Official Review: The Man of Nightstone by Devon Drake

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S dot Lennon
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Official Review: The Man of Nightstone by Devon Drake

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[Following is the official review of "The Man of Nightstone" by Devon Drake.]
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Althadis is an extremely skilled sorcerer, an omnimancer, who has come to Pallos, one of the eight City-States looking for Whisper, New Earth’s most feared assassin. No one has ever seen Whisper’s face or heard his real voice but he is known for his gruesome and bloody murders throughout New Earth. Althadis believes Whisper is in search of his newest target, who may well be a member of the secret organization known as the Darkest Hour. It becomes obvious to him, during his search for Whisper, that there is other evil at work as well in Pallos. Althadis was forced to kill a woman in the street when she began to tear herself apart as she transitioned into the undead. She carried the mark of the Black Sky, a spell made by a necromancer whom Althadis watched die. But who could be responsible for these attacks of necromancy? Could Whisper be a necromancer as well as an assassin? Althadis, with the unwilling help of the city guard searches for the answers hidden in Pallos.

The Man of Nightstone is the first book in The Nightstone Saga, a science fiction series. It takes place in New Earth, a world where the dragons have taken humans from the Old Earth to start new. Sorcery is common and taught in Universities where those who serve as the City Guard must attend before becoming guardsmen to adequately protect the city. Omnimancers are sorcerers who have mastered all the styles of sorcery and are so rare that many believe them all to be dead. Althadis’ power places him above the law and forces the captain of the city guard, Torol, to work with him if he wants to save the city from both Whisper and the threat of an unknown necromancer.

This book was very interesting. Althadis is an extremely powerful character whose skill, confidence and authority challenged every character introduced. His presence in Pallos changed the nature of those around him who had never encountered his skill. The threat of Whisper, necromancy within the city-states walls and the revelations that occurred throughout the novel were only possible and believable because of the presence of such a capable character in Althadis. I appreciated the detail given to his skill and range of magical power. Through his character, the limits of sorcery were explained and expanded on, which gave scope to the depth of sorcery in New Earth.

I found The Man of Nightstone to be a well written, imaginative story about a new world enveloped in sorcery. Some of the characters could have been more developed but the story moved very well. The plot twists and character revelations were unexpected and well executed, adding excitement to the story when the pace seemed to be slowing. Its end allows for a smooth transition into the second book of the series. Some questions are left unanswered, obvious actions must be taken before the story can reach its conclusion and the reader is anxious to continue the journey.

I give this novel 3 out of 4 stars. While I found it enjoyable and would recommend it, there were areas where conversations between characters were lacking and relationships between characters not very well explained or simply needed to be explored further.

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