1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Darkness and Light is the first in the Preludes series. Unfortunately, along with several other shortcomings, it suffers from not knowing which story it wants to tell. The large section relating to the journey Sturm and Kitiara take with the gnomes is perhaps the most cohesive part of the narrative. However, after it concludes there are still several 'mini-tales' to go including an adventure on a cursed ship, and the ongoing story of Sturms search for his father. Unfortunately, all of these bits of narrative lack a binding core, and as such often seem disjointed and lacking in depth. One of the three-four threads written here, if written to its full potential, would have made a fascinating story. However instead we are left with a veritable mish-mash of potential plots, none of which bear any real fruit.
Of course its not all bad. Sturms search for his father is intriguing, and one of these days someone needs to write a proper book on Angriff Brightblade. Unfortunately it suffers from a cartoon villain near the end, and something of a deus ex-machina effect as well. The cursed ship section seems entirely superfluous, merely an excuse to throw in a ghost story and a bit of a fight. The main section, concerning the gnomes and the trip taken with them, is in fact quite interesting; it helps that the gnomes are enthusiastic and amusing protagonists, though their banter does tend to wear on one after awhile. The dynamic between Sturm and Kit is also explored very well, although the continuous foreshadowing 'subtly' implanted in the text does end up being quite annoying.
The best way to describe this book is perhaps a sthe Dragonlance 'Wizard of Oz', particularly in its earlier stages. Unfortunately its disjointed narrative and continuity errors take what might have been a good book and move it into the territory of the strictly mediocre.