“The Shock of Night” Book 1 of Darkwater Saga by Patrick W. Carr

Willet Dura—King’s reeve, least lord of the realm, betrothed of Lady Gael, and insane. After all, no one survives a night in the Darkwater Woods. Now he must explain to the people bent on killing him how he escaped, but the answers are locked in a vault. Inside his own mind. Given a gift he would never want and a mission he could never survive, he must do what he does best—solve mysterious murders and evade death, and what he does worst—trust others to help him. But how can he trust others when he can’t trust himself? Why does he wakes from a dreamless sleep with blood on his cloak whenever there is a murder?

From his first step the plot twists and winds beneath his feet as he is pursued at every turn by death and his fascination with it. His keen mind keeps him one small step ahead of those who would see him dead, which is almost everyone it would seem. I cannot even begin to explain the plot (nor would I want to give it away). I can only say that the author is adept at developing unexpected heroes—and villains—while keeping his readers guessing about who is what! So will the way the author will end a scene or chapter with Dura reaching a conclusion or realizing something important, but leaving the reader hanging.

It’s hard to believe, after all that happens in this novel, that this is only the first in a saga. Yet the author leaves plenty of questions and situations without permanent answers, and lots of room for maneuvering. I can’t wait for the next in the series. But I suppose I will have to, and so will all the Fantasy fans out there.

Did I mention there is a short introductory prequel to this saga? Look for “By Divine Right” for an adventure in its own right. It helps introduce the land and the main character, preparing the way for this new adventure. At the time of writing (this blog), “By Divine Right” was free on Amazon.

Thank you to Netgalley (https://www.netgalley.com/) and Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.

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