I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. If you are looking to start the New Year off with a bang (and I do mean that literally) Of Darkness and Light is the book for you. Right out of the gate you will be thrown into a siege and Ryan will not take his foot off the gas for one moment. Epic doesn’t begin to describe the emotions you will feel in the story, especially the ending. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon events from book 1.
Calen was discovered to be a legendary Draleid and one that is not bounded to the services to the empire. Instead, a dragon egg has hatched and Calen has bonded to the dragon Valerys and is in the service of King Daymon as they are under attack on the very first page. Along with his dedicated followers, Calen will have to come to understand his powers fast as the empire will stop at nothing to capture him and leave the resistance without hope. Meanwhile Ella, Calen’s sister whom he presumes dead, is on the run with her wolfpine from the empire. Ella’s lover Rhett was killed in the previous novel and she makes her way across the empire by boat. However, Ella will come into contact with the same person, Farsa, who is responsible for the death of her family and he has different plans for Ella. Rist has unleased his potential as a mage but was captured by the fade and taken to the Circle of Magi. Here Rist will learn the skills necessary to become a battle mage but everything he has learned will change how he will view the world and the people he holds dear.
Obviously there are many more characters in this series but I couldn’t possible talk about them all. Instead, let me discuss the differences I see from the authors writing from books 1 to 2. Book 1 had a somewhat slow start and took time to be invested in the world and characters. That is not the case in Of Darkness and Light as the action jumps off the page. You will need to strap in tight otherwise this story will smack you to the curb. The pacing has also improved for me not because the writing changed but because the ground work has already been set and Ryan Cahill can hit the ground running. With all this being said, the characters are where Ryan Cahill shines as an author and some of the emotional moments this book contains will wreck you to the core.
If I need to nitpick something, I think the story was a bit too long and could have been trimmed a tad especially with some of the middle chapters. However, the ending will more than make up for any shortcomings you have have. Don’t let this series pass you by and join the resistance. This is a planned 5 book series and the best is yet to come.