Thursday, 3 May 2018

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Sorcery' by William Collins

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Sorcery' by William Collins

 Buy the novel here:

"Wizard, druid or shaman, they each have different forms of magic, but we Venators have our own brand of sorcery, which we use primarily to destroy demons. This Fortress acts as a school for demon hunters, and you’re our newest recruit, Brooke.”
Brooke decided this Padrake guy was certifiably insane. '

Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters, only demons are the ones hunting him.

A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike. Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis. Being a Venator is perilous and every new mission could be their last.

Whilst learning how to manipulate the elements, summon magical creatures and shoot Spellzookas, Evan encounters a dangerous rival and meets a girl who makes him feel nauseous; but in a good way. He makes the first friends he’s ever had in the carefree Jed and the reckless Brooke. Whilst Jed gets on the wrong side of a rival Venator, Brooke finds herself falling for the enigmatic demon hunter who brought her to Veneseron, not knowing he isn't quite human. But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.

Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron.

My review 

This novel follows the story of Evan and Brooke, as they enter the world of demons through a school teaching them how to use their sorcery. It is a fast-paced fantasy and not something I would normally choose to read, but nevertheless, it pulled me into the storyline. Although I found the plot quite challenging to understand, there was enough pace and action to keep me going and I found myself enjoying the experience. Even though at some points I was lost, the description and strong characterisation kept me wanting to find out what happens next for Evan and his dilemmas as the demons are after him.

There is a plethora of characters introduced in the first few scenes, with weirdly magical names and descriptions. The author certainly has a strength is portraying vivid characters to the imagination. Both Evan and Brooke are well-developed characters that you feel for during their plight. The author is also successful at world building and creating a visual landscape that makes you feel as if you are there with the characters. I did find the chapters a little long, which probably led to some of my confusion in parts of the plot. As this isn't a genre I'd normally read, I presume this length is of the norm, knowing that fantasy books tend to be on the longer side than general fiction due to the world building. Therefore this isn't a negative for fantasy lovers more of an observation from someone not used to this genre of novel.

The writing flows well, has great dialogue and was engaging. Overall, an enjoyable read for this fast-paced fantasy for young adults and lovers of fantasy. An exciting cliffhanger to leave you wanting more.

More about the author:

William Collins is a writer from the UK and the author of The Realmers Series, as well
as the spin-off Realmer Chronicles. A Darker Shade of Sorcery is the first in The Realmers Series. The sequel, Moonlight War, will be out soon.

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