* Instant New York Times Bestseller * Indie Bestseller *
In this stunning new fantasy novel from international bestselling author C. S. Pacat, heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn and begin to draw new battle lines. This epic fantasy with high-stakes romance will sit perfectly on shelves next to beloved fantasy novels like the Infernal Devices series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and the Red Queen series.
Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. Then an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, who have sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. Will is thrust into a world of magic, where he starts training for a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.
As London is threatened and old enmities are awakened, Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own.
Like V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove, Dark Rise is more than just high intrigue fantasy—it’s fast-paced, action-packed, and completely surprising. Readers will love exploring the rich setting of nineteenth-century London. This thrilling story of friendship, deception, loyalty, and betrayal is sure to find a passionate audience of readers.
Set in 1821 England, this queer fantasy series opener from Pacat (the Captive Prince trilogy) follows two teenagers white Will Kempen and half-Indian, half-white Violet Ballard who learn that successful trader Lord Simon Crenshaw and his acolytes intend to sacrifice them in a quest to resurrect the Dark King. Long ago, in the time of magic, the Dark King and his preternaturally strong Lions nearly conquered the world but were defeated by the good and powerful Lady and the Stewards of the Light. The Dark King swore to return one day and finish what he started a process that, unbeknownst to most, is well underway. Queer orphan Will, whose mother descended from the Lady, and "boyish" illegitimate child Violet, who is descended from the Lions but whose father favors his legitimate son, seek sanctuary with the Stewards' ancestors, who agree to train them for the coming war. Pacat uses fully fleshed-out, realistically flawed characters and a rich, if occasionally rote, mythology to explore issues of faith, fate, and free will. A key relationship develops off-page, undercutting the tale's emotional heft, but abundant action and a profusion of plot twists fuel an adrenalized pace. Ages 14 up.
The plot twists in this tale are fantastic and heart wrenching. I want more.
The best fantasy I’ve read in a while
Pacat does it again! If you were a fan of the detailed world she built across her Captive Prince trilogy, then you’ll enjoy Dark Rise. It’s a rich urban historical fantasy fusion, and it’s wonderful to fall into. The start is a little slow but the story REALLY picks up around the halfway mark. Some of the twists are reminiscent of Laurent’s machinations in her Captive Prince trilogy. I love that series which is why I came to read her new book. I was not at all disappointed—Dark Rise is about to be the next big fantasy series that takes over my life. (The romantic slowburns look promising too!) All in all, if you like Pacat’s previous works, or if you like fantasy/adventure/romance with A LOT of intrigue, then absolutely read this book!