Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First of all, I wanted to thank the publisher and Edelweiss, for the chance to read and review this book in exchange of an honest review.
Dark Rise is the first book of the new epic fantasy series by C.S. Pacat and it was one of my most anticipated read in 2021. I loved reading Captive Prince and Fence and I was so happy when the publisher sent me the earc!
Once upon a time there was an ancient and magical world, but not its heroes are dead, the great battles between Light and Dark are forgotten and only the Stewards remember the ancient time, protecting their memories, keeping their vigil and swearing to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. In London, Will Kempen is sixteen years old, he’s on the run and he’s escaping the men who killed his mother, without knowing why and who are they, when an old servant finds him and tells him his destiny is to find the Stewards and fight beside them. Finding himself involved in a battle against Light and Dark, magic and power, with a peculiar ally in the almost stranger Violet, Will has to train and play the role of the Chosen One against villains, violence and death.
In a complex world made of reborn heroes and villains, past and present intertwined, magic and pawns, Will and Violet are the main characters in a fight between light and darkness, for themselves, their world and future, between love and hate, destiny and reality.
I loved reading Dark Rise! The worldbuilding is fascinating and complex, set in the Victorian London mixing knights, magic, powers, loves, deaths, allies and enemies, in a battle between light and darkness, good and bad. The Hall, the Stewards, the magic…everything was so intriguing and captivating, the plot full of twists, characters and amazing descriptions it felt like I was there with them.
The story is told by Will and Violet’s POVs and they are wonderfully complex characters, in their intricacies, with their traumas, doubts, fears and desires. Both of them find themselves in a strange and ancient world, in a battle fought in the past and that still threatens their future and everything they love. Will and Violet find each other by chance, fitting right away allies and then as friends, helping and supporting each other in a beautiful relationship, supporting one other in their battles, intrigues and discoveries.
One thing I noticed is how every character fits the role in the epic fantasy. The Chosen one, the villain, the helper, the love, the interest, some right away, others struggling with it and I loved them all. Even though we just get few glimpses of James, his character is complex and intriguing and I loved how he and Will face each other, feeling attraction, desire and curiosity, in their roles and fight of light and darkness.
At first I didn’t like how they fit their roles, because I was scared they would have been to stereotypical, but I was impressed by how wrong I was. Nothing is how it appears at first glance, nothing is fixed and the story and its characters are evolving, changing, twisting, with new secrets, plot twists and so many surprises I was left breahtless.
Nothing is like it appears and I had so many theories, some good, some outlandish and the story is incredible, because it keeps me on my toes.
The pacing is good and it feels like it’s the first book, since the author is laying down the beginning of the story, with the history and descriptions, so some part appears more slower than the others, but in the end the book is brilliant, captivating and I can’t wait to know more.
I totally recommend this book! It’s impossible not to love and cheer on Will and Violet, to be intrigued by James and their fight, to be fascinated by the ancient world and magic!
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Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat