Light Dawning by Ty Arthur

liisp_cvr2cvr's review

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The four main characters in the novel are Myrr, Tala, Father Erret and Casterly. They are all within the walls of Cestia which is under occupation and where any rebels will be dealt with in the most horrid ways. Whether a Knight sent by the Empress, a rebel fighting to get their city back or even a religious man trying to guide his flock towards light, it matters not because there are bigger powers at play which care non for the bloody games that humans play. Everyone is a pawn but they just don’t realize it yet.

The opening of the book sets up the sorry and sombre state of the city and its suffering inhabitants and it truly is grim, hopeless. It is in fact so crap for most that death would be a relief! Quite early on, I started wondering what would be the catalyst which breaks a crack into the whole darkness, to bring about hope, a new fresh start… but true to his word, Ty Author does not let up. You’re in it for the long bloody ride with no escape!

Light Dawning is not about magical, sparkling fantasy worlds. It’s not even about fire-breathing dragons. It’s focus is more on the state of Cestia and how our four main characters battle within themselves and with external elements to live another day. Should they even live another day? But from early on, there is a sense of something bigger being at play (as I mentioned earlier) and at first its description is vague… ‘the thing’ is being mentioned. Slowly but surely, ‘the thing’, birthed by darkness and light, is unraveled and revealed, even though I am still not sure it is just a thing. It’s more of a universal state of somethingness, or nothingness, that through finding a host powers towards its own goal.

Father Erret with his schematics was probably the main, shall I say, perpetrator and cause for most of those unexpected twists and turns by trying to make the fate work his way, through his vision and beliefs. Tala and Myrr find each other to be fighting similar internal demons and as such become close to act as moral support to one another through understanding. Casterly was a great example of what can happened to a man when they reach the breaking point and how the downward spiral, even though kicked off by an ‘unlucky happening’, will possibly set him on a path of revenge.

In terms of otherworldly beings, there is the thing that is darkness and the thing that is light. Where does it all come from? I cannot tell you… Maybe it is the never ending fight in between good and evil, dark and light… There is a druid that travels on a big flying beast (displayed on the book cover) and they, too, seem to be having their own agenda, separate from the goings on of Cestia, separate from the death of evil and innocent. Everyone seems to fear the druid and the beast, Vim, but their presence in the novel is minor. I expect their presence will have a bigger role in the sequel.

Then there are the ‘scuttlers’. The scuttlers are dog-like beings with two heads and arachnid limbs and they hunt down the rebels and everyone in the city against the occupying force. No one escapes a scuttler’s jaws. Rabid rabid beasts, them ones. Quite well written as well, because imagining them definitely helped me imagine them and thus adding that horror element.

Additionally, there is mention of cherub and seraphim… Father Erret claims that they are of the god of light, the Farwalker. Alas, these ‘beings’ don’t look anything like angels and rather more like something birthed by demons, and at least one of them was brought into this world through rape.

If you’ve read this far, then- feeling the darkness yet?

Going back to the overall thoughts of the book… There is definitely a great number of twists and unexpected events which kept me turning the pages. It didn’t feel like one of those’ hey ho, off to action we go‘ reads though. It was more of a slow burn of a feeling, trying to trudge through bloody mud towards being free… Freedom that is only granted by death. It’s one of those novels where the worst can get even worse and everything you don’t want to happen, happens.

Light Dawning was easy to follow due to the descriptive and engaging writing. Prior to picking up this book I remember thinking to myself which of the four characters were going to fall into my love and hate ‘camps’. Those ‘camps’ didn’t form. While all four offer equally powerful presence in the novel, they all also come with their flaws and the ending of this book made me think they’re roles are simply not over yet. For none of them…

vondav's review

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Cestia was once an affluent land, now under Southern rule. With battles breaking out all over the city, the population were not enjoying living in squalor and fear. With this story concentrating on 4 individuals Myrr a petty thief, Casterley a resident of Cestia caught up in the conflict, Tala a young woman with mystic powers abandoned by her protectors and Father Erret a religious fanatic.
Each of the main characters had major flaws and at the start had their own agenda. Whilst they worked better together cracks began to show in the group the longer they spent in each other company. The longer Myrr and Tala spent together the closer they got and with each having an uncontrollable power the used each other as an anchor.
From the start of this story you can feel the oppression and despair. The descriptive way the author writes gives you the feeling that you are there trudging in their footsteps getting soaked through to the bone. Throughout this book, there is no definitive hero, each of the main characters had a different part to play in this adventure. Whilst I found the story to be a slow start it soon picked up pace and with graphic fight scenes made this an exciting read. For me the highlight of the book was the short story at the end and author’s note. A dystopian read with a difference

sshabein's review

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This was not for me, but people who like bleak fantasy may find this to their taste.