Francis Knight is definitely an author I'm going to be keeping my eye out for.
There are times when the way you read a book simply does not truly reflect the quality of the book you are reading. For me, specifically, there are simply times when a certain genre or sub-genre of book is of less interest to me than, for example, consuming an entire season of a TV show – primarily because of the laziness factor.
This was the case with ‘Fade to Black’ by Francis Knight, and I think my opening bout of honesty will help to explain just how stoked I was when I was able to get back into the ‘groove’ to finish reading this book.
One of the most impressive things to come out of Fade to Black was the way that author Knight wove a new magic system in to a very new type of world. Built over the years, one level atop the other, the city of Mahala is a very unique location to place a story, allowing the author even more avenues for intriguing storytelling. The simple act of introducing more than one new concept really frees the author up to telling fascinating stories – as it allows them the opportunity to leave hidden secrets and still tell an engaging story.
The main character was somewhat two-dimensional to begin with, but really started to both grow on me, and grow in himself. I really hope that Knight continues this character growth, allowing protagonist Rojan Dizon to become less of a stereotypical-chauvinist male and more of a flawed three-dimensional character.
Whether the author’s views on religion are the backbone of this story, or it is a convenient trope to pull out, I’m not sure, but I was rather impressed with the use of an age-old trope. Dismissing religion as “a figment of the imagination” is by no means clever or original, but allowing it to impact the story in the way that Knight did here was both clever and, if not original, at least close.
I can’t help but be stoked to jump straight into the next book in this series, and hope that the character growth and my own enjoyment of this fantasy sub-genre continue to grow in equal measure. Francis Knight is definitely an author I’m going to be keeping my eye out for.
Review by Joshua S Hill
Yvan from United States
Possibly one of the best books I've read in the past two years! I've been struggling with reading ever since my depression hit me hard and one of my joys in life was stolen from me. I picked up this book thinking nothing of it other than it might be boring. But honestly, I was so wrong. It's an amazing and really interesting plot, it really caught me off guard. The character development is great, story is well thought out, and it's worth your time.
8.5/10 from 2 reviews