Review of 'Into a Dark Realm'

Into a Dark Realm by Raymond E. Feist
2nd book in the 'Darkwar Saga' series

into_a_dark_realm.jpg “Into a Dark Realm” is the second book of the “Darkwar Saga” which is concluded in the final book “Wrath of a Mad God”. Since I did not read the first book but am familiar with other Riftwar novels it was not too difficult to pick up the story quite quickly. Being the middle chapter this book serves as a bridge between the other chapters with not a lot really going on…The book follows the story of three groups of characters: Pug (the most powerful magician in Midkemia, save for the missing Macros the Black), Magnus (Pug's son), Nakor and Ralan Bek who seek to visit the exceptionally alien Dasati home world (existing on a “lower” plane of existence, the first of seven planes of “hell”) to attempt to understand it and determine what threat it may bring to Midkemia. First, however, they need to get acclimated by undergoing training in Delecordia, home to the Ipiliac, a race related to the Dasati. Another storyline sees the youths Tad, Zane and Jommy sent to a monastic university in Roldem where they undergo training and education to prepare them for their role in the Conclave of Shadows. Very quickly this training is tested as they are thrust into battle. The final storyline is quite different as we follow the life of Valko, a young Dasati warrior as he rises to become Lord of his clan and discover a long hidden secret that could lead to civil war.

As with all of Feist's work “Into a Dark Realm” is quite easy to read with likeable characters and interesting plotlines. Of course there is also a fair amount to keep track of and this book is not recommended for those new to the Riftwar series (trust me, you will be lost). It does suffer from “middle chapter-itus” in that it feels like nothing really happens with even the final pages – which we all know will be leading to the next book – a slight anti-climax.

What is likely of great interest to readers of these books is the introduction of the weird Dasati world with a people that have a completely different mindset (a point that is driven home time and time again but is plainly obvious). It is in the description of these people and their world that keeps the reader interested away as we are from the expected ongoing political intrigue in Midkemia. The Dasati certainly have been made out to be a considerable foe if their threatened invasion happens…

Interesting new developments in the Riftwar, don't expect any conclusions in this chapter but read on…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2018-08-09

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 2006

ISBN: 9780007133796

Other reviewed books by Raymond E. Feist: