Thursday, February 22, 2018

Audio Book Review: Darkstorm


By:  M.L. Spencer

Publish Date:  January 19, 2017, Audiobook Release January 22, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 5 mins
Narrated By:  Simon Wright

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Rhenwars Saga series

Impression:  A fight to save the world as they know it.

Darkstorm is the prequel to the dark epic fantasy series The Rhenwars Saga.

Faced with an imminent cataclysm that will destroy the magical heritage of their people, a secret conspiracy of mages has resorted to harnessing the powers of Hell to save their legacy. The only mages who can oppose them are Braden and Quin Reis: two brothers with a turbulent past and a caustic relationship. But both Braden and Quin are compromised, harboring terrible and tragic secrets.

Will Braden and Quin be able to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they fall victim to the darkmages’ sinister manipulations and join their conspiracy?

First Sentence:
"Braden Reis."
He didn't look up at the sound of his own name being spoken from the doorway.

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My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I found Simon's accent attractive for the book. Very nice. He has great control of words and puts emotion with the words. One small thing I noticed is at times it sounds like a hard stop to the stillness around him. It's only happened once in a while, like maybe where recording ended and new started. Very minor thing. His cadence and emotion flowing with the words and events our characters live through.

We start with a prologue. It tells the situation that Braden Reis finds himself in, at this very moment. Then chapter one goes back three weeks prior, telling the story of events that got Braden in his predicament. We do get back to this moment close to the end of the book, and see a conclusion to where he's at. This prologue shows there are interesting things in this world and magic. These things we will learn about as the story is told. And it also makes me curious what Braden did to be brought to this sentencing.

The book is told through a few different point of views. Those POV's are Merris, Sephana, Braden, and Quin through book. These four people are very important in the actions to save the world as they know it.

When we first meet Merris, I found I got a feel for the world she lives in. Her actions and feelings give quick descriptions of things around her. This helps build the world from the beginning for us.

I was impressed with how fast we get to the troubles in the story along with getting to know the characters and world. M.L. weaved together the details, characters, and story line together in a way that it felt to be fast to get to the big troubles and what could be coming, I don't think I realized all I learned quickly because I was enjoying the details and characters along with the troubles that we saw and were learning were coming. Well done at drawing everything together in a great image!

With the story moving forward with events and details, you'll want to pay attention so you don't miss anything on the systems here. There is a lot of details given of the mage that I feel will come up later in the story, like what they can do and the magic system they have.

Aerysius is open to woman being strong and individuals. However, Caladorn has a different view on women. Women seem to be seen as a lower status and need to work hard to grow in status in Caladorn. But they can excel here as well. Caladorn does see sex more openly. This opens the story up to a touch of romance. We do not get the detailed scenes, but you know what is lead into.

I would have liked more of a time base in the sections, so I know how much time has passed. I think this would have helped with what felt like a quick relationship for Merris and Quin. I struggle with quick loves. This relationship escalated quick, though, I do think there is more than meets the eye with these two. It feels as Merris is drawn to Quin's power after she gets a taste of it. This brings me to wonder if Merris is using Quin. But seeing things through Quin's eyes at times through the book brings me to feeling for him as I think he's starting to really like Merris. When I came to a part of the book where I learned more about this, I was so proud of myself for catching it AND of M.L. for writing it! I TOTALLY got the right feel leading me to where the author went with it in the book. I love when this happens!

I know Braden thinks himself a bad person, but I found I really like him. He's more humble and learned to care for people. He seems to have a soul purpose and drive to stop a bad thing that's to correct another terrible event. Two bads do not make a right. But many others think it will. Braden has Sephana at his side to help. Sephana has a strong mind that works well with balancing Braden's strong power.

Throughout the book I found myself drawn into the world and the magic here. I enjoyed the characters. Even when I was getting a bad vibe from a character or two because this is a sign of them being written very well for me to get the right feel off their actions and emotions. The end happened fast because we were moved from one character to another to get the whole view as it was happening, which pulled me back some, but that's the movement of everything happening.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!


  1. I wonder if the 4 people POV would throw me off too much. Hmmm

  2. This one sounds intriguing - and I know I sound like a cracked record, but I MUST get into audiobooks!

  3. Mhmmm always tricky with multiple POVs


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