Dark Winds

Book Two of the Shadow's Fire Trilogy

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
444 Pages
Reviewed on 11/27/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Christopher Patterson captures your imagination, holding you hostage in the fantasy world of Dark Winds: Book Two of the Shadow's Fire Trilogy. The quest continues for the treasure and prized heirloom lost in the dwarfish city of Orvencrest. The Shadow’s influence is growing stronger, war rages; the era of The Great Peace is coming to an end. For the adventurous trio of Erik, Befel and Bryon, the world has become much larger than it seemed on the farm. The further they travel from home, the longing for its comfort grows stronger. The cost of their adventure has come with an unforeseen high price to pay - death. So much death; agonizing sorrow haunts their days and phantoms of morbid faces invade their sleep.

Overwhelmed with guilt, the young warriors grieve over the men they have killed and their fallen comrades. Erik and his companions are in constant danger; many are on their trail, some seek to right a wrong, and others to kill them before they reach the treasure. Although fate has brought them together, tensions are rising within the company of mercenaries. The opposition and competition are great. However, for Erik, Befel and Bryon, there is something more valuable than riches and an ancient heirloom; their manhood is at stake. Daily, they are being tested in faith, strength, will and purpose. As they travel closer to the mountains, there is a foreboding change in the winds; the “Dark Winds” are approaching. “Things are changing. The world is changing.” They are changing.

Dark Winds is the second book in The Shadow’s Fire Trilogy. The narrative poses two vital questions: What makes a savage? What makes a hero? Christopher Patterson is a creative and gifted storyteller. His love of fantasy, adventure, music and faith is relevant in his writing. He takes the elements of fantasy, covers them with flesh and blood, crafting an adventure that comes alive with unrestrained imagery. Vivid, brilliant and figurative language is used to paint graphic word pictures, especially regarding the barbaric battle scenes, and the fear drenched animations suffered during nightmares. The narrative begins with a band of tormented, wounded warriors. Their battle fatigue and disgruntled moods are heightened by ominous weather, bizarre blood moons, and evil surroundings. As the plot progresses, the narrative goes deeper into its primitive world, depicting horrific mountain trolls, weapons with consciences, and a subterranean dwarf kingdom. Dark Winds concludes with a brave resolve. What lies ahead is yet to be seen.

Ruffina Oserio

Dark Winds by Christopher Patterson is Book Two of the Shadow's Fire Trilogy, a story that comes across as a work of great imagination. The author leads readers to a land of war and fame and adventure. Erik is a haunted man; a man whose deeds have come to haunt every one of his dreams — the fierce wars and the people who have perished by his sword. Far away from home, he knows he can’t trust anyone. Now on a new adventure to seek the heirloom of the Lord of the East, he meets new and fierce challenges in the city of the dwarves. He has to fight men, monsters, and powers he’s never imagined before. But the worst is still ahead, an evil riding on the dark winds.

This book is very entertaining, with real and convincing characters, intense action, and interesting creatures to meet along the way. The writing is not just polished but equally beautiful. At times it reads like an epic poem, and I enjoyed the way the author played with short phrases. Yes, the phraseology is nothing but gorgeous. Then there are the intelligent and thoughtful dialogues, the beautiful descriptions. The vivid descriptions, like how the author captures the weather in the following lines, are powerful too, letting the scenes play before readers like a movie: “Tongues of fire licked the darkening sky, a myriad of indigos and purples with the rusting tint of oranges and reds far off to the west.” Christopher Patterson demonstrates that he is another master in the fantasy genre and Dark Winds will certainly be a rewarding and entertaining read for many.

Christian Sia

Engaging and entertaining, Dark Winds features a great fantasy tale revolving around Erik, a warrior on a very dangerous adventure in Book Two of the Shadow’s Fire trilogy. Erik is presented as a heroic character with a lot of his own demons to fight. He has killed many people and a sense of guilt seems to follow him everywhere he goes. If only he could change the course of his life, turn around, and be with his family again. But instead he is on a new adventure, on a quest that will bring him face to face with fierce and unforgiving adversaries. This time he’ll have to fight cruel warriors, but what will test his strength are the creatures he will face in the wastelands of the city of the dwarves, where he has to locate the heirloom of the Lord of the East. As if his troubles aren’t enough, he is still to face something even more sinister — the dark winds.

Christopher Patterson has succeeded in making me love a genre I have always considered for female and young readers. Apart from Christopher Paolini and JRR Tolkien, I never thought I could get so engrossed in a fantasy tale, but Christopher Patterson’s writing changes all that; it is very absorbing with well-imagined characters, an intriguing plot, and beautiful themes. I enjoyed the conflict that grows at every point in the story, but most interesting is how the author developed the psychology of the hero. As I read Dark Winds, I couldn’t help but imagine the story on screen. Great writing, a compelling plot, and memorable characters are among the many elements that readers will love about this story. Christopher Patterson has a gift for entertainment.

Melinda Hills

Erik, his brother Befel, and cousin Bryon have survived overwhelming challenges with the mercenaries with whom they are travelling on a major quest in Dark Winds by Christopher Patterson. These young men had left home for adventure, but have found much more than they ever anticipated with deadly battles and hard times on the road, not to mention arguments among members of the group. Realizing that they themselves are changing as individuals, they are not as aware of the political currents altering the relations between nations around them, even though they seem to be the focus of evil forces. Erik is particularly troubled by these changes due to vivid nightmares of things he has done, but that also seem to foretell the death and destruction of everything he holds dear and hints that he is somehow special – with a destiny determined by greater forces in ages past. The success of the mission to find the lost city of Orvencrest may be in jeopardy as some of the men begin to look out for their own interests, while outside forces close in to prevent the group from reaching the treasure. Will Erik be strong enough to bear the burden of continuing the journey and how will magical elements play a part?

Dark Winds, the continuation of the adventures of Erik Eleodum in the Shadow’s Fire Trilogy, is a gripping story full of amazing characters and tremendous action. Christopher Patterson has created an imaginary yet quite believable world that is complex with a variety of belief systems, prejudices and political intrigues, as well as different groups including dwarves, men, elves and horrible beasts capable of incredible destruction. As the middle volume of an epic tale, it is a good idea to read Dark Winds after A Chance Beginning so that you can follow the relationships of the different characters and what brings them together in volume 2 – it is certainly well worth the effort!

Mamta Madhavan

Dark Winds: Book Two of the Shadow’s Fire Trilogy by Christopher Patterson takes readers along with Erik, his cousin Byron, and brother Befel, and their dwarf friends, Turk, Demik, and Nafer, on their quest to find the lost city. One of the dwarves in the group has a chance to reclaim his lost honor and, as the story progresses, readers get to see Erik and his brother evolving and becoming mature after passing through different places, and witnessing horrors left behind by wars. Erik has killed people and that haunts him. Erik knows he will have to fight again - men, monsters, hatred, death, evil, and darkness - to rebuild his world. The very thought of seeing blood again saddens him.

The author’s love for fantasy and adventure is evident in his narration and in the quest for the treasure and the prized heirloom which has been lost in the city of Orvencrest. The emotions that run through Erik and his companions are tangible to readers through the author’s vivid descriptions. The plot has many layers to it and readers will be fascinated to read about the landscapes, culture, and histories as they travel along with Erik. All the characters are strongly portrayed, distinctive in their behaviors and, like the previous book, destiny, fate, and chance see these men growing up and maturing; at the same time longing for the comfort of their home. It’s a perfect book for all those who love adventure and fantasy stories, and will keep them glued to the pages till the very end.