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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

on 19 July 2016
The story doesn't really know whwhere it's going:

We have a heroine (no, not [yet?] a heroine - a female protagonist) who early on shows great promise, is elevated to a high rank, but is called "little one" (by both sides in an epic confrontation!) even in her twenties.

She falls in love with her community's mortal enemy - who is, of course, to some extent redeemed by that love, but mends his ways only up to a point. She even accepts the new name he gives her. And she is unable to make any unambiguous decision after four years in captivity (which, of course, she only vaguely and occasionally sees as such).

The moral dilemma is poorly handled. Stilll, for the author's first published book it's not too bad, although it foreshadows Private Kaylin, handled equally questionably.
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on 29 December 2013
Oh wow just where do I start? I was recommended this book as I love reading anti hero romance but this guy Stephanos is truly the ultimate evil male lead. I admit like other reviewers said the writing was a bit different and took me awhile to get used to it but once I did the story enthralled me and I just could not put it down, this is the story of how a powerful and truly evil creature falls in love with Sara who is good and pure it was so fascinating to watch Stephanos become so besotted with Sara that he would do anything to keep her even to curb his natural evil tendencies so he could keep her happy. This is a four part series which I seriously loved and will definitely recommend to anyone wanting a true love story.
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on 19 July 2015
Great book
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 November 2007
Into the Dark Lands is the first in the Sundered Quadrology. It begins the story of Erin of Elliath, Warrior of the Light, and Stefanos, First Servant of the Dark. Erin is born into a time of constant conflict, the Servants of the Bright Heart and the Servants of the Dark Heart have been locked in a war for millenia. The Lady of Elliath has traversed various futures, trying to find the one that will end the war. She has found only one slim hope that her granddaughter Erin will be able to pull a lasting light from the darkness. The course she chooses for her people is full of sacrifice and pain, risking everything for just the possibility of success. Erin is born a healer, scarred by personal loss, she chooses instead to wield a sword and fight the enemy on the battlefield. But her greatest struggle will happen after she is captured by Stefanos and taken to the Dark Heart's stronghold.

I loved this story. It's not one I'd recommend if you prefer a lighter romantic tale. It's essentially a very dark version of Beauty and the Beast. Bear in mind also that it's not concluded here, there are three more books to come. The character description can be sparse, I think the only physical thing we learn about Erin is that her hair is auburn, and then not until well into the story. I often find myself imagining characters differently to how authors describe them, so this was quite freeing.

The first part of the story deals with Erin's childhood, her training and how she becomes a warrior. There are scenes here that are absolutely heartbreaking. When Erin attends her father's funeral as a young child. MSW absolutely captures the loss of childhood innocence.

Eventually Erin is chosen to be Sarillorn of the Line, a member of the Lernari who contains a portion of the Lady's power, and carries it onto the battlefield. It is through her exploits as Sarillorn that she captures the interest of the First Servant of the Dark. At the end of battles Erin heals both her own side and that of the enemy, causing some of the mortal members of the Malanthi army to change sides. She becomes a great threat. When she is eventually captured by Stefanos, she offers herself in exchange for the other hostages.

So begins the second part of the story - the development of a relationship between Erin and Stefanos. He agrees to her bargain, because there is something in her that draws him, and he wants to take her apart over and over again, until he can understand what it is. Make no mistake Stefanos is not misunderstood, he's empty of all save his purpose - he isn't human and MSW just makes this so clear. What he forgets however, is that when the darkness touches the light, the light also touches the darkness. By torturing Erin, he is also changed.

This story is so much about choice - what would you give up, what would you sacrifice for a lasting peace, for love when you never understood what love was. It's also about the nature of things. Stefanos remains true to his nature, even as he is able to offer concessions to Erin. But Erin expects / hopes for more from him. In the end would you choose to be true to yourself, or to the one you've given yourself to. How far would you bend for that person, before you break completely.

I don't like to give 5 stars to the first in a series, but this story is so darkly powerful, it deserves them.
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VINE VOICEon 15 July 2009
This wasn't a bad book but I found it a little trite in places. I think its really aimed at a younger audience and while I thoroughly enjoy some young adult fiction, this book just didnt really do it for me which is why I havent gone out of my way to purchase the sequels. It is listed as being fairly dark in theme and while i would agree with this to a point, it seems to have been watered down to cater to a younger audience - which doesnt really suit me, I'm afraid to say.
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on 24 August 2014
Story a little slow to begin with, but It definitely gets better. A great read!
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