Dark God, the thrilling sequel to Demon Lord (the novel that first piqued my interest in fantasy reading as an adult), continues the saga of Bane, the Demon Lord. Bane, left vulnerable and near death by his ‘father’, the dark god Arkonen, is saved by the healer, Mirra, whom he held captive for most of the first novel.
Mirra, the most powerful healer in the Overworld, is a gentle soul and unable to hate Bane for the ordeals he forced her to endure. Weakened, Bane allows her to take him to her temple, where the elder healers plan to heal him… but will Bane allow himself to be healed at the temple? If not, the dark magic that writhes in his body could kill him, if Arkonen doesn’t get to him first…
Bane struggles to understand the kindness offered to him by the healers, and attempts to come to terms with his father’s betrayal. He is suspicious and wary of the healers’ supposed good intentions, and his raging temper and the coldness that emanates from him make many of the healers ill at ease. Time is running out – the goddess Lyriasharin is growing weaker with each passing moment, and the fire that protects the abbey to which Bane has fled to regain his strength is growing dim.
Will Bane be able to defeat Arkonen and save the Overworld? Will he be able to overcome the dark urges that flood his mind, and admit his feelings for Mirra? Will he be willing to give up the corrupting dark power if he banishes Arkonen? Will either of them even survive Arkonen’s rampage through the Overworld? Most importantly, will Bane realise, before it’s too late, that in order to defeat Arkonen once and for all he will have to do something he has never been able to do before – ask for help?
Dark God is a gut-wrenching tale of the devastating effects of betrayal, tempered by the offer of unconditional love, friendship and forgiveness. Through Bane, Southwell shows that even the darkest soul has a chance to turn to the light, no matter how slight that chance. Dark God is a heart-warming story that had me in tears in places, and giggling in others as Southwell’s undeniable sense of humour seeped into the telling. A must-read for any fantasy lover.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)