There has always been good and evil, right and wrong, shadow and light ... there has always been a balance ... until now.
Of Light & Shadow tells the story of Duncan Conners who starts this story as a trainee priest suffering a crisis of faith. With feelings that he is not cut out for the priesthood he is pushed towards a different destiny with the death of Father Mason, his friend and mentor. Duncan begins to feel that his friend’s death may not have been an accident and when he finds himself continuing Father Mason’s research he is confronted with more and more mysteries. This draws Duncan to Turkey where he discovers his true destiny and a shocking revelation about his origins.
The plot to this story hits you straight away and the pace is kept up throughout the whole book. Each page pushes you on and there are no lulls in the narrative. Character interplay is what leads this story through its twists and turns. Each of the players in this tale are well rounded and have a feeling of depth to them. Duncan Conners himself feels like an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary events and this allows you to build a real empathy for his adventures. From the start Duncan is at the mercy of powers and events far beyond his control or understanding and you are taken along for the ride.
Turkey plays host to most of the events within this tale and as a setting for the story it feels right. The sense of place is well conveyed and beautifully written by the author. In fact the narrative style is excellent and very easy to read. Many books that use the supernatural and Christian mythology can become heavy and ponderous to read. Although this book avoids this I did feel I wanted more detail on the alternative Christian tradition that the story relies on so heavily. I was left with more questions than answers at the end of the story, but as this is only the first in the Duncan Conners trilogy I may find my answers in the two subsequent titles.
There were a few twists in the book that I didn’t anticipate and the ending did take me by surprise. This doesn’t happen too often and it is always a delight when it does. Overall this was an enjoyable easy read, but for me it lacked a little meat. I would have preferred more depth to the mythology used in the book as well as a few less unanswered questions. These criticisms may be a little unfair as this is only the first part of the trilogy and are in truth minor nit picking on my part. Of Light & Shadow was an enjoyable distraction on a long train journey and has the potential of being a good foundation for a first rate trilogy.
A respectable 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Darkiss