Review of Dark Art (Whisper of the Gods #2) by Steve Feasey

WHEN DARKNESS FALLS, WHO WILL FIND THE STRENGTH TO LEAD THE WAY?
Lann is lost. Haunted by ghosts and desperate for vengeance, he is struggling to maintain control of the Dreadblade. Its call is growing stronger and Lann’s resolve is at an all-time low.
Across a dark sea, Kelewulf is searching for the heart of a god. This powerful and terrible object is the final piece of the puzzle that will return darkness to the world forever. And with each day that passes, Kelewulf is closer to achieving his goal.
 

It feels like forever since I read Dark Blade but it’s such an easy world to fall back into and actually, a really great job was done with weaving in just enough of the backstory to bring back those key moments from book one. I loved the alternating chapters between locations and how the author wasn’t afraid to move the focus away from Lann or Kelewulf at times to help round out the story.  Whilst book one was really focused on Lann, I felt that we really got to learn more about Kelewulf this time and actually he stole the show for me! He had the benefit of a new area and new characters and his battles with both the Lich and being a stranger in a strange land made for utterly compelling reading. Whilst Kelewulf has the benefit of building a solid base in Hasz,  Lann and Astrid find themselves traversing several locations and even planes during their journey. Their valiant efforts in hunting down those who escaped through the rift feels like a relentless task for them, but they make an awesome team and I love how they bounced off each other in battle. They have quite the roller coaster going on so I’m not going to let slip much of their adventure, but it’s compelling! There are some quite visually graphic representations of their experiences at times which tips it at the slightly darker end of YA fantasy.

This is still a very much character driven series, and whilst I do miss my beloved world building, it’s fine because I knew this going into it from book one. I did get a little sprinkling here and there though! Specifically with Hasz and the Citadel, it reminded me a little of The Black Church from Nevernight, there’s a wonderful little magic system in play and some great teachers and set ups to really drive Kelewulf’s arc forward. There were a couple of occasions towards the end where I would have liked to have known more though because it felt a teeny bit rushed and I had to read back because I thought I had missed something. There is no word wasted though, it’s a fast, punchy and easy read that a thoroughly enjoyed and I’m very grateful to Bloomsbury YA for providing me with this opportunity to continue this fantastic story!

4*

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