Thursday, April 21, 2016

Review: The Benighted by A.M. Dunnewin

Title: The Benighted
Author: A.M. Dunnewin
Series: The Benighted Saga, #1
Genre: Fantasy/YA/Romance
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 25th, 2013
Edition: Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon US | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | BAM

The King was dead. 
     His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder. 
     Confined to darkness, Skylar's captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It's when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can't suppress the memories of her family's downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is because even the darkness can't hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all. 
     With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar's only hope is the person who has gone missing — Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison's walls, Skylar doesn't realize that she will soon see why he's one of the Benighted. 
The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It's how he'll return.


This book was a fairly different fantasy book. Certainly different from ones I've read in the past.  The world building was kind of on the fence for me. The back story is revealed in flashbacks, which is a very different way to tell a story. But, the break wasn't very clear sometimes. The flashbacks didn't always flow well into present-time of the story. I would have preferred that the flashbacks be time stamped, for example, "Three weeks ago" or something.

Some of the writing was a little choppy. Word choice was off, and some of the terminologies were incorrect for either the situation or time period. I blame the editing.

Even though I had these small issues with the book, I was really engaged in the story and what was happening. Finding out what is happening was done in a way that gave the story a mysterious aspect. The mystery of why Skylar is in jail was what drove me to finish the book more than anything. All the questions are answered eventually and a good deal of shocking revelations as the story is told.

There is a romantic aspect to the story as well, and I was really happy that it was pretty understated. It's there, but it does not take the front of the plot because it's not what the story is about. It's about a Princess doing what she thinks is best for her country, even at the expense of her life and freedom.

I read that she plans on writing a sequel, and I hope it comes out soon. I would like to know what happens next.

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