THE RESURGENCE OF LIGHT is the third book in THE LIGHT OF DARKNESS SERIES and, unsurprisingly, I loved it. This series is truly going from strength to strength. Each book thus far has been not only a continuation of the story overall but has also contributed something new and unforeseen. The ends make you want more without leaving you with a major cliffhanger, which I appreciate. As the writing and storytelling in and of themselves are so good, that alone is enough to leave you to crave more and get you to grab the next instalment off your bookshelf immediately once you have closed the previous one.
Writing about a third book in a series with an ongoing storyline without giving away any spoilers is a feat when faced with having to write a review that does the book any justice but I will do my best here.
The story takes a rather unsuspected turn at the very beginning already and, to be honest, I can imagine that some people might not like it, resenting the fact that the author breaks away from the black and white good versus evil theme but I absolutely loved it and found it ingenious to do so. I hadn’t seen it coming but I appreciated it all the more as the story unfolds.
I love the depth of the characters, the fact that nothing is straightforward, that all are fallible and have their own very unique strength and weaknesses and that, as people do in real life, they all make mistakes and have moments of glory. A different strand of plot is introduced and only hints give you clues and make you wonder how this will all tie in with the main story’s developmental arc.
As new characters are introduced, older ones undergo further development. Nothing is stagnant, everything flows. The story never gets boring, whether we are amidst compelling action or stroll through a summery wood, lush in detailed description of nature. Even the restful scenes relax but never bore you. You feel you are right there, seeing butterflies dance around you and warm sun rays kissing your skin.
As always, I have read passages out loud to myself and I might just have got up and enacted some of the scenes, too, as I love to do. Of course, this is only possible because the author describes battle scenes and fast-paced action so accurately without losing momentum that you are never at a loss to determine how to move and whom you are battling and how. Fighting scenes are not easy to write in this manner, so I’d like to extend special praise to the author for mastering this so perfectly in all books I have read of hers so far, all prequels included.
I would also like to mention some characters in particular that were either newly introduced or played a continuous part in the story. Anaya is stepping up to the plate and developing her own powers with as much humility as grace and fortitude. We witness moments of great courage but also of weakness and despair. She is not superhuman but rather the opposite, showing her humanity by rising to a challenge but also struggling with her own fears and insecurities while she is finding her new role in a transformed priesthood and altogether new environment.
Then there is Kaedin, a senior priest who has stood out by following his own moral code as opposed to blindly following orders. His responsibilities expand now and he finds himself caught up in another subplot that left me tense with curiosity about how it would continue.
And the list goes on. Those of you who have already read the prequels of this series, especially The Redeemed, will be able to make some connections of their own as the story progresses. But it is not strictly necessary to have read them to enjoy this wonderful, enthralling book (although I do recommend it, as the entire series is already finished), you just get all books in print, put them on your shelf and thank me later for it when you’re able to grab one after the other without having to delay a moment when you have finished with one book and are eager to read the next). I am so excited and happy that I have done it this way and am going through this series in this manner.
I am loving every minute of this story, each page, each book and as I write this review, the next book in the series is already placed by my side for me to dive into. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do but I’m pretty sure you will. You will need a certain mental bandwidth, as this is not a simplistic, one-dimensional story with predictive development and flat characters but as long as that’s a given, you are going to appreciate so much how the author manages to keep you guessing, at the edge of your seat, sighing with happiness, biting your lip with bangxiety and craving to find out what really is behind this, that and the other.
As to the storyline, I have by now learned to expect the unexpected but have made the experience that I am still completely taken by surprise. So much happened I thought I saw coming and then it did but suddenly, things were totally different and then… yeah! Those twists and turns had me literally jump up and groan or roar. Or I stood, book in one hand, air sword in the other, enacting the battle scenes as if I were right in the middle of it, in the body of whoever was told of at any particular point in the book.
To feel into all the different characters with their distinctly unique personalities came so easily. The characters leap off the pages and the action is so compelling that you feel you are right in the middle of it and cannot help but follow the story at fever pitch because it feels like it concerns your own existence.
Another thing that I have to highlight and praise is the fact that the author completely avoids info-dumping. She doesn’t explain and describe her entire world/universe right at the start and overwhelm you with an endless string of information but, over the course of the story, as it progresses, she weaves in information where it naturally fits into the story and is important for you to know at the time in order to follow the story with the understanding that you need at that time. And yes, she will expand your knowledge and awareness by adding small things, little hints or flashback memories of a character, revealing a backstory.
The Resurgence of Light is a book of masterful storytelling with a compelling plot and complex characters! A must for any high epic fantasy fan!
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.