Son of the Night by Mark Alder

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Son of the Night by Mark Alder

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Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: A return to the world created in Son of the Morning, Mark Alder blends history and fantasy to rather dazzling effect – a whirlwind of a read that will leave the reader excited and exhilarated by the constantly changing plot.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: August 2017
Publisher: Gollancz
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0575115200

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In Son of the Morning, author Mark Alder plunges the reader into a chaotic, dangerous world, taking them back to the turbulent reign of Edward III and the dangers of the Hundred Years War. Adding elements of fantasy and theology to the mix, Alder created an intriguing read which is continued in Son of the Night. With Lucifer, Satan, God, Devils and Angels interacting with a cast of real and well researched characters, Alder continues his exploration of the Hundred Years war whilst rather incredibly keeping his readers as educated as they are entertained.

The Hundred Years War – a period many of us have heard about which doesn't receive nearly enough attention. From 1337 to 1453, the House of Plantagenet and the House of Valois were engaged in a series of vicious battles over the thorny issue of succession to the French throne. Five generations of Kings fought against each other and their subjects knew nothing but conflict. It's a fascinating time period, and one that Alder has clearly done his research on. Historical fiction reads can often be tricky books to balance right, as authors can be torn between exciting, audience-friendly plots and the truthful but often rather more dull, facts. Here though, Alder seems to have managed to find a very delicate balance – with gothically dark moments of magic and fantasy blended cleverly with genuine historical detail to create something really rather special.

Alder's depiction of Queen Isabella is something I particularly enjoy – a woman who has been tarred by the brush of many historians as an unfaithful harridan, driven by love for the wrong man. Alder presents the reader with a wholly different figure though – still manipulative, but powerful, strong, and fully in control of her own actions. A truly modern femme fatale, her chapters are my favourite in the book, filled with a dark magnetism that draws the reader to the character no matter how terrifying the actions carried out may be. In terms of plot, things move at considerable speed in Son of the Night, and as book two in a series, there's absolutely no way that a reader new to the series would have any idea what is going on here – so does have to be read after Son of the Morning, as I had to scroll through my copy of the first book a few times in order to refresh my memory as to the various characters and motivations behind them. Overall though, that speedy pacing is no bad thing, as it's combined with intelligent characterisation, dark moments of humour – and intriguing developments that leave things in a rather fascinating period moving onto book three – and I'll be very eager to find out how things go from here.

For further reading – I strongly recommend the first part of this series, Son of the Morning, in order to get a good idea of the setting and characters before moving on to Son of the Night. For another read that combines minute historical detail with thrilling action, Sons of the Blood by Robyn Young is definitely worth your time.

Buy Son of the Night by Mark Alder at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Son of the Night by Mark Alder at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Son of the Night by Mark Alder at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Son of the Night by Mark Alder at Amazon.com.

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