I received a free advanced copy of Into the Darkness Special Edition by A. M. Rycroft in exchange for an honest review. Overall, this was a fun read. It follows the typical fantasy pattern of a party going on a quest to save the world. Rycroft does a nice job of taking this plot line and owning it with this novel.
The story follows Aeryn Ravane, a sell-sword, who is on a quest to finish what her deceased father started in seeking out ancient legends. Little did she know that this would start a chain of events that will threaten the safety of the world.
There were several elements I liked in this novel. As with Rycroft’s novella, The Taming also set in the world of Cathell, Rycroft does a wonderful job of world building here. The details, such as a distinct difference between sell-swords and mercenaries, lend a wonderful reality to the world that is unique and rich with its own history and way of life. Rycroft also does a good job of creating believable and distinct characters. Each character has his or her strengths and weaknesses, which is nice to see in terms of making the characters realistic and believable.
There were two things I did not like as much with the novel. I did see some typos and missing words in places. Most of it was minor and did not detract too much from the overall story or its readability. The other issue I had was that several of the characters did not seem to have much development. While Aeryn is seen growing and changing as the story progresses, I did not see as much with Theo or Tynan. It would have been nice to see how the events in the book changed them as well.
As I said, this is a good read and a well written story. If you are into fantasy with a dark twist, this is a novel worth checking out.