THE LIGHT OF DARKNESS BOXSET is a collection of the first three books in the completed THE LIGHT OF DARKNESS SERIES. Yes, I have read these books already individually, loved them and given them all epic 5-star reviews and you are welcome to read them on the major platforms and my own blog and social media. Gushing reviews, full of enthusiasm, wild abandon and delight.
And yet, I have interrupted reading Book 4, Nefarious Echoes, of the series to reread the first three books in this box set after receiving an advanced copy. I asked for it. I knew the author tweaked the books again while having them recorded as audiobooks and I am frankly so in love with this author that I was already decided that this series is one I would read over and over again because it is just so good. So I was eager to find out about the changes and quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how you can actually make an already perfect book even better still.
Let me assure you that there isn’t only magic between the covers of each book but the author wields her own potent kind because yes, she managed to do just that, the unthinkable, the improbable, the – what I thought to be – impossible; she managed to make it even better still. There are minor changes, a word here, a sentence a little rearranged there, such small things but they make an impact and they are totally worthy of recognition in their own right. Extra points for diligence and devotion to the craft.
The tale itself is one that begins with a priesthood led almost like a sect, indoctrinating the youngest from the earliest ages. They are defending mankind against the demons, waging war and bloody battles. And yet, due to events unfolding, one of the most devoted senior priestesses, Anaya, wholly devoted to the teachings of the Goddess and their High Priest Ekelon, starts to question the doctrine after meeting and speaking with a demon.
I will not go into further detail but I will tell you to read up on my individual reviews of the first three books in this series and also that this story, is epic, beautifully told, full of challenges, adventures and everything a high epic fantasy tale with dark undertones and a generous helping of elegantly interwoven romantic subplots need.
And yet, there is more. There are so many twists and turns, so many unforeseen events. If you like the predictable, you will most likely be offended by the author’s taking liberties and challenging and overthrowing your expectations at every turn. The third book especially is taking the tale into a whole new direction than anticipated and I bet you’ll be sitting there, murmuring “WTF, Sh*t!” or something to that extent to yourself.
And you’re perfectly justified in your reaction. But the author is also perfectly justified in steering the fates of the many characters, tribes and species involved in directions no one would have guessed at. And trust me, it works. Give it a chance before you go all sour only because you have a fixed expectation already.
This series deserves to be up there with the best like Tolkien, Rothfuss, George R. R. Martin, Terry Brooks and so many others that have delighted the fantasy fans of this world over decades. Mind you, The Light of Darkness isn’t like any of them. The author possesses her own unique style of storytelling and the story itself is also unlike any other. But who wants a copycat? As such you must fail because you can never hope to come close to the original. Because you’re not them, you’re you.
And Russell knows this and follows her own heart, mind and inspiration – and whatever it was that made her bring this amazing series to paper.
The world will thank her for being true to herself and gifting us with a unique story with so many delightful characters that leap off the pages and enthral us with their individual, as well as collective, stories. A feast for anyone who loves fiction. Not only fantasy fans.
I can’t wait for the audiobooks of this series to come out and I cannot wait for the series to come on Netflix or at the cinema. Maybe both. Who knows. But it will be an epic saga on big and small screens alike. So make sure you read it, preferably the entire series before you cast your final vote. You’ll love it. And you’ll thank me for it, I am sure!
Books by Catrin Russell
A KINGDOM SCARRED SERIES
DARKNESS DIVIDED SERIES
Deathfall Wraith (Prequel 1)
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Catrin Russell is a Fantasy and Romance author from northern Sweden. Her books are all written in English and are mainly part of the Epic and High Fantasy Genre. However, she does use influences from Dark Fantasy, and a touch of Fantasy Romance.
Growing up outside a small town, basically in the middle of nowhere, Catrin eventually moved to Stockholm, where she studied computer game development and design. Meeting her soon-to-become husband online, she lived outside of London for the best parts of a year, before finally settling down in Piteå, back in Sweden. Since then, three children and two dogs have joined the family.
With a background in design and holding a degree as a registered nurse, she writes novels in medieval settings, with plenty of action and romance. She often brings moral struggles, or highlights issues in society, into her writing. Another subject that is often highlighted is mental health.
Catrin also creates concept art, bringing her characters to life on the screen, and her own cover designs, much of which can be seen on her social media pages.