Land of Perpetual Night
prequel to the Empire of Ash trilogy
Miri C. Golden
This was my favourite book of 2020. I may have read others that were better, but this book is the one that I’ll remember as having enjoyed the most.
The story starts out in a way that pulled me back to the fantasy novels I read while growing up. There’s cool characters, excitement, magic, and some kind of threat that needs to be dealt with, and which our young heroes are just barely able to handle – but of course they do handle it. It pushes all the right buttons for a big nostalgia overload.
Only, that’s just the start.
The start sets the tone, drags me into the world and makes me care about the characters. They’re real people, with real lives, and real issues outside of being future heroes yearning for adventure. They’ve got ambitions and plans, go to parties, and try to get laid (there are a few steamy scenes, but not in a gratuitous way).
Then it gets darker.
Things aren’t quite what they seem. The world isn’t as simple as it’s made out to be. Life gets complicated, and the question of trust turns out to be a lot more complicated than what’s really comfortable.
These things did not happen in the fantasy novels I read growing up, and if they did, it was never to this level. What started out as a nostalgic prelude to a fantasy action romp, grows to something a lot more serious and sinister, and it ended up making quite an impression on me.
What I’ll whine about:
It’s half a year since I read this. I’m sure there were things about it I would have complained about at the time, but I no longer remember them – so they can’t have been that important.
What I’ll gush about:
If the description above wasn’t clear, I absolutely loved how this book set my expectations, and then threw me for a loop I really didn’t expect.
This is the prequel to a series, and if I’m not completely misguided, the first book in the series is due out in the next few months.