There Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness, #1)

by Katy Rose Pool

4.3 of 5 stars 10 ratings • 7 reviews • 48 shelved
Book cover for There Will Come a Darkness

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There Will Come a Darkness (Age of Darkness, #1)

by Katy Rose Pool

4.3 of 5 stars 10 ratings • 7 reviews • 48 shelved

'A masterful fantasy debut' Sebastien de Castell

THE AGE OF DARKNESS APPROACHES. 
FIVE LIVES STAND IN ITS WAY.

For generations, the Seven Prophets guided humanity - until they disappeared, one hundred years ago.

They left behind a secret prophecy, foretelling an Age of Darkness and the birth of a new Prophet who could be the world's salvation . . . or the cause of its destruction. As a dark new power rises, five souls are set on a collision course that will determine the fate of their world:

A prince exiled from his kingdom
A ruthless killer known as the Pale Hand
A once-faithful leader torn between his duty and his heart
A reckless gambler with the power to find anything or anyone
And a dying girl on the verge of giving up

One of them - or all of them - could break the world. Will they be saviour or destroyer?

'Unforgettable . . . feels both utterly original and like the best of classic fantasy' Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand

'A well-crafted, surprising and gripping start to a new trilogy' Kirkus

'Katy Rose Pool combines lovable characters, a gorgeously tangible world and an intricate puzzle-box plot to create a story that will pull you inexorably toward the explosive end' Sarah Holland, New York Times bestselling author of Everless

  • ISBN13 9781250211750
  • Publish Date 3 September 2019
  • Publish Status Unknown
  • Imprint Henry Holt & Company
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 496
  • Language English

Reviews

Avatar for layawaydragon

layawaydragon 3 of 5 stars
Not bowled over, but a worthy step in the right direction.

Came for the queer fantasy and...mostly got it. I'd love for some sapphic rep or at least a gay couple on main though considering the straights have one right away.

There's 5 main POVs. Two are sisters with no romantic attachments, one prince with a soldier girl romance, and two boys that like boys though they don't meet until the end and neither have partners.

Of the two gay male characters, one's a flirt and the other is kinda sorta struggling with having any romantic feelings vs religious duty. No guilt about being gay per say, but people might say it's a distinction without a difference. YMMV.

There are also an adorable husband couple in the background cast.

Love the vigilante justice in the beginning. The Pale Hand kept me reading when I was bored with Jude's irresponsible whiny guilt re: Hector and Anton's drawn out mystery.

The surprise ending is perfect villain backstory and what I'm mostly excited in pursuing. The thread I like makes it like The Bone Witch with less world building, more POV characters, and messy drama.

I think the next one is going to have more going on from the get go and is going to be gayer, so I'll try continuing.

Avatar for limabean74

limabean74 3 of 5 stars
I love the characters but the story is painfully slow. I have stopped reading at a good point and will return when the next book in the series comes out. I feel like this is the back story book and it seems to have more pages then it needs.

I wanted to love this so much and as much as I do love all the characters especially Anton. I can't get past how slow moving it is, 60% in and still no villain. I will return to this but for now my rating is a 3.5 and will stay until I finish reading.

As always I totally recommend if you like a slow build this is a great book for you, Slow builds just take me a lot longer to read.

Avatar for kalventure

kalventure 4 of 5 stars
You can read about the author event with Katy Rose Pool and Kiersten White here on Reader Voracious Blog!
There Will Come a Darkness is an ambitious epic fantasy debut that features:
✨creepy cults
✨ruthless girls
✨boys with a LOT of feelings
✨siblings
✨doomsday prophecies
If this sounds interesting to you, then I encourage you add this one to your TBRs immediately!

I'm a simple reader: put doomsday prophecies, loveable characters doing their best, and morally grey characters in a book and I'm summoned! This book is epic fantasy at its best, building the world up around the reader through the characters and their experiences. The world is rich and vast, but the worldbuilding is doled out slowly so it never feels like an info-dump.

