“Duskfall” by Christopher Husberg has made me excited about reading again. It’s time! I go through phases when I get a little disenchanted with what’s out there to read. My dry spell is definitely over. I found myself looking forward to when I could read another chapter of “Duskfall”. This is the most engaging and satisfying fantasy book I have read in a very long time.
Wonderful from the very first pages, the book begins with a half-dead human being who is pulled from ice-cold waters. Knot, the name of his own choosing, is a wonderful character. I’m certain, by now, that someone else has said it, but Knot is the fantasy version of Jason Bourne.
As the book starts, Knot has spent a year working with tiellans. They’re elf-like creatures that are looked upon with disdain by most humans. Knot, however, feels at home with them. The simplicity of a fisherman’s life appeals to Knot so much that he asks Winter, the daughter of his rescuer, to marry him.
But things aren’t as simple as they seem. Moments after Winter and Knot say their marriage vows they are attacked. Knot flies into action and battles as though he’s a trained killer. With his new wife injured and unconscious, her father dead, Knot fears that he will endanger the only people he cares about if he stays with them. He decides to leave his new home and find out his origins.
Winter wakes up to find that her entire world has changed. She’s determined that she will find her new husband and get to the bottom of the mystery of his background.
There are two other groups of people in the book and they may both hold pieces of the puzzle that is Knot’s life. It was at this point that I realized what a great writer Husberg is. All his characters are given life; it’s difficult to say there are secondary characters. Each character Husberg introduces is full-bodied and interesting. They’re multi-faceted and, at times, it’s difficult to know who may be on the side of good.
There is a Cantic Priestess named Cinzia who has to face the fact that her own family may be heretics. So many questions are raised. How does one determine whether a higher power is actually in touch with an individual? How does one know that the voice in their mind is a voice of good? What is faith?
Two members of the Nazaniin are also in on the hunt. They’re hunting for someone who may be the man Knot doesn’t even remember being. They have special mental abilities enabling them to move objects, communicate telepathically and, perhaps, do things of a far more sinister nature. When Winter and her childhood friend, Lian join up with the Nazaniin they are introduced to the world of magic. Some of the tiellan have long believed that magic existed in their history but it’s long since disappeared. Only – it hasn’t disappeared – Winter has a remarkable ability to access the powerful magic used by the Nazaniin with the aid of a very addictive substance. She is taken down a dark path as she struggles to realize her potential.
All the threads in this story will come together to create what can only be the beginning of a remarkable quintet of books. Husberg has committed on his blog to aiming for one book a year. He thinks he can do it and I certainly hope he can. I’m already chomping at the bit for the second novel in this series: “Dark Immolation”.
If you enjoy fantasy I’m quite certain you’ll enjoy “Duskfall”. I know I will be recommending it to everyone!
From Titan books: Synopsis
Stuck with arrows and close to death, a man is pulled from the icy waters of the Gulf of Nahl. As he is nursed back to health by a local fisherman, two things become very clear: he has no idea who he is, and he can kill a man with terrifying ease.
The fisherman is a tiellan, a race which has long been oppressed and grown wary of humans. His daughter, Winter, is a seemingly quiet young woman, but behind her placid mask she has her demons. She is addicted to frostfire – a substance that both threatens to destroy her and simultaneously gives her phenomenal power.
A young priestess, Cinzia, hears the troubling news of an uprising in her native city of Navone. Absconding from the cloistered life that she has kept for the last seven years, she knows she must make the long journey home. The flames of rebellion threatening her church and all that she believes in are bad enough, but far worse is the knowledge that the heretic who sparked the fire is her own sister.
These three characters may have set out on different paths, but fate will bring them together on one thrilling and perilous adventure.
Dimensions: 203 x 131 mm
Publication date: 21 June 2016