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Dark Rise by C. S. Pacat

The Story

Dark Rise synopsis from the Publisher:

In this stunning new fantasy novel from international bestselling author C. S. Pacat, heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn and begin to draw new battle lines. This epic fantasy with high-stakes romance will sit perfectly on shelves next to beloved fantasy novels like the Infernal Devices series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and the Red Queen series.

Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. Then an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, who have sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. Will is thrust into a world of magic, where he starts training for a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.

As London is threatened and old enmities are awakened, Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own.

Like V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent & DoveDark Rise is more than just high intrigue fantasy—it’s fast-paced, action-packed, and completely surprising. Readers will love exploring the rich setting of nineteenth-century London. This thrilling story of friendship, deception, loyalty, and betrayal is sure to find a passionate audience of readers.

My Review: Dark Rise

Another story where I’m torn on how to rate this book.

Dark Rise feels like an epic story with a great deal of potential.  It give you the Lord of the Rings kind of vibes with some interesting plot twists that will have readers very much engaged.

My main concern with this one was the redundancy.  Case in point.  The author tends to repeat aspects of the story that had already been established early on.  This type of prolixity can make readers feel like the author is saying “if you weren’t paying attention let me restate this to you for the seventh time.”  Having your readers feel like they aren’t paying attention isn’t the best way to keep them invested long term.

There were also some chapters that fell stagnant and others that dragged on without any action or plot movement.  In the beginning Pacat deftly writes action sequences where the main character is propelled from one awful situation to the next the pages flying by as you wonder if he’ll be captured or survive.  But midway things start to drag and I began to wonder where are we going with this?

HOWEVER, the last chapters grabbed my attention, in a very good way.  It’s what kept me interested and anxious to read what Pacat has in store for the second book.

Happy Reading ~ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blot – Adequately Inked

Content and Trigger Warnings:

Melanie, over at Mel to the Any book blog, provides content and trigger warnings when reviewing her books on her site and Goodreads. Even though she didn’t finish this one, I think the information she provides will help readers in case these aspects of the novel are challenging or difficult.

Blood depictions, loss of a loved one, murder, death, torture, captivity, violence, branding (willingly). Colorism + racism (always in a negative light but still doesn’t feel good to read, especially because it includes the use of words like rat and mongrel to the biracial south asian mc >.>). Brief mention of animal abuse/death. Also, an impending arranged marriage with a very gross age difference (17 and 37 – again, always in a negative light).


Photo Collage by Sheaf & Ink of dark rise


Publication Details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupSource & FormatReview Posted Online
28-September-21978-0062946140464Quill Tree BooksYAHardbackDecember 17, 2021

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