Review – Leandra Martin’s Dark One Rising
When you review for a successful site like The Self Publisher’s Showcase which has so many fantastic authors and titles, and you have committed to reviewing across the genres, the time is always going to come when you are the Chosen One, the man that must read Fantasy. Fantasy being my least favourite genre. When I read Fantasy novels, I always look for something other than Gods or Dragons or short hairy footed folk. Those things just don’t appeal to me, so a Fantasy novel must have something I ‘get’, something different that makes me sit up and read on. Even with big publishing houses this is a struggle. Fantasy writers just don’t write for me, so how could a self published Fantasy book ever do well with these odds stacked against them? Well. In fact, very well. Surprisingly well! Read on dear book fan and let me explain why Leandra Martin may actually be one of the finest Fantasy writers I will ever read and then work out for yourselves whether that’s a good thing for the genre or not.
I haven’t reviewed this book as the Fantasy epic you may have been expecting so, in my excitement to tell you why, here’s the books blurb…
The Kingdom of Aelethia has been quiet for five hundred years, but the Dark One is rising from out of the depths. All of Aelethia will perish unless the Chosen One comes forward to save them. Unfortunately, the Chosen One doesn’t know her destiny in the world; she only knows she is odd and confused about where her destiny lies.
She wants to find love, but the men in her life that actually love her, she cannot have, and the only one that wants her is as evil as they come. The elves know of her destiny and must tell her and train her in time, in order to fulfil the prophesy that has been laid out before her.
Can she become the person they have waited for? Can she, in time, destroy the evil that is threatening to overtake her kingdom? With friends to guide her and a man to whom she truly loves beside her, she may be able to save Aelethia
Sounds like run of the mill Fantasy, and there is even a world map reminiscent of Tolkein at the start of the book, but what Martin has created is an incredible human tale. You Fantasy nuts will like the Fantasy parts I am sure, but it is the human elements that are striking in the narrative. A daughter, not a son, born with all the expectation of the world on her tiny shoulders. This all happens at the beginning of the novel, a King waiting for the birth blah blah, then wait! What? A GIRL? Yes, this is where I sat up and became intrigued. A strong female lead character in a book of this type, or perhaps any type, is a rarity. It has been done before, but not like this. This is no token female who gets a few action scenes, this is a young lady whose story is imperative, not just to the Dark One Rising, but to life. It proves to non-female believers (honestly there is no better term for these morons that think only men can win battles) that a woman can go through the same experiences as any man. Why can’t a Princess act as a knight and save the day whilst loving and losing and yearning?
This is a story of a confused young person, not knowing or comfortable with the life they have been born into, a feeling I dare anyone to say they haven’t felt before. This is a growing up story, a coming of age tale that crosses the genres. This is a strong female story. This is epic but maybe not in the term that most Fantasy fans expect. Is this a great Fantasy novel? I really don’t know. My lack of enthusiasm for the genre is only matched by my lack of knowledge, but one thing I can tell you though is that Leandra Martin ‘gets’ me and writes something that keeps the reader interested right to the end.
**** 4 STARS!!!