Title: When Darkness Descends (The Relevation Trilogy Book 1)
Author: G. W. Lücke
Genre: Epic Fantasy
When Darkness Descends is the first book in The Relevation Trilogy. Tom witnesses his grandmother’s murder, and he can never forgive himself for not being able to help her. He explores the peculiar gift, a book his grandmother left him, and it opens him up to a different world. A world with languages, species, and histories more foreign than anything Tom has ever known.
One day, Tom is mysteriously transported to the world inside his grandmother’s little blue book. He knows he needs to find his way home, but the opportunity to find his grandmother’s murderer tempts him.
Tom finds friendship with Grin, a courageous giant stone-grell who saves his life. Together, they journey across the lands to seek vengeance for Tom’s grandmother’s murder. As conflict between communities builds, Tom and Grin discover they aren’t the only ones on a mission.
The opening chapter reads as a bit heavy with exposition. Spending more time with Tom when he is learning how to read and understand the blue book would have alleviated this section from reading too much as an info-dump.
Slow going at its start, the novel picks up speed and becomes more engaging in its second half. We’re introduced to more characters with different motivations which adds complexity to the plot.
The novel follows multiple characters’ perspectives. With a unique voice and the most interesting plot line, Tom’s perspective is by far the strongest. Nonetheless, every plotline weaves together seamlessly and by the end, readers will feel like they’ve explored every character equally.
The best parts of the book are when we get to experience the world, the setting, and the communities. Sometimes the plot and dialogue feel distracting and are not always compelling enough to keep readers interested every step of the way.
The mouldewerps, a species of small, witty creatures that are deeply protective of their culture, are sure to be fan favorite. Sections with the werps are nothing short of fun and entertaining. Some of the best world-building sections are when we are introduced to the mouldewerps’ home because we get an intimate look at their culture from a foreigners view.
One of the highlights of the book is how clearly the different official languages and vernacular are expressed. Readers will enjoy acting out the dialects and accents of all the different characters. The use of language makes the book more dynamic and engaging, so the novel has the potential to be an entertaining audiobook.
The writing is at its best when it uses sensory details and draws on the world-building to create an image of the scenery and mood. At times, the writing isn’t always evocative enough. The book is more plot-driven, sometimes at the cost of the world-building that could be explored. Although, readers may see more world-building in future books.
With dynamic characters, interesting histories, and compelling drama, When Darkness Descends is a new fantasy that is sure to suck readers in. Engrossing and immersive, Lücke’s epic fantasy is filled with charming creatures and mesmerizing landscapes. With a dramatic, irresistibly exciting cliffhanger as its finale, readers will be locked to the page and left wanting more.
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