DARKLANDS is the third volume of the Rhenwars Saga by M.L. Spencer, a series I've very much enjoyed. I've referred to it as "The Anti-Wheel of Time" and I think that's a fairly good description of it. It's a series which takes a typical battle between good and evil, epic romances, Chosen Ones, and Forsaken wizards then turns it all on its head. The fact the Wheel of Time did some of this itself doesn't prevent the Rhenwars Saga from serving as an effective critique. I also appreciate the books don't take forever to each their conclusion.
I reviewed the first novel of the Darkmage and found it to be an enjoyable epic which told a complete story from beginning to end. Despite this, it very is a "saga" and that means more books in the series with new characters and groups. This is an interesting way of doing a series and one which intrigued me even as I also felt the absence of several characters I loved from Darkstorm.
DARKSTORM is the first volume of the Rhenwars Saga, which is a tale about examining a typical fantasy conflict of good vs. evil from multiple angles. I hesitate to say it's about adding shades of gray to stories but it does an excellent job of deconstructing the kind of motivations which would compel people to follow paths where they are the "hero" or "villain" in a story.