I would disagree with describing 'Flesh and Spirit' and its sequel 'Breath and Bone' as 'dark' fantasy. There is very minor mentioning of necromancy and other dark practises and the overall feel is regular fantasy lore.
The two books are one story. Now that is often the case with multi volume books, but in this case, I can't stress that enough. If you read them on one continuous page, I doubt that you would be able to spot where the first one ended and the second one started.
The story is told from the point of view of Valen, a young man with a chequered family history, who only knows about his future that he will meet his end in water and blood and ice. A prediction his mother, a pureblood diviner made on his seventh birthday. He is not the 'want to be a hero' type and indeed has been doing his utmost not to be noticed to which end he has avoided forming close friendships or staying in one place too long. Now all that is about to be challenged.
Severely injured, Valen is offered sanctuary in a monastery and soon finds himself at the centre of politics and intrigues involving secret societies, doomsayers, monks, princes and madmen. What draws the attention of all of them is the book of maps in Valen's possession.
Carol Berg's strength is her writing skill. The story itself is entertaining and quite original but what lifts it above the rest is the way she writes it. It is so vivid, so descriptive without being too detailed that you find yourself forever wanting to read the next page. In my case until four in the morning.
I have yet to come across someone that did not like this author once they have read her books and it is amazing that she is not better known. She will almost certainly appeal to people that like reading books by Robin Hobb or Lynn Flewelling as there is a similar quirkiness about her stories.