In the western-most crumbling halls of a mountain citadel lives a lonely wizard named Urien, a master of his art and a fledgling priest of a primordial goddess of transformation. Though his training is extensive, no training could prepare him for a broken heart. For years he has lived on the fringe after having loved and lost a powerful male wizard on the verge of ascension. But such wounds do not hide well. When he delves into the darker powers at the bidding of a shady priestess, Urien's heart reveals itself as a grim warning from the goddess herself, in the shape of a wolf.
In the wake of this unsettling experience, Urien discovers that his most gifted apprentice, a beautiful, wild-tempered woman—and the partner of his erstwhile lover—is in grave danger. A series of swift-moving mishaps including a second warning and a badly backfired protection spell lands Urien into a love triangle that exposes not only his deepest desires but also the black machinations of the priestess who deceived him. When she wields her full power against him, he must reconcile his heart in order to save his lovers and himself from isolation and death.
Water Dark by F.T. Mckinstry
Water Dark was an engaging dark fantasy. It was very well written, plot driven, and pulled me in immediately. The world the author has created was filled with a richness that's needed in fantasy stories these days.
This book was filled with several conflicts, and the author did a good job at resolving them in a believable way. I will admit to being a but confused with the mythology, magical terms, and history of this stories. It felt like I missed the first book, and I was missing something.
That being said, it didn't distract me enough to take away from my reading experience. I liked the characters, and even thought this was a short read the character development was great. I liked Urien's character, and I could sympathize with him.
Urien was genuine, and his love was real. You could feel it coming off the pages. I liked how as soon as he realized things weren't as they seem, he put forth an effort to make it right. To make sure that he hadn't been deceived so far onto the dark path, that he couldn't come back.
All in all, Dark Waters was an excellent example in fantasy writing, and I would recommend this author to anyone who loves to read this genre.
4 Stars / 5
Urien spoke a word and shifted shape into a golden eagle. He thrust up on mighty wings, rising above the roofs and treetops of the city. The Old Ring faded beneath him to a spring-colored circle as he focused on water, his inner mind filled with every well, stream, bog, trough, bucket and puddle.
His mind stopped with strange, slow insistence on the Westlight, a powerful river that flowed down from a spring in Eyrie and into the city. He wheeled around and raced for the North River Bridge.
People moved on the wide path below, intent on their business. Urien descended from the air, tucked his wings and returned to form, landing on the ground in his Raven's habit. The crowd parted with murmurs of surprise. Urien moved towards the bridge, his fingers splayed, palms towards the earth. The townspeople moved each other out of his path and off the bridge.
In the corner of his eye, a shape moved in the trees on the side of the road. A gray wolf touched him with the Destroyer's shudder and disappeared into the shadows. Another warning. Foreboding crept over his heart like a cold rain. As he stepped onto the bridge, Urien scanned the trees, the ground, the sky and the river below.
Something rustled in the orange-gold brush by the water's edge: a face with eyes as dark and crafty as snakes.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
F.T. McKinstry grew up studying music and classical literature, and at a young age acquired a deep love for fantasy and the esoteric, of which she was an avid reader. J.R.R. Tolkien was her most powerful influence. With a background in computer electronics and software development, she wrote and illustrated technical documentation for many years, during which time she created the fantasy world of Ealiron. A lifelong study of plant and animal lore, shamanism, psychology, mysticism and Northern European mythology and folklore provides inspiration and scope for her work. Her published work includes The Chronicles of Ealiron, Wizards, Woods and Gods: Tales of Integration, and Water Dark. Many of her short stories appear in Aoife's Kiss and Tales of the Talisman.
Wild Child Publishing: http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/fantasy-c-77/water-dark-p-427.html