More reviews are coming this week now I’m back from holidays. This time it’s the turn of Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty – see the blurb and the review below to find out what I thought!
SOME BALLADS ARE INKED IN BLOOD
Bled dry by violent confrontations with the Magadhan Empire, the Mathuran Republic simmers on the brink of oblivion. Senator Krishna and his third wife Satyabhama have put their plans in motion, both within and beyond the Republic’s blood-soaked borders, to protect it from total annihilation.
But they are soon to discover that neither gold nor alliances last forever – and that they are not the only players on the board.
Mati, Pirate-Princess of Kalinga, has decided to mend her ways and become a good wife. But old habits die hard, especially when one habitually uses murder to settle old scores.
Brooding and beautiful Karna hopes to bury his brutal past, but finds that destiny is a miser when it comes to granting second chances. Hero-turned-torturer Shakuni limps through a path of daggers. Meanwhile, his foes and woes multiply, leaving little time for vengeance.
Their lives are about to become yet more difficult, as a cast of sinister queens, naive kings, pious assassins and ravenous priests are converging where the Son of Darkness is prophesied to rise. even as forgotten Gods prepare to play their hand.
I actually don’t know how to start this review.
This book was so good, I’m slightly speechless.
However, this is a blog post. It cannot simply be a page with the words BUY THIS BOOK repeated ad infinitum. I shall therefore endeavour to describe why I loved this book so much.
If we start with genre, it’s historical fantasy using mythology as a basis for the magic contained within the novel. So let’s just say from the get-go, I had high hopes. This is my genre. This is what I write. I know both how challenging it is to showcase a mythology and make it entertaining for people who already love it, and make it understandable for those who have never heard of it.
I will say right now, I know almost nothing about the Mahabharata on which this novel is based. It doesn’t matter. It is one hell of a novel that stands on its own feet.
That comes down to the writing. The story weaves between myth, history, war, romance and magic. Nothing is ever too much. Nothing is ever too little.
Err – Gourav – how dare you be so good?
I was absolutely gripped by this story and I really think it will make waves in fantasy and mythology retelling circles when it is released in July.
Game of Thrones is an obvious influence, so is The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie.
If anyone reading this is a fan of Joe Abercrombie, you will know that the duel in The Blade Itself makes for a thrilling set piece where almost every POV character comes together. Something similar happens in Sons of Darkness during a wedding swayamvar – where the hand of a princess can be won via a competition.
It’s quite a work of genius how this all plays out.
That of course is down to the characters.
We have Mati a mysterious pirate, who is not all she first seems. Krishna, a conqueror who finds his new kingdom at risk. Shishupal, a former prince who is sick of war. Nala, a young protegee at a temple who has many secrets. Masha, an oracle who has seen the future. And I cannot forget Karna, a low born man who is breaking through all social barriers – but at what cost? All so different. All utterly compelling in their own way.
I do not wish to spoil the plot, so I will leave it here. For those who want to sink their teeth into something complex, thought provoking and epic, this book is for you.
In short, this novel is amazing. How long is it until book 2 comes out?
Oh, and BUY THIS BOOK.
You can thank me later.