Friday, 24 March 2017

Darkstorm Blog Tour

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Darkstorm High Res Cover.jpgBlitz~ Darkstorm
Author: M.L. Spencer
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Dates: 24th of March
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours  

Faced with an imminent cataclysm that will destroy the magical heritage of their people, a conspiracy of darkmages resolves to open the gateway to Hell. The only mages who stand a chance of opposing them are Sephana Clemley and her acolyte, Merris Bryar, along with their protectors, Braden and Quin Reis: two brothers with a turbulent past and a caustic relationship. Will Braden and Quin be able to protect Sephana and Merris long enough to prevent the unsealing of the Well of Tears? Or will they fall victim to manipulation and become darkmages themselves?


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Mages from opposite sides have to come together to stop hell being unleashed on earth. Sephana, Merris, Braden and Quin only have three weeks to overturn the apocalypse.

I received  free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a great Fantasy story with some big ideas.
The impending apocalypse; the idea that magic is a tangible thing that people devote their lives to, and the threat of it reversing polarity; and what people will sacrifice to stop it.
I also found the morals and arguments of the opposing characters fascinating, and it does make you wonder which is the lesser of two evils.

I liked the four main characters - the narrations starts mainly with Merris, as she uncovers the sinister plot and tells her mentor that one of their highest-standing mages is working against nature.
Braden and Quin get to lead some sections. Sephana is nice enough, but tends to be a back-up character for Merris and Braden.
Merris is quite light-hearted and helps to contrast the seriousness of the plot. I did find her character very changeable throughout, and was hard to keep track of. One minute she's shy, the next she's confident. She's tomboyish, then a seductress. In the story, she is described as a chameleon who adapts to her surroundings, so I struggled to define her.
Braden is probably the strongest character. His morals define him, and he stands true to who he is, no matter the cost. He has his problems and past pains, but he doesn't let that hinder him in trying to save the world. He represents the best of everything, he's a diplomat, a fierce warrior, a leader amongst the tribes he originated from (oh, and deserving of Thor's hammer, anyone?).
His brother Quin is his opposite. He is physically weak, prone to addiction, and has little willpower to control his emotions. His magic is also more experimental, and has darker undertones. But he is loyal, and brave (when necessary) and will step up to do his part.
As I said before, Sephana is a back-up character. She is nice, has powerful magic and a positive outlook. She supports Braden when he needs it, and helps to keep him human. Beyond that, we don't get to know much about her.

The story has some big ideas, and I enjoyed most of it.
I have to confess, I found the second have somewhat confusing, as the tension builds and the narration jumps between various scenes.
I also wondered at the lack of drive from some of our characters - they've got three weeks to stop the oncoming apocalypse, but Quin and Merris spend two weeks of that shacked up in an inn 'hiding'.

4 out of 5

M.L. SPENCER Author Bio:
M.L. Spencer grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. She wrote her first novel-length manuscript at thirteen. Her debut novel Darkmage won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy. She was also awarded 1st Place Prose in in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration. Ms. Spencer lives in Southern California. By day she works as a biology teacher; by night she sweats over a beaten-up keyboard. She is now in the process of expanding the Rhenwars Saga into a trilogy.

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