Title: The Dark Archer
Author: Robert Cano
Genre: Dark Fantasy
The Dark Archer is where Bene’s story starts. Loyal to his princess at all costs, he is tortured, and his soul is ripped from his being. As a wraith, Bene searches for death to avoid hurting others to survive. His quest brings him an unlikely group of followers who become his friends despite his efforts to avoid those connections. After all, they are all seeking redemption.
There are a lot of things I loved about this book. First is the world building. Cano spent a lot time developing his world. The complexity of creatures, social rules, and history are stunning. And the way he doles it out just fast enough to be interesting but not overwhelming is masterful. Every detail seemed well thought out.
I also loved the character development. These are characters who have a tremendous amount of thought and planning in them. They are multi-faceted and grow with the story. Their choices and behavior throughout the story come across as consistent and realistic. Cano had to have spent time studying people to add the things he does to these characters.
I appreciated the psychology behind the story. As someone who works in behavioral health, the trauma and pain in this story were palpable. The arc of each of the characters as they worked to come to terms with their own trauma, or avoid it, felt authentic. I also loved how each sought a kind of redemption in their own way, and yet the redemption was different for each of them.
I have little here people. It’s a wonderful book. The best I can give you for a downside to this book is a warning about the prose. Cano writes in an older, more formal style than many authors today. Personally, once I made that shift in my head from what I am more used to, I found the prose to be beautiful. However, I know people may struggle a little with this style of writing. So, just keep in mind this is a book you’re not likely to whip through in a couple hours. The writing style will probably slow you down some and push you a little.
I’d give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Since I can’t do that on most review sites for ratings, I’ll round it up to a 5 out of 5. Excellent dark fantasy book. Be careful with the trauma, it may hook you more than you expect. And the prose is challenging, but well worth the work to read. Check it out!