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Review: Into the Glittering Dark – Kelley York

Into the Glittering Dark - Kelley York

Genre: Dark Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay, Lesbian

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

How do you control something that cannot be tamed?

As magi apprentices, Everis and Wren have led a relatively peaceful life. But when the king dies under suspicious circumstances and Everis foils an assassination attempt on the princess’ life, the pair are sent by their master to investigate the only lead they have. In a city far away ruled by the dead king’s brother, they need to find answers—fast.

As an unlikely group of allies forms around them in the chaos, the apprentices will have to tap into everything they’ve been taught while relying on the likes of assassins, an eccentric shopkeeper, and an otherworldly avian to go up against an enemy unlike any they’ve encountered before.

But nothing about this plot against the royal family is what it seems. There’s blood magic at the root of it, and its seductive pull is something Everis has struggled to resist since he was a child. A struggle which makes things complicated…and dangerous. Wren has always pulled him back from the edge when he’s needed it, but what happens when they need fire to fight fire, and Everis is forced to bring out his darkness and learn to tame the untamable?

The Review

Ten years ago, the devastating Silent Plague came to Balerno. At 9 years old, Everis Noctur stayed by his sick mother’s side. No one, not even doctors, would help either of them. As more people died or left, even the guards abandoned Everis and his mother. Then one day he was discovered. Magi Orin Sorrel and his apprentice Wren Lumina came from the capital of Midmere, with the King’s order to give aid where needed.

Everis’ mother had already passed and she looked at peace. Being just a child, Everis didn’t understand why Magi Orin would take him in. He was just a normal boy with no magic abilities.  Still, for ten years Everis studied the basics of magic. He did well in his studies but he was shy, very sensitive and often felt bullied. He had a rough time socializing and making friends.  Although he often annoyed Wren, the older apprentice still catered to Everis’ needs. Wren was the one Everis looked to in difficult times.

When Everis takes on the task of organizing old texts, scrolls, and other historical documents in the upper level library, he discovers a strange book written in blood red ink – True Magic for the True Magi. He has no idea what he’s getting into with Blood Magic.

Magi and apprentices employed by the Royal Family of Midmere resided in the castle. They were well aware of King Faramund Starling’s long illness, but were often joined by Queen Danica and Princess Cassia who, as a young child, made friends with Wren and Everis.

When Everis witnesses an attempt being made on the Princess Cassia’ life, he rescues her, using a strange magic. A dagger with odd markings is found, and it leads to the questioning of Duke Ryland Starling, the King’s younger brother, who has been estranged from the family for a long time. By Orin’s request, both Wren and Everis, along with guards and Captain Analiese, are sent to city of Patish with two missions – to escort Duke Ryland to see his dying brother, and to discover if the dagger has anything to do with the Duke himself.  

Everis and Wren have no idea what they are up against and what is happening at Midmere.  It’s a journey that will lead them through danger, tragedy, secrets and a fight for survival and justice.

This is an epic novel of magical history, starting with the Rules of the Citadel, The Basics of Magic and Blood Magic. The author delves into the Magi and their expertise of magic, and the difference in scribes and carvers. This is a world filled with magic and spells, used for good but also injustice, and about those who are evil and want more power for their own gain. There’s heroism, unlikely allies, love, betrayal and corruption, and much more. Everis and his friends are willing to fight for justice, to protect the next ruler, and go through heart wrenching sadness for those that were lost.

I loved the relationship between Wren and Everis. The chapters switch between Wren and Everis as they grow up together in Midmere. There’s a special connection with Magi Orin Sorrel as their mentor and somewhat of a father figure, and with the wonderful Nova.  

I was especially taken with Faulk and Asher. Faulk is a larger presence in the story but I hope that York has plans to reveal more about these two characters in a future book.

Into the Glittering Dark is a spectacular and immersive wonderfully written novel, a rollercoaster ride of excitement, suspense, and tragedy, with a budding  romance, magic and spells. I highly recommend this outstanding novel. I was thoroughly captivated and never disappointed.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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