There are old comments I still need to respond to; I will. I swear. Just, not this week. The day job has given me extra hours (squee!!) which has shut my brain of (unsquee!) and I really really ought to be working on the covers for ‘Fairy Queen’ but, heh, brain. Instead, you get a book review!
Generally when I reread a book it’s because it’s one of my annual rereads (like Lord of the Rings or the Vampire Diaires, but only the first four) or it’s because the next installment has been released (think Wheel of Time or A Song of Fire and Ice or Harry Potter when it was still applicable). Typically I do not read a book and then reread it mere months later when I acquire the rest of the series. But this exactly what I did with Alison Sinclair’s Darkborn. Sitting to write this fresh of my reread, I’m still trying to figure out why I love this book so much. And, I do love this book. I came upon it the first time at just the right time for it to become on of those perfect reads. The reread didn’t diminish that feeling.
To start with, the premises is intriguing. It’s fantasy, and it’s secondary world fantasy, and the world is divided between the Lightborn and the Darkborn. At first glance, because of the current glut of vampire fiction, you’d think it was going to be a vampire novel. I sure did. But, it’s not. (Or, I should say, it’s not so far and there haven’t been any hints that it would become such). The Lightborn cannot go out in the dark, the Darkborn cannot abide the daylight (and they have sonar!), and it all goes back to a curse some 800 years previous worked by the powerful mages of their time. We have a wide variety of opinion about the use of magic (the Lightborn embrace and regulate it, the Darkborn shun it) and we have hints of the curse not extending beyond a particular area, but the story takes place within that area, so we haven’t explored the outlaying areas much, as yet.
It’s a mystery. Kidnapped Darkborn infants who are Sighted, kidnapped daughters as hostages, husbands beat near to death, fires started that ravage whole quarters, rulers mysteriously done in by magical curses, and at the center of it a mother and wife immensely powerful who is terribly afraid of admitting her power, until her family is threatened . . .
I love this book. I will be reading this book to poor Beth. I pray I enjoy the next two books in the series, because Darkborn a perfect read, and I want the whole experience to be as much.
It’s a shame Alison’s backlist is out of print.