I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Duskfall by Christopher Husberg
Series: The Chaos Queen #1
Published by Titan on 21st June 2016
Stuck with arrows and close to death, a man is pulled from the icy waters of the Gulf of Nahl.
Winter, a seemingly quiet young fisherman’s daughter, harbours a secret addiction that threatens to destroy her.
A young priestess, Cinzia, must face a long journey home to protect her church from rebellion. A rebellion sparked by her sister.
Three characters on different paths will be brought together by fate on one thrilling and perilous adventure.
“Three characters. Three stories. Three paths. All brought together by fate…“
I’ve tried about eight different openings to the post, but the above quote is probably the best way to start. Duskfall is a dark fantasy, told from the perspectives of three individuals – a man, Knot, who doesn’t remember his past but seems to have every kind of skill at his disposal, as well as a flair for fighting; a young Tiellan woman, Winter, who, like the rest of her race, spends her life in the shadows of the humans; and a Priestess, Cinzia, whose own sister has been branded a heretic.
Knot has spent the past year of his life with a group of Tiellans, after they rescued him from the verge of death in freezing waters. He doesn’t remember who he is or what he did before. On the day that he marries Winter, a young Tiellan girl, he also has to face his past and so he leaves, abandoning Winter as he fears for her safety. But Winter doesn’t want to be left, and sets off on her own tumultuous journey to find her husband.
As for Cinzia, her sister is said to be rebelling against the Church and is facing dire consequences for doing so. Cinzia hopes to intercede before it comes to that.
As the paths of the three central characters converge, it becomes clear that there are more secrets and a great darkness lurking.
There are some truly fantastic characters in this book, not just our central three, but their acquaintances too. We have a sassy vampire, a protective Goddessguard, a lovestruck friend and a couple of magic-wielding assassins. What more could you want?
I really enjoyed the interaction between many of the characters, particularly Astrid and Knot. I’ll hold my hands up and say that Knot is my favourite though. I love the mystery behind him, his ability to turn his hand to anything and the protectiveness he feels for those around him.
As for the world building – well, to be honest, it’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel. There’s so much richness in this world – history, politics, religion, culture. At times, I will admit I felt slightly overwhelmed by it but on the whole, I found myself absorbed by it. Then there’s the magic… well, I won’t go into too much detail here but I liked the magic system, and I feel we still have more to learn about that in the coming books.
I was particularly taken with the way Husberg weaves real life issues within his fantasy world – trust, family ties, addiction and racism are all incorporated into the pages of this novel.
Anything I didn’t like you ask? I would’ve liked a map. I just find it so much easier to visualise, particularly where there is a journey involved as is the case here, when we are provided with a map. That’s about it though!
I was completely consumed by this story from the start. In truth, I would have devoured it far more quickly, if I hadn’t been addicted to watching the Euros! I honestly can’t believe that this is a debut novel and I’m genuinely excited to read on in this series.
GET YOUR HANDS ON A COPY
Titan are giving away TEN copies over on Goodreads. The giveaway ends in two days so be sure to get your entry in. If you love your dark fantasy, then this is a book you don’t want to miss.