Author’s Note: We were provided with free copies of these novels in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Plot & Storyline Quality (4 points)
Patrick Carr has done it again in this new, brilliantly crafted series titled the Darkwater Saga. Carr took the excellent character development and exceptional storyline quality from his previous series and applied it to a more everyday story about a man who is called by his Creator to a purpose he would not have chosen. In the first novel, as always, Carr lays the groundwork for what eventually becomes an invigorating story that holds the attention on every page. For the purpose of this review, I will only include content from the first novel, so as to conceal the secrets found in the mysterious forests of these novels. In the Shock of Night, Carr introduces the reader to a man named Willet Dura. Willet leads a mostly content life, he has a secure position as the king’s reeve, a prestigious engagement to a woman he loves…and a daily life with just enough action to keep things interesting. His sarcastic attitude towards the lords and ladies of the castle has landed him in more than a few scrapes, however, he seems to enjoy danger. The king has recently elevated him to the title of Lord so that he might marry Gael, his fiance. In the midst of all this, Willet’s seemingly commonplace life is about to be shaken at its very core. On a day like any other, Willet is on kingdom business when he discovers a murder trail. This trail leads him to the fatally wounded body of a former guard, which in turn leads him to the bedside of a dying churchman who was also part of the murder. Willet sees common traits in the two men’s wounds and begins to wonder. He is not left to wonder long, for attackers are in hot pursuit. Just when the attackers are almost upon them, the dying man grabs Willet’s head and screams a word that will change his life forever. Willet soon finds himself in the service of the Vigil, a group of gifted individuals who seek to vanquish the evil in their world. (spoiler) He will find the Vigil to be a hard and somewhat prideful master, and survival…almost impossible. To find out what happens to Willet, his fiance, and everyone else, read the books!:) Carr stands out as a master in the fantasy genre for many reasons. However, this is mostly due to the fact that his raw talent in The Staff and Sword series has matured with time instead of growing stagnant.
Character Development (4 points)
Carr has improved this new series by switching from third person to first with his characters. This switch to first person is a revolutionary concept in the fantasy genre. Through the use of first person, Willet is crafted into a complex, relatable character who the readers can root for and get to know. The secondary characters are also well-crafted. Bolt (Willet’s bodyguard), for example, is a character whose personality takes several positive, yet unexpected turns throughout the series. This makes him one of the best secondary characters in a fantasy novel that I have ever seen. Furthermore, Willet’s love interest is well-developed and breaks all female character molds in the fantasy genre. Therefore, for these and other reasons, Carr earns a perfect score in character development for this series. His fiction truly is character-driven.
Creativity & Originality (2 points)
Once again, Carr earns a point in creativity, and a rarely bestowed full x-factor point in originality for being the best in his genre. The first point is awarded for crafting another fantasy world that is dissimilar to the last, and for sewing up all the details well. The x-factor point is awarded for crafting another story worthy of the big screen that could revolutionize the fantasy genre in film. We have thus far been very impressed with what Carr has to offer and await his next story with great anticipation and delight. Finally, thank you Mr. Carr, for sharing your books with us, and for taking the time to write fiction that truly makes a difference.
Wish List Rating: 10 out of 10 points