#SPFBO 2017 Finalist | Devil’s Night Dawning – Damien Black

About the Book

As a kingdom teeters on the brink of war, two witch hunters fight to stop a warlock before he unleashes an ancient evil…

For centuries, the Argolian Order has protected the mortal vale from the dark forces of the Other Side. Now the barrier between worlds is breaking down, and two monks must survive a civil war before they can stop the wizard responsible.

When Adelko is assigned to legendary exorcist and witch hunter Horskram, he expects an adventurous life. Death by adventure isn’t what he had in mind – but it seems the only outcome when they learn of a sorcerous theft that threatens the world.

The thief wants to silence them – permanently. And so Horskram and Adelko flee from one danger to another as the Jarl of Thule leads a rebel army against the King of Northalde, plunging the realm into conflict.

And on the Other Side, demonkind reawakens…

The Broken Stone Chronicle is a riveting tale of war, quest, magic and horror for fans of medieval fantasy, sword and sorcery, dark fantasy and epic fantasy. Buy a copy now!

650 pages
Published on July 26, 2016
Author’s webpage
Buy the book

This book is an SPFBO finalist.

 Devil’s Night Dawning is one hell of a book. It sort of blew me away in a lot of respects, but it left me wanting a bit more in others. That being said, I really enjoyed this book and ended up with a healthy respect for the author after reading it.

First of all, I should address the world building and history.

This book is absolutely jam-packed with both. I mean, wow. A lot of the elements in this book are obviously influenced by our own world. The main religion, for example, has obvious Christian influences. Black must have done an absolute ton of research before writing this book. It’s absolutely overflowing in details and a lush history that makes this world feel shockingly real.

I love stuff like that. I love the effort and the details that Black poured into this book. It’s obvious in the story he’s telling that he really cares about what he’s writing, and he’s put in a hell of a lot of effort. This level of world building can rival that of many of my favorite epic fantasy authors.

The downside of all of this is sometimes the book felt a little infodumpish. The absolute magnitude of the worldbuilding and history poured into this book occasionally felt dry, and sometimes I thought it overwhelmed the plot. So, it was stunningly well done, and something I seriously admired, but I also do feel like too much of a good thing can still be too much.

The writing is superb. There was a lot of effort put into the prose, and the editing was superb as well. This is one of those self-published books where I can tell that it was not only a labor of love, but the author wasn’t willing to release it into the world until he had it as perfect as he could absolutely get it. I really respect that, and that attention to detail was really what made me a fan of this book

The plot itself left me… I don’t know. I mean, I liked it, but…

Let me explain.

Devil’s Night Dawning has a Christian-influenced religion. There are priests that do uncomfortable things. Knights that act super knightly. It’s set in a European-esque world, and there’s a noblewoman escaping an arranged marriage. That’s all very interesting but, to be honest with you, I’m kind of tired of those tropes. I’m more excited about the books that branch out of these western settings, and step away from western-influenced religion, and deal with people who aren’t highly placed and mighty due to that.

There’s nothing wrong with any of this, mind you. Different people like different things. I don’t mind tropes here or there in the books I read, but all of those tropes packed into one book felt like it was just too much. For such fantastic writing, stunning worldbulding, incredible attention to detail, and absolutely realistic history, the plot itself left me a little underwhelmed. I mean, it was good, but I did very much feel like the book was a bit unbalanced.

The first half of the book was more interesting than the second. The first half dealt more with the religion, exorcisms, demons and all that fun stuff. The second half was more about the knights and nobility and I felt that it lagged quite a bit behind the first half, in both pacing and my personal interest level (sorry).

Is it a bad book? Hell no. It’s absolutely worth your time reading. I could learn a lot from Black just by reading this book and absorbing his worldbuilding, prose, and history. In the end, however, I felt like this book was a bit off balance.

This is classic epic fantasy, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Sometimes I’m in the mood for this kind of thing. However, I guess I just was hoping the author might push his boundaries a little bit more than he actually did. That being said, I loved reading this book, and I’m incredibly glad I did. I’m pretty sure you should read it too, especially if you want to enjoy some fantastic classic epic fantasy.

 

3.5/5 stars

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