Feature book: The Darkling Lord
Henry Saint is a darkling, neither fairy nor human. Every year on his birthday he kills someone and takes their soul, so that he can survive. As far as he knows, he’s the longest-living darkling. Sick of the way he’s lived for so long, he has decided to settle in Detroit and make a home there. After the devastation, wrought on the human world during the havoc in Annwyn, Henry wants to help build a new society in his chosen city. As more and more Banished choose to make their home with him, he comes to the notice of the new King of Annwyn, who is suspicious of his motives. If he gains too much power in the human world, he could be a threat to the court of Annwyn. In order to find out what Henry’s motives really are, the King sends Darah to spy on the darkling.
It’s not Darah’s first spying mission for Felan, but she’s hoping it will be her last. After her husband’s betrayal and subsequent death, she is hoping for a place at Court with the new King. She is not pleased with having to go into the human world and inveigle herself into the darkling’s possibly sordid activities. But Henry is not at all the ambitious and ruthless person she was led to believe she would find. Instead, she finds a remorseful man who regrets what he’s had to do to survive. Now, although he still has to kill each year in order to take another soul, it is something he finds extremely painful. Now he’s looking to find ways to redress his former behaviour by building a better place for the humans who want to live in the Detroit area. It is for them, not the throne of Annwyn, that he is building a court in the human world. The many Banished, who are finding their way into his court, are a lost group, looking for hope and purpose. They are no longer welcome in Annwyn but have nowhere else to go. As Darah sees and understands more of the darkling and what he hopes to achieve, she finds herself torn between her loyalty to her King and the chance to fall in love and work with Henry to achieve something very worthwhile.
I really love the way Shona writes these stories. It’s a solid believable world she’s created. I’m a sucker for the fairy world and the human world together. Instead of the total self-absorption of fairies, who have no care for the humans beside whom they live, Shona gives some fairies the compassion to realise they need to care about the welfare of humans too.
Great read. I think Shona gets better with each book.
Reviewed by Rosalie
A review copy of this book was provided by the author.