Book Review: By Divine Right
The Darkwater Saga
By Patrick W. Carr
Willet Dura ekes out a living as an assistant reeve in the city of Bunard, the royal city, investigating minor and not-so-minor crimes in the poor quarter. Ever since a terrible battle, Willet’s been drawn to the dead, and has an uncanny ability not only to solve their crimes, but even to know when one has been committed.
When a gifted singer is found dead in the merchants’ quarter of the city, everyone assumes by the signs that the old man simply died of a stroke, but Willet’s intuition tells him better. When he learns that this is the second death within the last month of one of the gifted, those with a rare inherited ability, he begins to suspect that something more is afoot, and he soon finds himself chasing a mystery that could bring down the very kingdom of Collum. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
Patrick Carr has a lot to live up to after his Staff and Sword series. Carr is brilliant creating a new world. I love it when an author writes original pieces and distinct from their previous novels. Carr has created a new religion (though inspired by Catholicism), six charisms of Aer (, nine talents of men and four temperaments of creation. He also incorporates a class system, nations on the brink of war and love.
By Divine Right is a must read before jumping into the series. The prologue opens with Elwin and Robin quickly moving through the forest as though they are hunted on a mission, perhaps to issue warning or divest themselves of burdensome information. Death seems to precede them in their journey. Clues given to the reader include: a brotherhood, a priesthood – the Merum order, sentinels are feared and take years to train, a gift that can go free, there is a forbidden metal – aurium, fear of the Darkwater Forest and unexplained death. A Divine Right also explains more about Willet and his night walks.
I would highly recommend going back and reading the prologue again after reading By Divine Right and Shock of Night, then you will feel clairvoyant in reverse. Until then, you will have to proceed blindly like the rest of us. I enjoy how Carr pulls together all the disparigent details.
I am reserving judgement on the full series to see how it develops, but for now I don’t love the main characters. I really liked the librarian, Custos, and a young orphan girl, Lelwin, and believe I will grow to love Willet and Lady Gael. The Darkwater Saga is darker than The Staff and Sword series and I would recommend it for an audience over 16 years old. It is full of death, but there are no sex scenes.
ps- Why is this under Christian fantasy? Carr’s writing has a broad appeal and should be marketed accordingly.