Review: Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan

Turning Darkness Into LightPublisher: Tor Books
Author: Marie Brennan
Release: August 20th, 2019
Received: NetGalley
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Turning Darkness Into Light through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Turning Darkness Into Light is the latest novel from Marie Brennan, and it’s set in the world of her other novel, Memoirs of Lady Trent. That being said, you honestly don’t have to have read the other one first in order to understand what is happening. I didn’t and was fine. Though I’m sure I missed out on plenty of references that fans would have loved.

Turning Darkness into Light follows Isabella Camherst’s granddaughter, Audrey Camherst. Her goal is to translate and understand ancient Draconean texts – and she’s quite good at it too. Unfortunately, her work goes deeper than expected, and before long she’s in for a journey of her life.

This novel has to be one of the most unique things I’ve read as of late. You see, this novel isn’t quite like any other. At least, not quite like what you normally see in the world of fantasy. In the world of history it’s probably a lot more common.

Turning Darkness Into Light is told entirely through the use of letters, newspaper clippings, journal entries, and other unique media formats. It’s quite clever, how Marie Brennan was able to weave a story through these pieces as she did.

Spoiler Warning

Turning Darkness Into Light was a unique and exquisite reading experience. It’s not like anything I’ve ever read before, and I don’t expect to see a story in this format again anytime soon. I loved how unique and refreshing it was.

It was interesting to see such a unique storytelling method applied to a novel of this tone. The two blended rather well, actually. Giving off a feeling of an older story. I don’t really need to explain why the storytelling method worked so well in that instance, do I?

Plus, it isn’t every day that you see a novel that is both part of a series/world and a standalone novel. I’ll probably go on to read Memoirs of Lady Trent next. But I’ll be curious to see how those that read the novels in the opposite order feel about the story.

This novel started out rather formal and at an almost soothing pace. But things quickly sped up in the life of Audrey Camherst. I loved all of the twists and turns that followed, and it was interesting to learn of Audrey through the letters she wrote. Though I already mentioned that bit.

Audrey’s character was exceptionally endearing. She’s brilliant and determined to live up to such a legacy (her grandmother, Isabella Camherst). Her character doesn’t quite fit in with the age of the story – meaning she’s bolder than women should be. And I adored that about her.

It was brilliant reading about the Draconean lore and everything else that Audrey was researching. But more than that, I loved the politics surrounding said research. And how everyone seemed to have a different goal, motive, or method.

All things considered, Turning Darkness Into Light was a brilliant and fascinating read. And it was quite the experience, too. I’m glad I took the time to read it. Though part of me wishes I hadn’t read it quite so quickly!

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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