Tuesday 21 June 2022

Book Review: Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty (Dark Fantasy)

Title: Sons of Darkness (The Raag of Rta #1)
Author: Gourav Mohanty
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 7 May 2022
Pages: 561
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley


Bled dry by violent confrontations with the Magadhan Empire, the Mathuran Republic simmers on the brink of oblivion. Krishna and Satyabhama have put their plans in motion within and beyond the Republic's blood-soaked borders to protect it from annihilation. But they will soon discover that neither gold nor alliances last forever.

They are however not alone in this game.

Mati, Pirate-Princess of Kalinga, has decided to mend her ways to be a good wife. But old habits die hard, especially when one habitually uses murder to settle old scores. Brooding but beautiful Karna hopes to bury his brutal past but finds that destiny is a miser when it comes to giving second chances. The crippled hero-turned-torturer Shakuni limps through the path of daggers that is politics only to find his foes multiply, leaving little time for vengeance.

Their lives are about to become very difficult for a cast of sinister queens, naive kings, pious assassins and ravenous priests are converging where the Son of Darkness is prophesied to rise, even as forgotten Gods prepare to play their hand.


It took me quite a while to read Sons of Darkness, but that's not a poor reflection on the book, it's simply that it is a fairly 'dense' story with a lot to take in, so you can't skim and have to read slowly to avoid missing any details. The story is inspired by India's two epics: the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. I know a little about the first but nothing of the second; therefore, I came to this novel without any major expectations as to how the story would go or what the characters would be like. Overall, I found it highly enjoyable. There are a lot of characters and there's a lot happening, but with careful reading I could follow everything without any issues. The action was engaging, sucking into the plot, and the book ended on an excellent climax which left me keen to see how things would progress in volume two. My only annoyance was the constant incorrect use of commas. It wasn't a matter of just the Oxford comma and whether or not to use it, there were commas thrown in all over the place where they would be deemed wrongly placed according to any school of thought, and it was irksome every time I hit one, as it pulled me out of the moment. Overall, this gets 4 stars from me, though, and I would definitely pick up the next book in the series.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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