“Good men want only the power to make things right. Great men seek to make things right and gather the power to do so. Great leaders find those who are worthy of wielding power and set them to the task of making things right” -Coroleus, J.E. 1,067
Excerpt from the Prologue.
Title: Free the Darkness (King’s Dark Tidings Book 1)
Author: Kel Kade
Plot Summary: Rezkin, a warrior of little renown, seeks answers from the sole remaining “Striker” present as his tenure at a mysterious fort in the Northern reaches, ends in betrayal. Befriending a similar-aged girl, Frisha Souvain, along with Tamarin “Tam” Blackwater, her guard and escort, the trio embarks on adventure en route to Frisha’s uncle’s estate in the city of Kaibain as Rezkin follows Striker Farson’s ever-growing cold trail. Journeying through lands teeming with bandits, dishonest merchants and a ply for control of a chaotic underground network of thieves, would test Rezkin’s well crafted and numerous abilities, beyond mettle. However, Rezkin carries a shrouded, dark secret. Will his intentions remain hidden from the enamored Frisha? Or will Tam’s developing friendship evaporate with discovering Rezkin’s true motives and ultimate plan?
My take: “Free the Darkness” is the first novel I have read by Kel Kade . While I enjoyed the story and overall theme, I did have qualms with a couple of key elements. Rezkin, to me, is seemingly just too “skilled” or “good” to be bested. Certain mannerism’s he displays make perfect sense to me, yet others do not seem to fit. At least where I think they should. While I can appreciate a “bad a##” warrior that has mastery over a multitude of weapons, I would have preferred him to be presented with more of a challenge, containing moments of strife tossed in to break up the monotony. Ultimately resulting in giving his presence better substance. Therefore transforming those repeating moments I felt during the book in the manner of, “Oh he will have no problems dispatching these bandits or this opposition. He will easily do this or that with little resistance or worry.”, to suspenseful and provoking pauses while reading, more akin to “Well he should be victorious and overcome this challenge, fight, etc… but..”, would be my ultimate desire to have seen during these junctures. Championing for Rezkin was easy for me. He possesses an uncanny martial prowess and is remarkable in his application of the numerous “Skills” he can employ to ultimate effect, due to the years of his youth into young adulthood, he spent mastering these arts. Yet even heroes of legend have those moments of shortcomings. And it does not have to be total, failure. Minor shifts in momentum, less than desirable outcomes every so often or just common complications sprinkled throughout would have added much depth to the story in that one lacking area in my opinion.
By no means am I bashing the author. I was very impressed with the fight scenes found in the book. They were described with detail to put you on edge, oftentimes graphic and gory in detail, fitting perfectly. This is a dark and gritty world. Engagements in sword fights are not for the faint of heart and I appreciate the fact that the author exposes this fully.
I will read the next installment in this series with the hope that these minor blemishes are just that. Due to the story having equally well-written scenes, I feel the author is perfectly capable of delivering that needed “balance” I yearn for and I look forward to becoming better acquainted with more of the author’s future works and particular style. I would recommend this book to those readers who enjoy fantasy with plenty of pace.
I would love to hear your comments and feelings about my review. Along with your thoughts on the book if you have read it as well. Thank you for reading.