Title: Into the Darkness Special Edition (Book 1 of the Cathell series)
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Author: AM Rycroft
Rating: 3.2 stars
When her father died, sell-sword Aeryn Ravane lost her way. She found it again in the form of his abandoned quest to break a dead man’s curse deep in the Black Mountains of the Northlands. It haunted her, begging her to break it and lay claim to Tynan Selvantyr’s sword. Despite the risks to her life, she accepts the challenge. But, she’s about to find out that it’s not just her life on the line.
The young thief named Theo follows Aeryn closely, staying hidden. She waits for the right moment to take the sword from Aeryn. She doesn’t care about the legends that say the sword was forged by a god. It’s only a bargaining chip for her, a trade to be made for her brother’s life. Getting him back is all that matters to Theo.
But, something else lies in the caverns, shrouded in darkness, a secret long guarded by the sword. Restless now, it waits for them to find it.
Reviewer: Stephanie Ayers
Rating: 4 stars
Aeryn is a sellsword on a quest to finish what her father started, and finds herself in a conundrum that leads her on an unexpected and at times unwanted adventure.
The tension begins at the start as Rycroft expertly weaves in the dangers Aeryn faces as her adventure starts.She picks up companions as she goes starting with a young thief and an old, greedy ghost. Things turn bad quickly for all of them, and the story races on to a glorious ending.
I enjoyed Rycroft’s storytelling. She offers just enough information to help me form each character in my head and let my imagination do the work. Her character building is above par, creating an emotional ride through this dark tale. It is inventive in its characters and the compilation of adventurers that team up together, a twisted version of heroes from the likes of Tolkien and Brooks.
As someone who is terrified of zombies, I came to a jarring stop as Rycroft gets descriptive in certain parts of the book. The story is so engrossing however, by the time I got to that part, I had to finish it. (The reason for my 4 stars instead of 5), and I’m glad I did. The zombies still remain in my mind, but for the most part, she carefully weaves them by glossing over their actions with single words or short sentences.
I especially enjoyed the short story and world descriptions Rycroft offered at the end of the book, and the excerpt from the next book in the series.
This book delves deeply into the dark sides of life, unearthing evil as it should be. If you like reading dark fantasy and dark fiction that holds more truth to what evil is really like without all the gore, this is a series for you.
**Available in paperback only.