3 out of 4 stars
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The Dark Raid Chronicles, written by Josh Hill, is a lively fantasy novel set in a medieval scenario. Kings, palaces, towers, citadels, elves, nymphs, sorcery, and wild creatures are some of the ingredients of this action-packed, imaginative tale. Readers follow a young man’s adventures as he navigates uncharted territory in a dangerous quest to find and help a friend in danger.
The book revolves around three teenagers who live in Kraylas: Skirly, Darkon, who goes by Dark, and Skirly’s sister Kalandra, who is engaged to Dark. In Kraylas, the highest among the eleven kingdoms of the realm, all young boys have to endure a coming-of-age ritual in which they must win a fight against a dangerous beast in an arena. Skirly is banished from the kingdom after he uses sorcery – an enchanted quill given to him by Dark – to survive this ritual. His sister Kalandra puts herself in danger by trying to follow him into the wild territories, and Dark also leaves Kraylas to find the siblings.
The medieval period has always stirred my imagination, and I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The writing style is vibrant, and the characters are believable and likable. The friendship between Dark and Skirly felt touching and inspiring, as well as their relationship with Kalandra. A good dose of suspense was sustained, resulting in a gripping story. The author is a talented storyteller who vividly describes medieval settings and ethos. Interesting magical elements and side stories get woven into the plot – I particularly liked how the author developed the Okas and the Hatons.
With that said, every genre has its clichés, and this book is no exception. It is a typical medieval fantasy novel, which reminded me of some of the genre’s recent bestsellers. However, this does not detract from the entertainment readers can get from it. Additionally, I found the book a bit lengthy. Some of its parts were a little repetitive and could be shortened or condensed, such as when Dark spends weeks roaming in search of Skirly and Kalandra.
Lastly, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. Overall, I thought it was a fun book to read. I’m taking a star away because I felt the editing is not yet in its final form; I found several errors in it. I believe it should appeal to readers who enjoy medieval fantasy. It might not be a good read for those who are put off by magical, supernatural elements.
The Dark Raid Chronicles
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