I often struggle with books that have multiple points of view, and There Will Come a Darkness has five of them. But the way that Pool crafted this story is nothing short of masterful: the exposition is doled out slowly and each character has information that the others don't. They each have a different perspective on the world and offer more information about society at large through their place within it.
"'All of these things are connected. All of them mean that the last prophecy is unfolding. One of them, or perhaps all of them together, will bring about the Age of Darkness.'"
Each character has a distinct voice and I found myself getting more and more attached as I progressed in the plot. It's rare that I love a large cast of characters as much as I did here. Their conversations feel real and authentic, and Pool did a great job building out each of their backstories.

I especially found myself heavily invested in Jude's POV because his journey explores the notion of duty and personal desires, sacrifice, and how often when achieving a goal we feel "now what?" His arc is the literal interpretation of free will versus predetermination. Everything he wants in life is in direct opposition to his role and position in the Order, so his struggle is duty versus the personal attachments he has (but shouldn't). It is worth noting that Jude offers the LGBTQIAP+ representation and his romantic interest is forbidden: not for orientation but rather because of his position in the Order (like priests or monks being celibate).

As the narrative continues, I found myself anticipating when the character's paths would cross and how their journeys would dovetail. It was like watching a puzzle be completed in story form. There is so much backstabbing and twists, too. I gasped on more than one occasion while reading! More than anything, I loved the murkiness of the 100-year old prophecy and in trying to interpret it. Each of our five main characters plays a part, and while each of them is good (aka not wanting to bring about the Age of Darkness), their actions could still be bringing forth what they fear. It does bring an interesting discussion of determinism and free will.

The one downside to the multiple perspectives is that sometimes it took a minute for my goldfish brain to connect some of the dots. I take really good notes out of necessity for reviewing though, and that really helped with jogging my memory. It did take me ten days to read this book, but I think that is in large part due to a slump because whenever I read the book I was fully immersed and devoured the pages.

Overall, I really enjoyed this debut fantasy novel and can't wait to continue the series! I recommend this to readers who like large casts of characters, doomsday prophecy, and tightly plotted narratives.

Thank you Henry Holt for Young Readers for providing me an eARC of this book for my honest review. (I have since purchased a final copy.) Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and are subject to change upon final publication.

Representation: lgbtqiap (gay main character), racially diverse (4 of 5 MCs are characters of color)
Content warnings: inferred sexual abuse, imprisonment, murder, PTSD symptoms, racism, refugee camps, religious war, torture, toxic and abusive relationships, violence, xenophobia
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Avatar for adecker

Austine (NovelKnight) 4 of 5 stars
Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight!
This book was provided by the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rating: 4.5

Oh yes, yes I enjoyed There Will Come a Darkness quite a bit. With Ancient Greece vibes, prophecies, and high stakes, I was immediately engaged.

The book follows five character point-of-views as their stories weave in and out of each other in a way that was reminiscent of Falling Kingdoms but I can't compare beyond that because There Will Come a Darkness can truly stand on its own.

I think what originally hooked me is how fast the book seems to move. While the actual plot progresses at a reasonable pace, allowing the story to slowly unfold, the perfectly timed jumps between character point of views gives you the feeling that things are happening much quicker. It kept me reading for the vast majority of the story (there was a point about halfway through where it dragged a bit, the calm before the storm if you will).

And like I said before, it reminded me of another YA fantasy series (and a few others beside that) yet at the same time offered something new. It had an Ancient Greece feel without overused Greek myths tied in. None of the characters were strictly good or evil, just human. Prophecies are ever-present without falling into the Chosen One trap. The characters came from all different walks of life and backgrounds yet somehow merged seamlessly into a larger story.

I could go on, but the short version is that I felt like There Will Come a Darkness had all the elements of a YA fantasy that I enjoy, written from a fresh perspective.

