In Dark Service (Far Called Trilogy 1) by Stephen Hunt

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In Dark Service (Far Called Trilogy 1) by Stephen Hunt

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Buy In Dark Service (Far Called Trilogy 1) by Stephen Hunt at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: A fast paced and inventive book, 'In Dark Service' is an intriguing start to a series that, with time, could be well worth a read.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 576 Date: March 2015
Publisher: Gollancz
ISBN: 978-0575092075

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Jacob Carnehan has settled down. He's minding his own business while raising his son Carter, and his days of adventure are - thankfully - long behind him. Carter Carnehan is going out of his mind with boredom. His humdrum life is dull, and he longs to escape. To test himself against the world.

When Carter is kidnapped by slaves, he is suddenly granted the exciting length he has wished for - but finds it to be far scarier than he had ever envisaged. Faced with the threat of a very short life and a rapidly approaching death, he must do everything he can to survive.

Jacob, meanwhile - realises his past has caught up with him. And he will tear the world down to reclaim his son.

This is a book in three parts - a relatively calm opening that introduces the families that make up our main cast, and paints a picture of the society these folks live in. It initially feels like a period novel, rather than a fantasy book - but the gentle opening does give the characters time to breathe, and to establish relationships before the action really kicks in.

The second part is a lot longer, and a big mix - whilst the action steps up, a large amount of time is spent focusing on quite how miserable things are for Carter and his fellow slaves, and also on Jacob's attempts to find the slaves. The world built here is absolutely humongous, and feelings of isolation, hopelessness and desolation kick in - meaning that at times this middle section can sag a little, and, despite excellent characterisation and some interesting glimpses at the various cultures and societies that are contained within the expanse of this world, I think some could have been cut. However, the third part definitely takes things up a gear - and things reach a very, very explosive climax!

A good, fun read for the most part, In Dark Service is a good start to what looks set to be an interesting trilogy - and author Stephen Hunt certainly has experience in world building and creating series - his Jackelian books are currently on their sixth.

Whilst some moments in the middle did seem to verge on stagnant, this is, overall, a very good read - lovers of fantasy and adventure will certainly enjoy this, and if Stephen Hunt chooses to develop and further build the hugely expansive world that he has created, the whole trilogy could prove well worth reading.

Thanks to the publishers for the copy.

For further reading, Uprooted by Naomi Novik is the best fantasy book I have read in absolutely ages. Stunning adult fantasy that completely enchanted me.

Buy In Dark Service (Far Called Trilogy 1) by Stephen Hunt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy In Dark Service (Far Called Trilogy 1) by Stephen Hunt at Amazon.co.uk


Buy In Dark Service (Far Called Trilogy 1) by Stephen Hunt at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy In Dark Service (Far Called Trilogy 1) by Stephen Hunt at Amazon.com.

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