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Book Review: Darkness Falling: Soldiers and Slaves by R. R. Willica

Every time I buy a book from an author I’ve never read before I get worried. I’m sure I’m not alone. The idea of spending money on a book I might not even be able to get through is awful. I don’t want to waste my money or my time. Darkness Falling: Soldiers and Slaves had wonderful reviews, so I figured why not give it a try. Now granted, I could have read the sample provided, but I didn’t. I’ve seen some of R. R. Willica’s lines on Twitter and had always enjoyed them, so I figured it’d be an interesting read.

Darkness Falling: Soldiers and Slaves sped past interesting and right on into “This is a keeper.”

Willica drew me into her story from the beginning. The world felt familiar yet different, and I felt myself being pulled to know more about it. Willica’s seamless blend of magic and technology left me in awe. Most of the fantasies I read are set in a time of horses, candles, and maidens fetching ale, so I discovered a whole new type of world to love. At first, I worried the magic would have no constraints, but I was quickly shown the toll it takes on its users, and I worried no more.

The characters reveal themselves as the plot unfolds. Willica displays the character details in a way that seems natural to the movement of the plot. No info dumps here. In fact, I was left wanting more. I couldn’t wait to get more info on each of the characters. I don’t wish to spoil the book for anyone, so I’ll give one example that really hooked me. When the High Princess doesn’t want to get married, her mother comes to her and sets her straight on a few ideas she’s having. Up until this point, the mother seems part of the problem and happy with her lot in life, but once the conversation concludes, I felt in awe of the woman’s complete understanding of where she fits into this society. Her understanding of her daughter’s feeling and her desperate plea to her daughter, all left me heartbroken for the two of them.

The typos were the only negatives I found in the book. I’ve read mainstream and indie books with typos, so I’m used to seeing them regardless of the writer. Some of the reviewers said they believed it was from the conversion of the book. I couldn’t say either way. I can say, they didn’t pull me out of the world. The Disciple Series, I reviewed recently, had a lot of typos and those typos pulled me right out of the story. I think it shows how strong Willica’s plot truly is.

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