Top critical review
A Slow Burner.
on 9 January 2016
I love Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, and like many other readers, I finished reading it and swiftly started fan girling and looked up everything else she had ever written! Turns out she had written this first.
Dreamdark is about the extraordinarily lovable Magpie "Pie" Windwitch. A tiny little faerie with a job to do - hunt down all the bad guys (Djinn's). Effectively she's a devil hunter travelling with style on a bunch of pretty hilarious crows. And unless she can stop the Blackbringer, the token super bad guy, the world she knows and loves will be destroyed.
I admit to being slightly disappointed at first with this book. The book takes off very slowly with an awful lot of dialogue that doesn't do much for world building or character identification. I found the first 20% or so hard work for this reason and didn't particularly see where it was going. There's also a take on a Scottish dialect which is difficult to get your head around initially, or was for me, with the occasional "Ye's" and "aye's" and "nay's" but I quickly got used to this and found it endearing.
However, with a bit of perseverance, this book actually turned into a more gripping read with a much faster paced plot. I thought Taylor did a fantastic job of developing Blackbringer into a genuinely creepy villain and the language she used really brought him to life for me. Fans of her work will definitely recognise this of her and will enjoy the graphic imagery she creates.
Additionally, it's difficult not to warm to Magpie and her crow friends. She's a fantastic and observant narrator with a big heart. Her relationship with her crows was wonderful and a fun read.
After reading all the fantsstic reviews I think I was expecting this book to pack more of a punch, I really expected to be sucked into this new world and to love it. I have to admit that, despite my genuine desire to love this, I couldn't really get into it. It is a solid read with enjoyable characters, but it was just a bit too difficult to get into initially and I wasn't fully immersed into Mapgies world and glued to the pages like I'd hope. Nervertheless, I do recommend this to fellow fans of faerie fiction and especially of Taylor's lyrical writing, its just a bit of a slow burner.