So I finally got to finish Darkstorm by M. L. Spencer today (only took me 2 months thanks to work and my own writing).
Darkstorm for me has a bit of a special place on my shelf as it is not only very, very good, it is also the first full length kindle book I’ve read and it’s by a self published author.
M. L. Spencer’s first installment of the Rhenwars Saga has really impressed me for a number of reasons.
First and foremost is obviously the quality of her writing, she’s accomplished, professional and has a knack for character voices – I particularly enjoyed Quin.
Her world building is also something to be admired, it’s multifaceted, rich and complex, with a depth any other writer would be sure to nod appreciatively of as they read. Of particular note is her Tolkien-esque attention to detail when it comes to scenery, her descriptions of her characters’ various surroundings are vivid and clear but never feel overblown or forced, and on the whole she manages to give everything in the book an impression of scope and grandeur. I was also fond of her penchant for skilled and elaborate descriptions of magic use throughout the book, something lacking from a lot of the books I’ve read the last few years.
Spencer’s plotweaving is also something to be commented on, as while her writing style most certainly has a foot planted firmly in high fantasy, she blends it seamlessly with characters and themes that could only come from a grimdark tome for their profound levels of assholery.
I was left with a ton of questions after reading Darkstorm, and I’ll be grabbing Darkmage asap to follow this up with, the sure sign of a solid series debut. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Spencer’s writing and world develop over this series, as all the signs from this starting point are definitely full of promise.