Midnight’s Son (Darkling Mage #5), Nazri Noor
Rating: 5 Stars
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Tags: Action, Gore, Mythology, Series, YA/NA Up
Length: 171 Pages
The walls of our world have shattered. The Eldest are coming.
Mad angels and demon princes were once the worst of Dustin Graves’s problems. Now rifts are tearing open in the fabric of reality. Eldritch abominations are slipping through, plunging the world into peril.
All signs point to the awakening of the cosmic horrors known only as the Eldest, and Dustin desperately needs immense arcane power to stop them. The quickest way is to offer himself to the Midnight Convocation, a grand assembly of the entities of night and shadow. The only question… who gets to claim his soul?
If you like snarky heroes, snappy dialogue, and a bit of grit and gore, you’ll love the fifth book in Nazri Noor’s series of urban fantasy novels. Explore the Darkling Mage universe and discover Midnight’s Son today.
POSSIBLY BEST TO HAVE READ THE PRIOR BOOKS BEFORE THIS REVIEW
Carver is big on downtime for his crew at the Boneyard, they certainly earn it, hence a BBQ at Heinsite Park where the lich cooks with his hands, literally putting them in the fire or on the hotplate. Freaky finger burgers anyone? He also makes sure to invite the friendlies from the Lorica to join in. Of course they can never have a moment without something happening, makes life good for us readers, and when a rift appears, a tear in the universe, and shrikes find their way into this world, it’s all hands on deck.
The others were still hacking and blasting away at the shrikes, but they had their limits, too. I wasn’t looking forward to resorting to bleeding myself.
“Push them towards the portal,” Carver called out, his voice thick with resolve and authority. “Take the fight to the rift.”
When Hecate tells Dustin he can ask for patronage, or matrongage – a god or entity can have a soul-offering from someone in the arcane world in return for major magical mojo and a long lifespan – Dustin rules it out. Then he discovers one of his friends from the Lorica, Romira, has the patronage of Cerberus, she is powerful with multi-magical abilities of the highest order and also seems happy with her deal. Perhaps it isn’t so bad. Perhaps to save this planet and all who inhabit it, no matter which side of the Veil, it’s worth it. With the Heart after him and the Eldest on the move, maybe patronage is worth thinking about.
I’m glad Arachne killjoyed the Three Sisters, even if she requested payment of a debt. She’s fun and they’re her antithesis. She has a soft spot for her sweetling but there is always a price to pay – a lock of Nyx’s hair, the Greek deity of the night. It’s not like anyone connected to the supernatural world is going to be saying ‘sure, take a lock of my hair’. Right? So that’s just another something extra to add to the list of things Dustin has to do. However, she does tell Dustin how to find what he needs. If Dustin is to thwart the Eldest and the Heart he needs to access the Crown of Stars and that can only be done through the Midnight Convocation, and Arachne knows their whereabouts.
Quite a few of the arcane underground come out to play in Midnight’s Son. Even Mama Rosa, who owns the restaurant they live behind in a weird non-space space, is a surprise player. The Viridian Dawn think they can regroup with spells from grimoires left at their old compound. Yep. Well. Sucks to be them. The usual suspects are here in this instalment– Sterling, Gil, Asher, getting stronger, Carver, getting more intense about the Eldest, Prudence, Bastion, thankfully quieter, Herald, I’m calling bromance, Odessa, Romira, a more pleasant Royce, Scrimshaw the imp who will work for food… and blood… and is surprisingly good with a butter knife, who knew? And my favourite telepathic sword, Vanitas. I also loved Artemis and that wicked sense of humour. Give me more Artemis anytime.
Meanwhile, the Heart is sending Eyes out as well as orbital strikes against Dustin, yet they aren’t as invested in the Eldest as Carver and others believe they should be. They have met and hypothesised that the ritual sacrifice by Thea Morgana on Dustin, the one that contained the ancient and Eldest star-metal, is the reason the Eldest can tether to this world from theirs – a tether is what’s needed to allow them through. Hence the Eldest are becoming more frequent and problematic. While they’re on the lookout for Dustin, his friends, and oddly Royce, are on his side, protecting him. Carver sends Sterling and Gil to help Dustin, and Herald joins them as they head off to Silveropolis, the Switzerland of arcanelandia, to gain some sanctuary from everyone breathing down Dustin’s neck, and to find the Convocation together.
This is hands down the best book of the Dark Mage series thus far. It was like Nazri Noor has found the perfect groove of every character and where they’re going, what they’re doing, where they fit, and what they mean to one another. The humour was also on point. Artemis added extra depth and I enjoyed Nyx. Most of all, Dustin Graves has a lot more power and darkness in him and I am loving it. His friends were the right amount of supportive and didn’t detract from the plot. The action was superbly paced, the world building was stellar, developing further on previous books. From the earthly but interesting Twilight Tavern, with the All-Father and Valkyries running a B&B when the ennui of eternity is wearing thin, to the Lunar Palace and the Midnight Convocation, it was all so vivid. Then there was the Trial that Dustin had to undertake if he was to be worthy of the Crown of Stars, it was just so bloody satisfying. Tsukukomi was a new player but his siblings are already known to the readers of this series – Amarterasu and Susanoo. Some Entities never learn. In the End:
I absolutely loved this book. It’s a great story and I already know it will be a re-reader for me. There wasn’t one thing I could fault. If you are looking for a well written urban fantasy series, one with some fun as well as gore, action, mythology, good world building, and a core group of characters who are like family and grow as the series develops, grab yourself a copy of this book. Start with the prequel – Penumbra – it’s free at Nazri Noor’s author site. Midnight’s Son is thrilling. Fun. Bloodthirsty. Dark. Action-packed and riveting, everything a good urban fantasy story should be this book is. 5 Stars.
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