“Ryan Blackwell thought to escape his magic by burying himself in the military college at Northshield, Vermont. Instead, he finds himself in the midst of a deeper and more dangerous sorcery than he has ever encountered before. Suddenly, only Ryan’s wit, will, and the talent he once hoped to leave behind stand between a nightmarish creature and everything he cares for.”
I was offered the opportunity to read and review “By Darkness Revealed” by Kevin O McLaughlin. After having read the authors description, I was intrigued. A tale of magic woven in a military college setting was a first for me.
We meet Ryan Blackwell in the midst of a training exercise, running through an icy cold stream being pursued by magical creatures. Ryan has been trying to fit in and hide his magical side since entering the academy. In this first scene we see him enter a situation where he has to make a decision to help fellow students or ignore the situation and remain anonymous. His decision is the beginning of our hero’s adventures and gives us insight into his character.
Ryan is a very likeable character. He has abilities that he does not fully understand, has a curious nature, and integrity to step up and do what needs to be done even at his own peril.
The college has some very powerful magic centered in the campus, and Ryan is not the first magical person to come to this college. We also meet a student that is the opposite of Ryan who may have unleashed a dark power. This is the point in the story that sets the pace for the rest of the book.
I enjoyed the way the author set up his magical world using terms familiar to me as a fan of urban fantasy, but weaving them into a magical world of his own creation. We get to see Ryan grow as he discovers information about the creature he is battling and learns more about himself, his magic and the unique magic surrounding this military college. I especially liked kitty-breeze.
The one thing I felt was lacking about the story was that I wanted more information about Ryan’s background. It felt like I dropped into the story at a place other than the beginning. We are given information along the way which did help but I was still left with many unanswered questions.
There are two more books planned in this series: “Ashes Ascendant” and “Dead in Winter”.
I am looking forward to reading more by this author and finding out more about Ryan Blackwell and the world he lives in.
-Reviewed by d. blue
Learn more about Kevin McLaughlin by visiting his site http://kevinomclaughlin.com.
Facebook: Kevin O. McLaughlin