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Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite
When Inco and Gray witness the brutal slaughter of a Deiran village on Earth, they intervene, but they can’t save everyone. A young mother is struck down in the fray, and in her final moments, she pleads with them to protect her newborn son. It quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary boy. As if being raised by DúHuman dragons isn’t unique enough, young Jak begins to show abilities no dragon or human has ever had. But there’s danger in the form of a prophecy looming over his head. As Jak matures on the planet Origo, his family does all it can to protect his identity and circumvent the prophecy. Jak works hard to conquer the darkness. For it is said we all have darkness in us. It’s what we do with it that matters.
Writing a fantasy story (in this case book one of what will become a trilogy) has to be the most difficult of fiction genres to write. The author is, in a sense, playing God. S/he creates a complete world, builds it geographically (most of these epics include detailed maps), adds characters—people and/or creatures—and often new languages. They put all of this in some magical blender, add a cup or two of verisimilitude, and voila, they have a fantasy tale to rival all the ancient mythologies and creation mysteries ever written. There are a few writing techniques that I thought especially noteworthy in Keri Brown’s style and the story premise. She keeps it simple; she ensures that even the most otherworldly creatures or beings are relatable to persons or animals fully familiar to almost everyone and she has invented an intriguing space-time relationship that actually seems more viable than Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or the more modern, Space-Time Continuum.
Origo: Son of Darkness is an exciting kick-off for a multi-layered, epic fantasy tale. It is fast-paced, highly entertaining, and I enjoyed every minute of the read. Nothing slowed me down... no, not true... wingless dragons gave me pause; just long enough to do a little googling to discover that dragons were all, originally, wingless. Winged dragons are a relatively new wrinkle developed in western cultures... who knew? Regardless, it takes only a minute to “get over it” as Brown’s dragons are remarkable and instantly relatable. The entire cast of characters, the plot, the sub-plots, the narrative, and the inventive language and speaking traits of the different characters—exceptional! I will not (yet) compare Keri Brown to J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, or the indomitable J.K. Rowling... but she’s still young, and this is her first novel. As stated, writing epic fantasy is hard... really hard, but Brown makes it look easy and in her first shot at it, she’s produced a professional and entertaining work of fantasy fiction guaranteed to excite readers from eight to eighty.