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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
When the magic of Shadow is killing him, the demon Arythan goes on a quest to find witches that might be able to cure him. There is a way to stop his death, but at a price that is hard for him to accept. Together with his unusual companion Eraekryst, an immortal prince, they find themselves in unique situations as they travel across the realm. A one of a kind fantasy tale, Dawning is Book One of the Black Earth trilogy by M.S. Verish.
It is important to note that M.S. Verish are Matthew and Stefanie Verish, co-authors of Dawning. Interestingly, the strong prose does not have the slightest indication at all that it is the product of two authors. Compared to other fantasy novels that I have read before, this story is very much character-driven, particularly focusing on the demon Arythan. Even though it took quite a number of pages for it to grab my utmost interest, the slow pacing did pick up as I kept reading. I was amused to find that no matter how different Arythan and Eraekryst were, they do rely on each other in a subtle way. There is a detailed Glossary and Pronunciation Guide at the end of book which no doubt any readers would greatly appreciate. I also like the somewhat raw pencil illustrations included in the story, which to me is always a great bonus for any fantasy novels. Overall, a solid debut for a trilogy with an interesting premise for the genre.