars
Written/Reviewed by Samuel Denberg
This is a difficult book to judge. It has a lot of promise and intrigue, it's more of a “set the stage” book than the intro to the world--the kind of story I expect from a prequel. It's a "look-back to see where our characters came from and what they did before", written as if we already knew who to root for and why the rules of the world are the way they are.
As the opening book for a series, it's lacking in that "hook" to draw us in. From the beginning, there's no primary character or point of view. The narrative bounces between a king who behaves like a spoiled child, his son who rebels with classic teenage drama, Threnedir the villain, Arroryn the thief, and her father Idirin. Prepare for VERY long paragraphs of narrative, broken up by far less dialogue than you might like.
The only character we really get to know well is the villain Threnedir, who is so blatantly “evil” and selfish he's almost a comic book villain. Threnedir seems to have no motive other than greed, envy, and a blind lust for power. It is stated several times that he wants to kill certain people to prevent them from threatening his power base. However, it is never explained why those peoples existence threaten him or how their deaths might help him.
This book needs to define its characters motivations, magic rules, and political system. Too much is left unsaid and undefined. The basic story and plot are good, the world is intriguing, and the story has lots of potential--just needs to be tightened up!
Here's a Taste:
Swinging his eyeless head from side to side, Arroryn could see scratchings on his face, lines standing white in the darkness of the dried blood. There were circles and triangles gouged in to both of the cheeks and words she couldn’t make out scratched in to his forehead and seeing this she knew exactly what she was facing. Behind her fear was every nightmare story her father had ever told her. With every bloody iron-soaked breath the creature panted in to her face came the simple warning. Run. If you ever see one Arroryn, run. You don’t know why it’s there and who has sent it and you don’t want to wait to find out. Bindings do not think, they obey. Just run. She breathed in sharply as it made a sudden move towards her, sniffing at the air as Dozy’s fresh blood dripped from his chin. Its face came to within inches of hers and turned to one side, the good ear seemingly being used to try to isolate where she now was. Slowly the man brought his head back round, the snarl turning to the most evil grin she had ever had to witness. His wordless hiss brought the putrid stench of flesh and blood rolling over her senses and her stomach again roiling, she rolled her head away resisting the temptation the close her eyes against the horror in front of her. Only her years under Idirin’s tutelage meant that she saw and recognised the slight change in stance and the unconscious roll of the shoulder as the dagger was brought round to strike in to her belly. Only her instincts brought her remaining short sword out of its sheath to meet the clumsy strike. As she pushed the binding to one side she used the momentum of its swing to push it off balance, and he, it, she didn’t know what any more, fell to the forest floor.
She didn’t wait to see how quickly it would get up again, as she only knew that it quite simply would. This thing was killing anything it found alive and the next thing it wanted was her. Arroryn turned heel and ran for her life, the adrenalin masking the headache that had been starting to take hold before her brief few slips of the thawroot which was now left behind, bag open and forgotten with its contents trampled into the undergrowth of the forest floor. The sun was fading quickly but there was nothing and no one that Arroryn would stop for in flight away from the binding and home to the safety of her kin.
About the Author:
Dawn Peers is a UK-based author of fantasy and horror. She also writes under the pen name Warren Fielding.
A lifelong reader of most types of fiction, she has always had a passion for writing. Legacy of Darkness is the first book in a fantasy series called The Graces, which Dawn has been trying to write in some guise or another since she was sixteen years old. Now in denial about turning thirty, she plans on bringing the rest of the series out by July 2015.
Dawn was born in Warwickshire, and now lives in West Sussex. Whilst still enjoying reading, she also spends much of her days telling people to turn their computers off and on again. When she isn't being a professional geek, she is being a casual one. She blogs, reviews, and enjoys mountain biking and running.
Find the book here: http://smarturl.it/GracesOne
Tweet at Dawn Peers: @dawnpeersauthor
Or connect with her via Facebook: www.facebook.com/dawnpeersauthor