Book Review: Darkness Rising – Chained (Prism series) by Ross M Kitson

I’ve been meaning to write a review for this book for ages, but you know how it goes – things just get in the way and the good intentions get pushed lower down the pile. Since reading this fantastic book, I’ve devoured the next three in the Prism series (there will be six in total), so I’ve decided to treat you to all four reviews, one after the other. Here is the first one; the rest of them will follow over the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, down to business.

DR1

Click on image to go to Amazon

The Blurb

Wild magic comes at a cost… that of the mind.

Emelia dreams of escape from her life of servitude. She dreams of magical powers; she dreams of dark things. When tragedy awakens the sorcery within her she embarks upon an epic journey in the company of two charming thieves.

In the Dead City an ancient evil awakens. The Lord of the Ghasts covets a magical Prism, the clues to which lie with Emelia. And when he begins to share her dreams, surely it is only a matter of time until she succumbs to his power?

My Review

I’ve always loved fantasy so when this book was recommended to me by a friend, I jumped at the chance to read it. I expected it to be good, but it wasn’t – it was fantastic!

Emelia is an impoverished girl who was sold into servitude by her island-dwelling parents. She works hard, dreams a great deal, and has a sassy side (although she doesn’t dare show it at the beginning). She has a voice in her head (Emebaka), an alter-ego of sorts, who often encourages her to step outside her comfort zone yet is occasionally the voice of reason. When Emelia’s closest friend is murdered by the father of her unborn child, Emelia’s wild magic awakens within her.

I loved Emelia’s growth as a character in the story. When she meets Hunor (a thief), and Jem (a sorcerer and thief), she’s gradually accepted into their ‘team’ and learns survival skills; she becomes proficient in the use of weapons, Hunor teaches her how to steal without getting caught, and Jem guides her in gaining control of her magic.

Emelia is not without flaws, but that makes her more real, and I found myself rooting for her.

The main supporting characters of Hunor and Jem were extremely well-crafted. Hunor comes across as a cocky, cheeky chap with a ‘devil-may-care’ attitude. He’s an accomplished thief who has made quite a few enemies on his many journeys yet he seems, on the surface, to have no fear. Jem’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder adds a twist to his character. He’s obviously gifted in the magical arts, but at the same time, there’s a vulnerability about him that is refreshing.

Vildor, Lord of the Ghasts, is deliciously evil. He and his minions will stop at nothing to get what they want and, as one might expect, are prepared to murder, subvert and possess whomever they choose.

I found all the characters to be totally believable in their respective roles and superbly written. They are complex, riveting and vibrant. I loved the way they grew naturally through the story.

One of the most important things in writing an epic fantasy is the world-building and Kitson has built a memorable, realistic and relatable realm. His description brings each city, each land, to life with colour and clarity. The history and cultures of the different lands and the events which shaped them make an impressive and interesting background which has been cleverly created. It’s richly detailed, diverse and its inhabitants are as atypical as those in our own world.

The plots and sub-plots have many twists and turns, and while some may view the overall premise of the tale as ‘predictable fantasy fodder’, I found it exciting, compelling and unexpected.

This book is incredibly well-written. The author took me on a fantastic journey that I didn’t want to end. Ross Kitson is certainly a name to watch out for – if there’s any justice in the world of publishing, he’ll be bombarded with offers and contracts!

If you love an epic fantasy that grabs you in the first couple of pages and leaves you breathless at the end for more then don’t hesitate – get this book NOW! 5 STARS FROM ME!

 

Advertisements

Book Review: The Infinity Bridge by Ross M Kitson

When I come across a great novel, I love to share it with you and The Infinity Bridge is one of those books. It’s a great cross-over book which will appeal to adults and YA alike. I don’t like to write spoilers when I review, instead I prefer to concentrate on the writing, plot and characters, the elements which make the book come alive for me. So without further ado, here are my thoughts:

Infinity Bridge front coverWhat an adventure! With great characters and an amazingly action-packed plot, this steampunk adventure has all the elements for success. It combines modern day technology with that from the Victorian era with effortless aplomb, tackles issues of mental instability, and even has a modern-day Knights of the Round Table and Merlin.

The quirky characters are relatable and likeable, and you begin to care about their quest to save the Infinity Bridge from falling into the wrong hands and saving our world from destruction at the hands of The Hidden. Sam and Ben’s gifts are believable and well- constructed, and I liked the angst Sam feels at his brother’s so-called mental illness. Both of their characters are incredibly well thought out. I also enjoyed the interaction between Nick and his Mother, who is quite a colourful person.

The action scenes are descriptive and draw you in to the extent you could easily believe you were witnessing them first-hand. The technology is well thought out and expertly applied throughout the story. Kitson makes you believe in all the possibilities contained in the story as he transports you to alternative realities and explores how easy it would be for our world to be infiltrated without our knowledge.

This is a well written and captivating adventure for YA and adult and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

I strongly suggest you check out his Prism Series, book 3 of which has been released today – I have to say I’m hooked!

Ross M Kitson

Ross M Kitson

Ross M Kitson is a published author in the fantasy genre, with an ongoing series (The Prism Series), a number of short stories on Quantum Muse web-zine and several stories in Steampunk and fantasy anthologies. His debut series for Myrddin is due for release in October 2012, and is a sci-fi series set in modern day York. It is written for ages 12+, although its combination of killer androids, steam-powered airships, kick-ass heroines and action packed chases will appeal to all ages.

Ross works as a doctor in the UK specializing in critical care and anaesthesia. He is happily married with three awesome children, who nagged him incessantly to write something that they could read. His love of speculative fiction and comics began at a young age and shows no signs of fading.

Buy Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US