A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins

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Heeeellllo readers, hope you’re well – I’m sorry I’ve been a little bit quieter recently. We’ve had some really heartbreaking news recently (my family,) and it’s been a bit of a shock to be honest with you. It came after just not feeling like myself and then to suddenly get hit by a really devastating piece of news was just, horrible. So, I’ve been a little quiet. Give me a week or so, and hopefully all will be a little better.

The lonely and grieving Evan Umbra is the newest Venator to enter Veneseron, the school for demon hunters.

A Venator is a wizard, a spy and a demon hunter rolled into one. They’re taught how to wield their sorcery and enchanted weaponry by orcs, elfpires and aliens alike.  Their missions range from battling monsters and saving countless lives in the multiple worlds, to the more peculiar, like wrangling killer unicorns and calming down drunken yetis.

 But it soon becomes apparent that Evan is more than just a Venator. Everyone wants to kill or capture him, from demons to Dark-Venators and even people he’s supposed to be able to trust.

Evan reckons he probably won’t survive his first year at Veneseron.

So, the blurb for this book was really really long so I cut it down and now I’m going to re-write this so that might be a little silly but you know me. The book follows the life of Evan, who grows up with his Gran, up to her death. His life now is plagued by a number of bullies and a number of terrifying nightmares. There is also a girl named Brooke; who has always struggled with her family – neither have ever felt particularly close to their homes and it’s because they have magic within them. Brought to Veneseron, ( a little like Harry was brought to Hogwarts,) they learn how to use their magic to save the innocent, but it’s not going to be easy.

So what did I think? Firstly, this book was really FULL ON. You’re immediately thrown straight into the action. If I’m honest because it was so full on I did struggle a little to kind of sink into the book but as I pushed through I found myself unable to put it down if I’m honest. It gains a bit of a rhythm. So don’t stop – once the additional characters start flooding in it all flows again. All of the main characters are really well written with gorgeous character profiling. There are a hell of a lot of characters so I won’t go into each, but they have full-bodied profiles and brilliantly built-up throughout (especially Evan who I really adored.)

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There are also a hella number of exciting demons and different shape-shifters and they are so unique. With different body-parts and different powers and qualities each was incredibly original and just part of the fun. It really added a dark edge to the book. The writing is also really brilliantly done; it’s a mix between, action, magic and full on demon fighting. I’ve seen the book being described as like Harry Potter; I get the comparison but this is a lot more gutsy. It doesn’t hold back and because of that we get a full-on in your face whistle stop ride and loved it. Every minute of it, although this author definitely owes me some sleep!

The only slight wobble I would suggest is that I found when we first made it into the world, there wasn’t a lot of time spent creating the world and that it would have helped to place the reader in the new environment. There’s a number of really intense scenes quite soon after we enter the new world and that would be the perfect time to throw in a bit more description about the landscape, but that’s a minor wobble.

So what did I think? I always say this but I don’t like fantasy books that much only a few hold my attention and this one did. From the beginning I loved the writing style – it’s very descriptive and doesn’t gloss over things. I did think a more extensive description of the world could have been included but that’s really only because everything else was so spot on. This author is one to keep an eye on, because I’m expecting big things.




3 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins

  1. Green Embers says:

    Yeah, sorry to here about the devastating news. Sending hugs too. So I am a bad person but that cover kind of puts me off the book, but your review has made me want to read it. I’ll add it to my TBR.

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