Darwath Trilogy

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The Time of the Dark by Barbara Hambly

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The Time of the Dark was Hamblyís debut novel, as well as the beginning of a trilogy that eventually expanded into a series of five novels. The basic premise of this first novel is somewhat familiar. A modern-day woman, seemingly a loner by choice, begins to have dreams of another world. The dreams become increasingly more detailed and realistic, until the woman, Gil Patterson, has no choice but to believe that she is not dreaming. The world of her dreams and its troubles are actually an alternate reality. Once Gil actually makes contact with one of this worldís inhabitants, a wizard named Ingold Inglorion, life as she knows it will never be the same.

The world she has been dreaming of is under siege by an ancient menace known only as the Dark. In an effort to save the last prince of the House of Dare, the wizard Ingold must bring the baby across the Void to Earth, southern California to be precise, and enlists Gilís help to do so. Through an accidental meeting, an unbelieving biker/artist named Rudy Solis is also drawn into the fray. When Ingold is pursued across the Void by the Dark, the only solution is for all of them, Gil and Rudy included, to return to Ingoldís home world. Once there, what should have been a brief stay for Gil and Rudy becomes a complicated and perilous sojourn.

Hamblyís character development is interesting and detailed, especially for a first novel. Her characters have quirks and flaws, along with mysterious depths that beg for further exploration. Gil and Rudy take on responsibilities and roles that may be unexpected and are definitely not status quo. It was especially interesting to me to watch Rudy go from complete and utter disbelief in his situation to a committed and involved individual. Hambly doesnít ascribe any personality to the Dark, they are merely a faceless, nameless entity. But the lack of personality seems to make them even more malevolent and frightening. The plot moves along nicely and gives the reader just enough detail to be interesting, but not enough to overwhelm. Although Hambly doesnít end the book on a cliffhanger, it is quite obvious that there is still more to this story. Iím looking forward to the next installment and Iím glad I donít have to wait till she writes it!

Reviewed by: Diane

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