Against the Light by Dave Duncan


I have seen books by Dave Duncan before but Against the Light is the first book of his I have read.  I got Against the Light from Amazon Vine.  Here is what Goodreads says about the book:

The Hierarchy, high priests of the religious order the Light, has installed King Ethan as the monarchical figurehead, ruling both the magical kingdom of Albi and its predominant religion. Scattered throughout the land, worshipers in the old ways of the Earth Mother are persecuted as heretics. And when young missionary student Rollo Woodbridge returns home to Albi, he is immediately arrested for heresy and treason, setting off a chain of events that plunges the land into utter chaos

Plot:  There is much more to the plot than you see in the above description.  There is religion vs. politics.  Not everyone is who he or she seems.  There are twist and turns, actions that seem right but only make thing worse, characters who act without thought and just when things look like they will work out everything falls apart.  This is the first book in a new series so not all is settled

World Building:  Dave Duncan has put together a complex world.  The rules that govern that world fit together and allow the story to develop in a smooth fashion.  Because this is the first book in the series there has to be quite a bit of world building but it is skillfully woven into the story and does not impede the action.

Characters:  Against the Light has a full cast of characters.  The main characters are better developed than the secondary but even so some seem one-dimensional.  I would not call any character well rounded but they do fit with their role in the book.

Action:  Against the Light starts with action, ends with action and is action filled in-between.   The characters act and react in ways that keep the action flowing smoothly and story moving in a believable direction.

Writing:  Dave Duncan can write.  Everything balanced.  There was just enough of everything to keep me reading.  I did not see wasted words or useless facts,  Back-story was so skillfully woven in that it flowed without interfering in the story.  All and all a very well written book.

I am more of a Science Fiction fan than a Fantasy fan but I enjoyed Against the Light and will look for future books in the series.  If my TBR pile does not get to big I might try another of Dave Duncan’s series. 

47 North published Against the Light by Dave Duncan in 2011.

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