As the story progressed, I grew attached to all five protagonists. Ephyra, the Pale Hand, who kills to keep her sister alive. Beru, the sister, struggling with the morality of what her sister is doing while also wanting to live. Anton, so full of fear and life that they're at constant odds. Jude, who feels the heavy burden of responsibility but would toss it aside for the right moment. And Hassan, born to lead and ready to sacrifice himself to save his people.

Each had their struggles, their own goals. At times I loved some more than others, and it was constantly shifting as one character was left in a precarious position before the story jumped to another. It kept me on my toes but I also noticed that. . . well, I don't have a favorite character! I loved them all, each for something different. 

Which, speaking of all these characters, can I just take a moment to say WOW this book is intricate. Pool masterfully meshes five distinct stories together in a way that creates a complicated world I'd expect from a full series, not a single book. It was pure magic. And the twists! Now some I had guessed but there were a few, especially near the end, that completely blindsided me and damn it was perfection. The hope and wishful thinking contrasted so nicely against fear and doubt and betrayal, which might sound weird but it made this book an interesting ride, to say the least. You name it, I bet you'll find it in this book.

There Will Come a Darkness takes the concept of fate to a whole new  beautifully complex level. 

This is not a book to sleep on and I think anyone who enjoyed fantasy should grab a copy. I'm already dying to get my hands on the sequel!!

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Avatar for shannonmiz

shannonmiz 4 of 5 stars
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

4.5*

So, I was a little afraid that I’d be overwhelmed by all the points of view in this one. But I needn’t have been! The author did an amazing job of making them all incredibly well developed and easy to tell apart. By the end of the first quarter of the book, I was enamored with each of them, for very different reasons. The best part about each of them is how morally gray they all were. They’re all trying to survive, or trying to help their people survive. The question is, how far is too far? How far are you willing to go? And are any of us really the “good guys”, or all we all just trying to save ourselves and those we care about? And it’s definitely a dark world, which I also loved!

Bottom Line: I fell in love with all the characters, regardless of their moral compass, because the author compelled me to sympathize with their plights. Add in some perfect atmosphere and a really unique world, and yep, I’m hooked.

Avatar for cornerfolds

cornerfolds 5 of 5 stars
Read more of my reviews at Cornerfolds.com!

What. A. Ride. I requested a copy of There Will Come a Darkness without knowing much about it, but I had a gut feeling that I was going to love it. It actually took me a couple tries to get into this book, but once I did, I was all in!

There Will Come a Darkness is told from five points of view. Hassan is a prince living in another city after his is taken hostage. Ephyra is the Pale Hand, a healer who has the power to take lives. Beru is Ephyra's sister, sick and in constant need of healing. Anton has the gift of sight and is on the run from his past. Jude is the leader of a faithful army that hasn't been seen in a hundred years. They're all affected in some way by the Witnesses, a radicalized group looking to wipe the Graced off the planet.

I'm usually not one for multiple POV stories, but this one was a perfect balance. I'm not quite sure how Katy Rose Pool won me over, honestly, but she made me care deeply about each of these characters and their stories. I loved that this wasn't one of those books where every single thread comes together into a perfect little bow. Each character wasn't important to the story, but as individuals also. I did really enjoy that no romantic plot overshadowed the story, although there was a little romance sprinkled throughout.

In addition to five incredible characters, the world is also wonderfully crafted. There are several distinct cultures and each one is clearly defined. There seem to be inspirations from multiple real cultures although I can't put my finger on them and I don't want to try in case I end up saying something dumb. The mythology of the Prophets was really interesting and the magical system of the Graced was definitely unique.

As I mentioned, this book took a little bit to get up to speed, but once it did I was fully invested. The story isn't non-stop action, but switching between POVs made it feel like there was always something important happening and I never felt bored. The ending was certainly a bit of cliffhanger, but it was wrapped up nicely enough that it didn't absolutely kill me.

If you are a fan of interesting magical systems, well built worlds, and dark fantasy, you're definitely going to want to pick this up! I'm not sure how I'm going to wait a whole year because I'm already dying to see what happens in book two!