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Darklands

The Rhenwars Saga, Book 2
Narrated by: Simon Wright
Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
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Publisher's Summary

Compelled to obey the dark god he pledged his soul to, Darien finds himself tasked with delivering the people of the Black Lands from under the curse of darkness which shrouds the skies. With the enemy mage Azár, Darien sets out across a barren landscape to assume his place as the leader of a people who despise him.

As he journeys deeper into the shadowed waste, Darien is confronted with difficult truths that force him to question every loyalty he has ever held. For there, in the brutal proving grounds of the north, Darien will be inexorably forged into the most dangerous adversary the Rhen has ever faced.

Darklands is the second installment in the darkly epic fantasy series The Rhenwars Saga. If you like morally gray heroes and mind-boggling plot twists, then you’ll love Spencer’s award-winning series.

©2017 ML Spencer (P)2019 ML Spencer

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The series keeps getting better!

As with the previous two, the audiobook narrator is skilled, but leaves something to be desired. Particularly when it comes to pronunciation. Quite a few words just sound... odd.

Now, I'm thrilled to report that we're finally seeing a few things come together (or have a full explanation) that have been unclear to me prior to this one.

In fairness, that lack of clarity might be my own fault (I listen while driving and doing other things that sometimes require my attention, so inevitably I miss things from time to time), but this one definitely answers those questions.

I love the development of the people of the Black Lands, and the whole idea of the Black Lands in the first place!

More than that, though, I absolutely love that we get to spend some more time with Quin! He is without doubt my favorite character in the series. I think that's partially because so far he has had the widest arc with the most room for growth, but also because people keep confusing him for a man with ideals or honor and the shenanigans that result are utterly fantastic!

That being said, in this one we get to spend some more time with a few other characters that get a whole lot more development, and several of them are really growing on me. I'm really starting to like Darian and Kyle, and the women as well (apologies, I have no conception of how to spell their names, so I'm not going to try).

There are some truly tragic, heart-wrenching moments in this one that are really drawing me further into the world and these characters' stories in particular. I am a little disappointed with some of them, as there are things not turning out so well for these wonderful characters that were totally avoidable if they'd just suck it up and deal!

As always, this review is completely spoiler-free, so I won't go into details on any of that. Suffice it to say, this book had me tearing up a bit at some points, and had me wanting to throw something at certain characters at others! And in contrast, there were other moments that had me busting up laughing!

The fact that I can have all those responses in this one book is utterly fantastic!

Similarly, let's talk about the romantic entanglements for a moment. I have a tendency to avoid books where romance is a major part of the plot because, well, frankly those sub-plots are usually very poorly written, in my experience. (very few things have the ability to annoy me as quickly as "These people met and there was tension." then we skip a week or two, and suddenly we're hearing about their heartfelt expressions of undying love and adoration. UGH! I need to know how and why those feelings developed if you want me to believe it)

So far, in this series there has only been one romance that didn't feel genuine, and was because (drum-roll please) **gasp** it wasn't genuine. But all that is explained in the book it takes place in. And apart from that one, the romances that happen in these books actually feel real! And even the tragic ones (which, let's be honest, is most of them!) are wonderfully presented and evoke some real feelings when reading them.

Especially in this book! Oh my gosh, talk about ripping my heart out!

M. L. Spencer, you are a horrible human being!
Thank you so much for everything you've written!

Now, while I do have some ideas at this point as to where the story is actually heading in this series, I'm reasonably certain that I'm going to end up being wrong (which is one of the things I love about these books)! And I can't wait until the next two books are released in audio so I can see where this is all going and how it's going to play out.