The Dark Interest ,(The Dark Choir 4), Book FOUR of The Dark Choir, J.P. Sloan
Genre:general fiction (adult), sci-fy and fantasy
I’ve been with this since book one, and TBH its such a complex series you need to do that. It’s full of difficult characters, real world and Old World, and demons of course, charms, hexes, curses, murders, mayhem and magic and without knowing the backstory you’ll get lost. I do know the events that have passed and yet at times I’m lost ;-), but always manage to work it out somehow. It’s a sereis outside my comfort zone, that I fell into by accident but that I’ve come to love.
What I love is that the author mixes up fiction with Fact, with magics that had a real following at one time – probably still do in certain circles. So each time I see an unusual word I think – aha, this time he’s made this up – and then check and find its some ancient language, or shade of magic, or a weapon that’s used for certain purposes or something like that. I’ve learned so much about magic since starting this, that its not a one-size-fits-all, but that in the past (and present) it took many different shapes, evolved through some very different practices.
And I’m talking as if it’s all real, but reading this it feels real. There are some well respected people in the world who still believe in these practices, and then I think – how come, all over the world each different group through the ages had had the same belief, but taken different routes to it? Or maybe its just human need to believe in something greater than us, something beyond this world..
It’s not really a big stretch considering billions believe in a book written centuries ago, believe in a God who’s really only a word of mouth figure.We don’t have empirical proof, we can’t Know for certain he exists, that Heaven is real, but yet billions believe it.
Well, I guess that’s why I enjoy these books, they’re complex and yet readable, they have a solid story-line, some very real characters, both pleasant and horribly dangerous, those who just want to live and love their families and get on with life, and those hungry for power, magical, political, they don’t care. In the middle is Dorian.
I’ve always felt he’s on the side of good, not a particular do-gooder, but someone with his own morals and beliefs that he lives by, who tries to do the Right thing, not just the easy thing.
Along the way he’s had so many issues, starting with his lost soul, and its taken him on a very strange and complex journey.
He’s always worked alone, had his few good friends, been respected and never sought Power for its own sake, and yet he’s become embroiled in some dodgy and dark magical practices, got involved in politics against his wishes, gets pulled into different groups and is still searching for his soul.
Its another deep and dark, and at times complex read. Dorian is tempted hard in this story, confused, trying in his usual way to protect humanity and his friends, but all the while his soul is missing and he’s struggling to get it back.
I love that his magic isn’t a wave of a hand and a few muttered words, quick fix solution, but takes work, real work, if he wants to avoid the Dark side, the world of sacrifices. Yet his new lady, Annarose does just that, and how is he to mix her and how he feels about her, with his morals and how he feels about that?
Is the Utilitarian excuse, for the Greater Good, sacrifice one for many really a good reason, or a cop out?
Its a novel full of danger for Dorian, more than we’ve seen so far, and he’s had some tight escapes. Once more he’s in the centre of some dark forces but who or what is pushing them?
It takes time before he can see the bigger picture and he makes some very dangerous enemies along the way. And that ending….I hate it when that happens 😉
Stars: five, classic Dorian, anther rivetting adventure and complicated read. A real change from so much Light and Twee Magic reads.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
Tarnished City, Vic James
Genre:General Fiction (Adult),Sci Fi & Fantasy
I thought Gilded Cage was incredible but this has that one blown away. Its an incredible read.
I see some reviewers suggest its a YA, but for me its one that would appeal to older teens and anyone upwards. Its pretty dark in parts and there are some graphic murders and accounts here which I think make it unsuitable for the lower end of YA.
I had ideas about certain people after GC, but they’re turned upside down here. New characters come in, secondary ones from GC move up and Silyen – oh I love his character!! So full of mystery and secrets, so talented and very, very, very un-forthcoming. You simply never know what’s in his head, what he’s thinking and whether he sees people as real, as having feelings or just pawns in some secret game he’s playing. He always seems to be ten steps ahead of what’s happening and yet he says he doesn’t make plans….
Abi is keen to free Luke, but how? She needs help so has to plan carefully how to get that.
Luke is desperate to break out of the strange place he’s in, but as with Millwood he wants to learn more about the people here, the reasons why one in particular is treated differently, he seems to have an effect on people, and he’s clearly a key to what Vic has planned for the grand finale.
Well, that’s how it seems to me. All the things that happen to any of the characters have reasons behind them, some not instantly obvious, as in events from GC that now become clearer here. There are murders, revenges, historical grudges, and over it all the Jardine’s grasping for power – or are they?
Some of the Club from Millwood are back here and working hard for freedom, William Jardine is cementing his place in power by reviving some old and horrific customs, controlling what news leaks out and how its presented. We see how easy it is to manipulate a mob, and sadly that part is so very, very realistic.
Gavar is reluctantly being led to the alter by his power hungry bride, who sees him as a stepping stone, while he’s trying to keep his daughter’s place in Society secure, much to the disgust of his father.
Jenner isn’t so prominent here, but still the quite guy from book one, who seems to have strong feelings for Abi, and she’s busy building alliances to free Luke.
Silyen, well I wrote about him earlier, he’s a character that’s fascinated me from the outset. He feels so much older that his years, connected to this world and to others, searching for long forgotten answers.
Within all that maelstrom of events things are changing, key characters die or get killed, people who we thought were one thing turn out to be something else, and one in particular seems to have undergone a huge change in how they feel.
That came as a huge shock to me and I wonder if perhaps things aren’t as they seem? With this story anything seems possible and its a gripping read. and of course ends on a huge cliffhanger!!
Gah, I so need the final book.
I know this is a trilogy I’ll love to reread, back to back to really get the most from the story.
There’s so much I want to say about this story but I don’t want to give away the surprises, shocks and suspense in it. hopefully I’ve got the balance, if anyone feels its too close to what happens please let me know – I’d hate to spoil it for others.
Stars: five, cracking read, totally absorbing and one to get lost in a world of Skill, suspense and subterfuge.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers