“Duty is an unforgiving taskmaster and often comes with a steep price, especially for those left behind.”
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.
But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.
In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.
Dark Breaks The Dawn is an extremely enthralling, captivating, and engrossing read. An interesting combination of fantasy and swan lake story that offers a fresh take on magic and a lot more.
Evelayn, the crown princess of Éadrolan (the Light Kingdom) is still learning to harness her power, while her mother, Queen Ilaria is in the middle of the battle with King Bain of the rival kingdom Dorjhalon (the Dark Kingdom). These two kingdoms are at war for years because King Bain wants the power of both Light and Dark and to rule both Kingdoms. As he tries to acquire both light and dark powers, Evelayn found herself ruling Éadrolan. She needs to learn fast to control and use her powers before King Bain destroys the balance of their world.
“The queen must always appear calm, unruffled. Your subjects will look to you; your actions will determine theirs.”
Sara B. Larson’s did a fantastic job at weaving all the fantasy aspects to the classic swan lake story. Giving readers a world of magic with its own rules and functions, and a thrilling story to follow. It is pretty interesting how the two warring Kingdoms has different source of power, and how their rulers with their jewels are being conduit for magic. Then there’s also the political war, the quest for peace, and Evelayn’s own struggle to learn to harness her power and be the ruler she needs to be.
Evelayn is a strong heroine. She is young yet the strength she showed after the circumstance brought upon her is just remarkable. Even during the times of grief, she still think of her people. Her struggles and pains doesn’t hindrance her to be the ruler she needs to be, instead she uses those challenges to bring out all the hidden powers she destined to control.
“Yet, grief, especially when buried, had a way of rearing its head at the worst of times, sometimes leading to terrible mistakes and decisions, as he well knew. He could only hope that she was truly as in control of herself as she seemed. For her sake—and for all of Éadrolan.”
Tanvir is an intriguing character. His thoughts easily lure readers to hints of secrecy. Like he is hiding something huge and probably not good for Evelayn and her Kingdom, even if it is clear how he cares for her. His presence and inner thoughts will makes readers guessing and questions everything that is happening. At some point, readers will formulate their own conclusions based from all the trails that Sara B. Larson leaves, only to be proven wrong. He remains a mystery through the end, with a little or no chance of untangling his motives and actions. Though the ending sealed his fate, the hopeful side of me still wish to understand him better, to know his unsaid thoughts, and peek on his nightmares and fears.
I adore how Tanvir silently praise Evelayn, how he is so proud of her every time she handle her position well or just when he proves she is capable of ruling even others thinks she can’t. Even he constantly keep me worried about his intentions, I still root for him and Evelayn. Deep inside I believe he is a good guy, even he sometimes makes me doubt his intentions with all his worries and thoughts.
As for the villains, Evelayn has an entire royal family of opponent from the dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon. There’s an evil and power-hungry King, a wicked Queen, and two strong and deadly Princes. Though there’s still hope for one of them, Evelayn and the Éadrolan is still in no lesser threat or harm. And peace is still a far away dream for everyone.
The ending though leave in a cliffhanger note promise a more darker, and gripping read for the next part of Evelayn’s story. I’m looking forward to see what will happen next to both Kingdoms of Éadrolan and Dorjhalon, and of course, to find out how Evelayn will defeat the new and probably biggest problem she find herself into.
“You always have a choice. Even if it feels like you don’t.”
With magic, war, mystery, romance, betrayal and tragedy, DARK BREAKS THE DAWN is thrilling start to Sara B. Larson’s new fantasy duology. It is spellbinding, completely engrossing, suspenseful, and heartbreaking tale that will surely keep readers guessing and anxiously waiting for the next installment, Bright Burns the Night. If only we can all have the next part immediately in our hands after reading this one, I’m sure readers will be less heartbroken.
* This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher, Scholastic Press Philippines in exchange for my honest opinion about the book.