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eARC Review: Shadows of the Dark Realm by Tyler Edwards



Release date:  31 January 2024

Rating:  4/5

Synopsis:  By five may your journey thrive. By five may you return alive.


The idyllic kingdom of Parisia sat nestled securely in the Great Emerald Mountains. For generations Parisia had known nothing but peace and prosperity. When the elder dragon Darka Mors, steals the Darkstone, the entire realm is threatened. Without the Darkstone, the magic sealing away the Shadow King would fail. His return would bring death and destruction to the world of men.


Desperate, the king of Parisia calls on an unlikely hero, the Disgraced Knight Vale Lox to lead a group of Seekers on the most important quest in a thousand years. To save the realm and everyone they have ever known from the rising shadows of darkness, these misfits must survive hostile lands, enemy armies, unspeakable monsters, and each other in order to retrieve the stone from the dragon’s lair before it’s too late.


Dungeons & Dragons meets the Witcher in this stand-alone tale filled with non-stop action and banter. If you love classic fantasy quests with a modern twist, don't miss this epic adventure.

 

Review


Shadows of the Dark Realm boasts quite the print page length—690 pages for the paperback, to be exact (according to Amazon).  It’s a giant behemoth of a book, but it certainly packs a ton of action.  Fantasy nerds know all about those long books and lots of goings on, and any fantasy lover will find all of the common elements of a sword-and-sorcery fantasy with a group of people on a quest to save a kingdom right here in these many, many pages.  


Our story starts off with the main character, Vale, the typical, sullen and reluctant hero with a tragic, tortured past and the anchor of the group we follow across a vast land of many kingdoms.  By the end of the story, though we start with only 5 characters, the group grows significantly and allies itself with many different types of warriors and peoples in order to steal the Darkstone from Darka Mors. 


The characters here were most definitely the strong point of the narrative.  Sure, it was filled with political intrigue, lots of double-crossing, adventure, dragons, and all of the great elements of any fantasy; but I found myself growing more attached to the characters than I was interested in the quest.  I recommend this one for any reader of fantasy who loves character-driven stories.


Though I loved the character interactions, one of the only reservations I have about the book is the vast amount of characters.  While they weren’t hard for me to keep up with, as my primary genre is fantasy, I did find the development was a bit superficial for the characters I wanted to know more about.  Though, the book does seem to have a sequel in the works, so I believe that problem (for me, at least) may be solved in future.


Overall, I quite enjoyed the tale.  It was a bit rough around the edges, but it also was an early copy, and I anticipate it to be a great finished piece and wonderful addition to the vast selection of fantasy books on the market.


My thanks to the author for the eARC, for which I willingly give my own, honest review.


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