Darkened Hope

February Fantasy Month Banner

Good morning, dear Reader! One of the fun things about February is Fantasy month is that it gives me the motivation I need to catch up on book reviews I’ve been meaning to write!

BSB Darkened Hope smallerI finished reading Darkened Hope by J.L. Mbewe a few months ago. I had it on my shelf for months, but kept putting it off because I knew that when I finished reading it I was going to want to read book #3 right away, and… unfortunately… book #3 has not been released yet. I read and loved the first book Secrets Kept earlier in the year and am eager to find out how everything ends up!

I really enjoyed this second installment of the Hidden Dagger series every bit as much as I thought I would. We pick up where we left off. Ayianna is continuing on her quest with a group of adventurers in search of the ingredients that can be mixed together to cure the ensorcellment that a devious Sorceress has cast upon the people of the land.

As Ayianna travels, she continues her inner struggle against what her heart desires and the duty she feels bound to by the betrothal her father arranged for her before he died. As the story progresses, thankfully, Ayianna begins to see more and more through the pleasant facade of her betrothed and glimpses the darkness lurking beneath his handsome face and charming demeanor… which is a relief, because the reader has been aware of his true nature since the first book. However, that is not the only trial that Ayianna and her companions must face. Dragons, flash-floods, unfriendly denizens of the lands they travel through, self-doubt, and various other tribulations are only a few of the difficulties before the traveling group of would-be-heroes.

It was fun to return to the world of Nalu and spend time with these characters I had grown to love in Secrets Kept. And while this story did seem to proceed at a slightly slower pace than the first book, it was no less enjoyable. The delays and setbacks of the quest made the plot feel a little more meandering, but I did enjoy that they did not always succeed at everything they set out to do. Also, I get a little annoyed at characters who spend so much time internally berating themselves and second-guessing their every move… and there is a LOT of that in this chapter of the story, so that got a little old for me after a while and there were many moments when I wanted to grab Ayianna and Kael by the shoulders and shake some sense into them… maybe knock their heads together a bit. So that aggravation might make me take away a dragon egg…

But THAT ENDING! Aaaahhhhh!

I won’t spoil it for you, but I SERIOUSLY NEED book #3 now!!!!

4 Dragon Eggs


~ jenelle

I love hearing from you, dear Reader!