Alyce from At Home With Books features one of her favorite reads each Thursday and this week my pick is…
Dusk by Tim Lebbon.
From the back cover: It is the Year of the Black 2208, and magic has been dead for three centuries. Since the Cataclysmic War, which drove away the Mages, civilization has regressed to a more savage time. But magic is about to be reborn…
Kosar the thief senses that Rafe Baburn is no ordinary boy. After witnessing a madman plunder Rafe’s village and murder his parents, Kosar knows the boy needs help. And now, for a reason he cannot fathom, others are seeking the boy’s destruction.
Uncertain where to begin, Kosar turns to A’Meer, and ex-lover and Shantasi warrior whose people, unbeknownst to him, have been chosen to safeguard magic’s return. A’Meer knows instantly that it is Rafe who bears this miracle of magic. Now Kosar and a band of unexpected allies embark on a battle to protect one special boy. For dark forces are closing in — including the Mages, who have been plotting their own triumphant return.
My thoughts: While this book is fantasy, there is a real horror element to it and parts of it are downright disturbing and disgusting. I know that is probably not the best way to go about adding my thoughts to this one but I wanted to address it first and get it out of the way. This is not a book for everyone, even fantasy lovers may have an issue with the amount of blood and gore in this one. If you like fantasy though, this is a great read, just be warned that the horror element is very strong.
Warning over, let’s get on to why I picked it this morning. The world building, which is so important in fantasy, is phenomenal here. Noreela, the world mages and magic have abandoned, is dark and utterly terrifying and you get sucked in and don’t want to leave even when you’re so disturbed by it you almost want to put the book down. I say almost because there were times when reading this book that I started to skim finding it a bit hard to digest but I was so captivated by it that I ended up going back to read those passages. There’s something about Noreela that I couldn’t escape. In this world that magic has abandoned, all of Noreela seemed to be waiting for something to happen to either make the mages return or destroy them all. I wanted every detail.
Kosar isn’t supposed to be a likable character. He’s a thief and a man not overly concerned with anyone but himself, but he’s ripe for a bit of redemption. And, this book, as a lot of fantasy books are, is a quest. So, man needing a place and quest say hello. The magic here is dark, powerful, and addicting but oh so gratifying. There’s no wand waving fun spells here. The magic is meant for destruction and there’s more than enough of in this book.
If you’re looking for some dark fantasy that’s a little different, take a look at Lebbon.
Dusk is followed by the sequel Dawn.