reviews

The Dark Season Saga: The Final Harvest

Write on: Sun, 09 Jul 2017 by  in SPFBO - ROUND 1 Be the first to comment! Read 876

The Dark Season Saga: The Final Harvest is a novel set in the dying world of Talor. It is a planet which once held many prosperous kingdoms but which is now just a collection of loose alliances under constant siege by the forces of evil. This siege is finally coming to an end as the few remaining free peoples of the world are about to fall under the constant onslaught they live under.

      Nymtha, the Shadow Pilgrim, is a figure who has lived apart from the mortals. A member of the extraordinarily long-lived Genn, beings who neither interfere or affect the world of men. Called by forces he doesn't entirely understand, he breaks his pattern of interference and seeks to find some way to affect the world of man.

     Much attention was given to the world-building of Talor with various clans, groups, kingdoms, societies and organization. The author clearly put an amazing amount of effort into creating his vivid near-apocalyptic society. Unfortunately, I frequently found myself getting lost among the various factions.  Indeed, at the risk of constructive criticism, the book sometimes falls into the problem of telling rather than showing. At several points in the book, the author stops the narrative to give long info dumps which would have been better to reveal organically in the narrative. It sometimes was a little overwhelming and I'm no stranger to deep narratives with lots of fantasy-style names. I played every single one of the original D&D worlds except Birthright and Mystara.

     There's a few gems among the backstory, though, like the tale of the Mergals. They're a race of smiths and forgers (but not dwarves who exist separately) that ultimately undid themselves by their fanatical devotion to creating the perfect weapons from Eternus. The mastery of this metal and its object forms one of the subplots of the book that I found to be quite intriguing but was a distraction from the imminent end of humanity I was most interested in.

     One chief draw for the book, for me, was Nymtha's character development and journey. He starts as a very cold figure who is only reluctantly engaged with the environment as he slowly goes through an arc which changes him in ways I was actually surprised by in several places. It's not the typical heroes journey and that's to the book's credit.

     The character, himself, is sort of a combination of Jinn and adventurer archaeologist. Much of the book takes place in various ruins and Moira-like dungeons which I feel helps gives the book its unique qualities. Nymtha is a scholar and an explorer, which makes him more than your typical Medieval fantasy protagonist. He's far from the only protagonist, though, and I think the book might have benefited fropm staying completely focuse don the Shadow Pilgrim.

     Would I recommend The Dark Season Saga: The Final Harvest? Well, I think that depends a great deal on what you're looking for in an independent fantasy novel. This has set up a lot of interesting conflicts but the book jumps around them a great deal so there isn't as much sense of story progression as I think this story deserved. Some may be utterly fascinated by the dark environment, dungeon exploring, and arcane world while others may struggle to keep up. I was a combination of both.

Last modified on Sunday, 09 July 2017 15:27
Charles Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.

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