Darkening Skies by eden Hudson
Darkening Skies by Eden Hudson is the first in the Path of the Thunderbird series, and it’s a wonderful start to a series that promises to become a go-to for fans of the cultivation subgenre. Set in an Asian-inspired secondary world, Darkening Skies tells the story of a young boy growing up at a monastery, while simultaneously telling the story of a princess about to embark on her own journey.
The first element of this novel that deserves praise is the intertwining timelines. The story is told through two viewpoints, one “present time” and one taking place a decade or so in the past. I often find myself disliking this sort of literary device, but Hudson uses it to great effect in Darkening Skies. The reveals from one timeline often have an emotional impact on the other, and vice-versa. Hudson also manages to keep the pacing consistent within and between the two timelines, which makes this a fast read. The novel also manages to use the prophesied savior trope in a unique and interesting way that feels fresh rather than stale. That in and of itself deserves praise. But coupled with the way the two main characters are drawn, it helps to make this novel stand out from the pack. I loved both the main characters, and the slow burn romance that buds between them is very well done. Of course, the magic is also interesting. Typical of the cultivation genre, we don’t get much detail in this first book, but a strong foundation is laid. Hudson crafts fight sequences that are engaging and manage to remain fresh throughout the story. The combination of physical fighting and magical fighting is a staple of cultivation tales, and Hudson does an excellent job with the combination here. Overall, there is something extremely compelling about this book. Whether it’s the world building, the characters, the intertwining timelines, seeing young Raijin in the past timeline versus adult Raijin in the present timeline, seeing Koida work to overcome her weaknesses, or the sum of these being greater than the parts, I found myself unwilling to put the book down, telling myself I could read just one more page, one more chapter, before bed.
I did find that the characters took a little while to grow on me. For the first third or so of the book both Koida, the princess, and Raijin, the boy growing up at the monastery, felt a little vanilla. But they did grow on me quickly after that initial period. In some ways, this applies to the novel as a whole: it takes a while to get going. I also found myself with many questions left at the end of the novel. This is forgivable because it’s the opening book in a series, but even with that in mind it ended on quite the cliffhanger. There is also a little bit of a learning curve in understanding the cultures and some of the terms used in the story. I don’t mind this at all, but some readers may find this off putting.
Darkening Skies is a great read. Once the story kicks into high gear, it doesn’t let up and keeps you engaged. It’s a compelling read with two well drawn characters, cool world building, a fun cultivation style magic system and a slow burn romance. It will appeal to fans of Will Wight’s Cradle series. I’m eagerly looking forward to reading the sequel.
This Darkening Skies book review was written by Calvin Park
All reviews for eden Hudson's Path of the Thunderbird
Path of the Thunderbird: Book 1
Ji Yu Raijin is happy to live out his life serving his school, cultivating his life force, and learning the Path of Darkening Skies, an ancient and noble warrior art—...
Have you read Darkening Skies?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Darkening Skies reader reviews
7.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a reader review for Darkening Skies by eden Hudson; it really helps other readers find that perfect next read. Kindly enter your name, country and review below and click the 'Submit your review' button to send.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
Guy Gavriel Kay
Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airs...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
The Deverry Cycle
In a world outside reality, a young girl's spirit hovers between incarnations, knowing neither her past nor her future. In the temporal world lives Nevyn, who long ago ...
Great books also published in 2019
A Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose li...
The Raven Tower
For centuries the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by a god known as the Raven. But in their hour of need, the Raven speaks nothing to its people. It is into this unres...
The 10,000 Doors of January
Alix E Harrow
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut....
The Priory of the Orange Tree
A world divided.A queendom without an heir.An ancient enemy awakens.The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen S...
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.Meet Dodger, his twin. Numb...
A Little Hatred
War. Politics. Revolution. The Age of Madness has arrived... The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep a...
Beneath the Twisted Trees
Çeda was an elite warrior in service to the kings of Sharakhai. She has been an assassin in dark places. A weapon poised to strike from the shadows. A voice from the...
The Hod King
Thomas Senlin and his crew of outcasts have been separated, and now they must face the dangers of the labyrinthine tower on their own in this third book in the word...
Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.THEY CAME AGAINST HER AS A CHILD. NOW THEY FACE THE WOMAN....
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: