Dark Rise (Dark Rise #1)

C.S. Pacat. Quill Tree, $18.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-294614-0
Set in 1821 England, this queer fantasy series opener from Pacat (the Captive Prince trilogy) follows two teenagers—white Will Kempen and half-Indian, half-white Violet Ballard—who learn that successful trader Lord Simon Crenshaw and his acolytes intend to sacrifice them in a quest to resurrect the Dark King. Long ago, in the time of magic, the Dark King and his preternaturally strong Lions nearly conquered the world but were defeated by the good and powerful Lady and the Stewards of the Light. The Dark King swore to return one day and finish what he started—a process that, unbeknownst to most, is well underway. Queer orphan Will, whose mother descended from the Lady, and “boyish” illegitimate child Violet, who is descended from the Lions but whose father favors his legitimate son, seek sanctuary with the Stewards’ ancestors, who agree to train them for the coming war. Pacat uses fully fleshed-out, realistically flawed characters and a rich, if occasionally rote, mythology to explore issues of faith, fate, and free will. A key relationship develops off-page, undercutting the tale’s emotional heft, but abundant action and a profusion of plot twists fuel an adrenalized pace. Ages 14–up. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/08/2021
Release date: 09/28/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-294616-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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