A Darkness Summoned

The Ashes of Magic Trilogy Volume 2

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
512 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lexie Fox for Readers' Favorite

A Darkness Summoned is a work of urban fantasy by Alex B. Harper and the second installment in the Ashes of Magic trilogy. Continuing from the events happening in Of Light and Nightmares, the book follows Emmeline as she struggles to live with the consequences of the choices she has made. As she fights to put her life back together, a new force is stirring in the world of the Raizour. This malicious force seeks to fan the flames of the lingering hatred between the Raizour and Nainthe into an inferno that threatens the stability of both worlds. Forced into the middle of the coming storm, Emmeline must once again make impossible choices to survive.

This book seamlessly fuses elements of fantasy and suspense into a distinctive blend of prose that will stay with readers long after finishing the story. Alex B. Harper’s accessible and imaginative writing style brings the original worldbuilding to life, creating an absorbing world for the exciting story that takes place across the pages. A Darkness Summoned is a stellar example of how to write a sequel, perfectly balancing what has been established with new ideas that combine into a story that is both familiar and fresh. Emmeline is an excellent protagonist with a personal journey that allows for introspection and spectacle in a narrative that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Touching on challenging themes throughout, this book fully utilizes the potential of its setting and characters to tell a thoroughly riveting story that handles difficult topics with grace as it whisks readers along on an unforgettable journey.

K.C. Finn

A Darkness Summoned is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy, thriller, and dark adventure subgenres, and is the second novel of The Ashes of Magic Trilogy. It is best suited to mature adult readers as it contains a lot of explicit graphic content, including sex, assault, violence, and death. Penned by author Alex B. Harper, this installment sees Emmeline face the fallout of a brutal raizour attack and the betrayal of supposed allies. Amidst the turmoil, conflict brews in the raizour world, with new powers and ancient adversaries fueling a rebellion against the nainthe. Emmeline, torn between her world and the one she loves, grapples with choices that carry life-or-death consequences. This second novel promises a thrilling exploration of loyalty, sacrifice, and the clash between worlds.

Author Alex B. Harper has crafted a fantastic work filled with action, intrigue, and gritty urban conflict set in a well-constructed, compelling fantasy universe. Harper's world-building and character development were captivating right from the start, and I was impressed with the dialogue construction as it showcases the different attitudes shaped by the conflict of the world around these characters. Adding to this realism more and more was the emotional throughline for Emmeline, crippled by the guilt of her choices and the new consequences of every action she takes. I felt a powerful weight in her every move that made me deeply invested in the journey. Overall, I would highly recommend A Darkness Summoned for fans of the existing series and the series in general, as a rich blend of magic, monsters, and the relentless pursuit of survival.

Paul Zietsman

A Darkness Summoned is the second book in Alex B. Harper's The Ashes of Magic Trilogy. In this urban fantasy, war is waged between the raizour and the nainthe, who are the protectors of humankind, against the alien raizour. Emmeline finds herself in the center of the conflict, and she realizes that her time as a normal human has come to an end. She must muster all her strength and courage not only to aid her friends and allies but also to conquer her weaknesses and come into her power. With the help of her loyal brother Matthew and the nainthe that she has come to trust, she endeavors to stand strong against the powers that threaten to destroy that which they hold dear.
Alex B. Harper's storytelling talent creates a vivid fantasy world, which I often found myself getting lost in, and the smooth style of writing translates into effortless and highly pleasurable reading. Apart from thrilling action scenes and a plot with some surprising twists and turns, A Darkness Summoned features strong and authentic characters that I felt I could easily relate to. As with the first book in this trilogy, the female lead character, Emmeline, is multi-dimensional, and I got to know her even better as the story progressed. The same can be said for the other main characters. There is a very good balance between dialog and events as they unfold, and the dialog often takes the form of heated exchanges between strong personalities. Twists, turns, and lively and multi-dimensional characters make A Darkness Summoned a fantasy thrill ride that I would highly recommend.

Rabia Tanveer

A Darkness Summoned is the second volume in The Ashes of Magic Trilogy by Alex B. Harper. Emmeline was devastated after the raizour attacked and decimated everything. Feeling guilty and liable for what happened, Emmeline was left reeling, thinking about her choices. However, there was no time for feeling sad or sorry, because the conflict between the raizour and the nainthe was still raging. All she could do was harness her powers and make some terrifying decisions. With the lives of everyone she loved on the line, it was up to Emmeline to decide what to do. Should she listen to her heart and mind, or should she do what she is being told to do? The choice wasn’t easy, but Emmeline expected nothing less.

I am so glad I took my time reading A Darkness Summoned because I enjoyed it thoroughly. This story was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved Emmeline and her spark. Even though she was devastated, especially about Erik, she got hold of her bearings very quickly. I loved her determination, her drive, and how she took charge of the situation. I didn’t really like Javier, but I understood him. The story was divided into six parts, but I breezed through it once I got started. The world-building was outstanding, the character development was incredible, and the pace was just perfect. Alex B. Harper weaved magic into the story with carefully crafted sentences. The vivid imagery and the descriptions transported me right next to Emmeline. I felt like I was with her as she confronted her worst enemies and faced off friends in circumstances that shook her. The ending surprised me, and I was shocked, to say the least. I am now reading Of Light and Nightmares and cannot wait for the next novel in the series!