Hey, writers and readers!
It’s not a good month without an indie novel or two. Today I’ll be reviewing Darkened Light by Sarina Langer. Some fun backstory here: Sarina reached out to me about a year ago to review this book. At the time, I said “yes” to a lot of book reviewing and I experienced a lot of reviewing anxiety. Would I get to all these books? Would my timing be helpful to the authors? How am I going to read all these books??
Something about trying to read fast enough for this book review to be relevant backfired on me and here we are a year later. To my surprise, I was a fool to put this off. It was such an enjoyable read. I’m glad Sarina asked me to review this book and I’m grateful for her patience.
Check out the review below. I’ll be sharing some thoughts about what I love about this book and why it’s a good read for you.
Rating: 5 stars
The death goddess Ithrean has led the dead to their rest and watched over them in Dunhă for centuries, but they are no longer at peace. Their souls turn the red grass black, and their corruption seeps into the world of the living.
Naavah Ora is an elven mage who can enter Dunhă at will, and study its corruption like no one else can.
Doran is a runaway thief who cares about nothing as much as the next treasure, even if it puts his own life in danger.
840 is the only male sacrifice in his village, longing for a chance to live.
Ash is a troublemaker who is learning that he can’t burn his way through every obstacle.
To halt the coming darkness, they need to work together.
It’s too bad they are too different to get along.
What I Enjoyed
The characters in any book are often a make or break for me; if I can relate to at least one character, I can enjoy a book. Fortunately for me, each character was interesting, well-rounded, and relatable. To me, it read like an RPG book (a cast of specialized folks who band together for a mission) that wasn’t corny or cheesy at all. You had a paladin, wizard/elf, rogue, and a thief with great chemistry.
The world-building was also thoughtful and well done. This can often be a problem for high fantasy settings but Langer did a great job of walking us through the history and rules for magic.
Also, LGBT fans rejoice: you have to read this book for one of the sweetest ships I have read in a LONG time.
Finally, Langer has a little snippet at the beginning of each chapter. At first, I didn’t pay much attention but with every chapter, I realized it was actually pieces to a full monologue. It’s like a story within a story. I almost wanted to get to the next chapter because I wanted more clues as to who is actually speaking. It makes the reread more enjoyable. DEFINITELY pay attention when you read.
My Final Thoughts
I’m definitely stoked for the sequel, which Langer is working on. I’m glad I and other readers have urged her to keep writing even though she has another series in the works.
Langer also touches on some deep topics, such as cults, rape, and human sacrifice. She puts these trigger warnings at the beginning of her novel but I felt like it’s worth mentioning here in my review as well. It’s integral to the story and properly done but if that’s not your thing, there’s the heads up.
I hope I shared enough to still pique your curiosity without giving too much away. If you’d like to learn more about Sarina Langer and her work, you can catch up with her via social media:
Do you have thoughts about this book? Share with me in the comments! You can also see all of my other book reviews by checking out the Book Reviews tab.