WEEPING DARK: BLEEDING EDGE is writing power-couple Raven and Lain Bower’s most recent foray into the fantasy-adventure genre. The story starts with Shayla Dormyr, an intense Captain of the Ires Guard investigating a series of child murders plaguing the city. Her prime suspect is an outsider named Daibryn who has set up shop in town selling wine. The ever-impulsive Shayla storms into Daibryn’s shop to confront him with her suspicions. A surprise assault on the city forces Shayla, her captive Daibryn and a mismatched collection of allies on the run. The assaulting horde of creatures is lead by the deadly Blood Mage, Kierce under the direction of Mephrystis, a powerful Lych. Kierce carries out his commands with a constant eye out toward her own agendas.
The heroes flight takes them through underground catacombs, untamed forests, and ancient lost cities in search of a way to stop their formidable pursuers. Each location is fully realized with detailed histories and intriguing challenges that require the group to pool their abilities to conquer and survive. I loved the exploration of the world and its perilous sites.
Joining Shayla and Daibryn are acrobatic warrioress/scout Mika, a wisecracking mage with questionable motivations named Dorrin, his lover the savage and beautiful Daywalker Ferial, who the group fears may one day lose control of her appetites, Petre one of Shayla’s men, and my personal favorite Anwyn a shy, peace-loving priestess with holy powers. Each character has unique personalities, abilities and goals which leads to inner-party conflicts and questionable loyalties. The characters grow and mature as they face overwhelming odds and death together.
It should be obvious from this review how much I enjoyed the novel. It moves at a crisp pace with lots of magic, adventure, romance and characters you care about. In the early stages I did have some difficulty keeping track of the large cast but as it continued on I got them sorted out and enjoyed the time spent with them. As someone who loves horror, I particularly appreciated the necromancer and ancient, dark entities scenes. There are no boring sections in this novel. By the end of each chapter I was ravenous to continue on. While the ending is satisfying, it leaves room for more adventures, to which I look forward with great anticipation. WEEPING DARK: BLEEDING EDGE receives my highest possible recommendation.
Reviewed by Matt Cowan