Author: Anna Stephens
The sequel to the brilliant Godblind, Darksoul is a cracking follow up. As it is the second in the series I don’t want to go into too much depth to avoid spoilers for the first book as far as possible, but obviously, there are going to be some so be warned.
Parts of this book don’t revolve around the siege of Rilporin, but those are few and far between. For the most part, Darksoul is focused on a siege. If you are not a fan of the tight lens siege books put on its characters this book might not be for you. There is a claustrophobic feeling to the pov chapters focussing on the characters inside the city. They are trapped and desperate for something or someone to look to for hope.
A real strength of this book is its pacing. There is a danger when writing about sieges for the story to drag. In reality, sieges were often long drawn out affairs that could last for months or even years. So when writing about one you have to balance the creation of that feeling of time passing slowly, with giving your reader enough action to pull a plot along. In the latter half of the book this is achieved through Stephen’s extremely well-written fight scenes, but the real mark of this book’s genius is how it deals with the beginning of the siege. The part that’s notoriously febrile. Because after only a couple of chapters setting up the scenario – at the risk of spoilers – there is a fuck tonne to get organised.
Style: Session IPA
Citrus sharpness hits the palate first which in a weak beer can often feel like it’s there to hide a wateriness. Not the case here, as the beer still has depth underneath. It’s a session beer so it’s never going to be world beater but it does the job perfectly. I’d be happy to drink these all evening.