The Shock of Night / by Patrick W. Carr. (The Darkwater Saga, 1) 3.8.2016

Bethany House ISBN 9780764213465
Adult     Rating: 4

Patrick W. Carr, author of The Staff and The Sword series, presents a new epic fantasy for adults, rich in character development and suspenseful plot twists.

In The Shock of Night, Willet Dura–the King of Bunard’s reeve–is called to investigate a brutal attack that results in the death of one man and near-death of a priest. The dying priest utters a foreign word as he grabs Willet and dies. Willet is unaware that a rare gift was passed to him: the ability to see a person’s deepest thoughts, a gift that will kill. Willet tries to discover the murderer’s identity and accidentally uncovers a plot putting Bunard at the center of a major conflict.

Like Carr’s earlier books, the church (The Vigil) is an important faction in the storyline, one that is sometimes good, sometimes corrupt. It involves gifts that are divinely given, but even traitors can infiltrate The Vigil. When people go into the Darkwater Forest, it causes significant changes, ones that might not appear until years later.

Carr’s book is filled with strong characters, and a plot with plenty of suspenseful twists. Unlike his earlier series, The Darkwater Saga is more intense–there is little hope for overcoming this darker evil. It is also harder for it to grab the reader’s interest. There is more violence than in his earlier books, but it is not too graphic.

Carr does a good job of developing this dark world and building tension as the story unfolds.The Shock of Night answers some questions as it ends, but lays the groundwork for the second book, The Shattered Vigil, coming in 2016.

Recommended for adult collections in public libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer,