on July 05, 2013 :
Darkin: A History of Blade and Light is a series of short stories from the Darkin world created by author Joseph Turkot in his two (soon to be three) Darkin novels. I believe it was designed to read more like a sacred record from Darkin's own people than a story in itself. I've read a fair amount of ancient scriptures and histories, and the way that this book was written reminded me of the way those kinds of things are recorded. It is easy to edit a story and rewrite it a hundred times to make it just right when you are typing on a computer. But the ancients wrote what they could on what they could write on, and sometimes they didn't have the resources to recopy everything or the room to flesh everything out. The result, in my experience, is that sometimes their sacred stories and legends have a sort of primitive and thrown together feel. The author has effectively mimicked this style of storytelling in The History of Blade and Light (in a good way). There is a story about the god Gaigas that particularly reads this way; it reminded me of the sort of myths one might read about in St. Irenaeus' Against Heresies where the bizarre philosophy of the ancient Gnostics is described. The other stories in The History introduce characters like Molto the Vapour, who was only mentioned in the main Darkin novels, and gives details about certain people and races that help expand the reader's understanding of the world of Darkin.
This book is definitely interesting if you've read the author's other works. If not, then it might be a good way to get a sense of whether or not you would enjoy his other books. If you find the writing style of this book to be a bit antiquated (it is not nearly as old-fashioned as Shakespeare or the KJV Bible - it is not difficult in any way), rest assured that the main books are written in a more natural way, since they are not meant to be tales written by Darkin's ancient historians, but epic stories about Darkin.
The author's first Darkin book (Darkin: A Journey East) is available for free (as of this writing - I believe the author intends to keep it free permanently), if you are interested in exploring the world of Darkin further.
(review of free book)