A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows how an extremist group gathers followers and terrorizes victims. Shows a refugee camp and the resources required to meet the needs of its inhabitants.
In this "save the world" good vs. evil story so much is fought against: the destruction of modern society, genocide, prejudice, a refugee crisis. Loyalty, empathy, selflessness, and bravery are key.
Positive Role Models
In the ensemble of major characters, Hassan changes the most dramatically. He makes a large mistake and decides that he will do everything to make up for it, and still be the leader his people need. Jude is next. He starts his journey with a lot of shame about his faults and discovers that they are an integral part of him and nothing to be ashamed of. Ephyra changes for the worse. She's not willing to give up what she wants, no matter who she hurts.
Violence & Scariness
Torture in the form of waterboarding, burning, and extreme pain. A teen character close to one of the main characters is murdered. Skirmishes with crossbows, swords, knives, and fists lead to deaths and injuries. Prisoners trapped in a fire. Two falls lead to major injuries tended by magic healers. Mention of a priest poisoning girls and beating them and a man killing his own children because they have magic abilities. Mentions of the deaths of family members and a whole town because of illness and uncontrolled magic.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing, groping, and lots of innuendo. Talk of prostitution.
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"Horses--t" is the most common, followed by "s--t." Plus "ass" and "bastards" rarely.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A number of scenes in boozy taverns with characters drinking heavily. One time it's (older teen) Anton, another it's a ship's captain the night before a voyage. Both can barely walk. Wine drinking in more polite society. Two characters smoke cigarillos.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that There Will Come a Darkness is the first book in a fantasy trilogy for mature teens about prophets, kingdoms, magic, and possible end times. Things are dark enough that there's talk of a coming genocide and characters are tortured with waterboarding and burning. A teen character close to one of the main characters is murdered, and there are skirmishes with crossbows, swords, knives, and fists that lead to deaths and injuries. Expect some kissing, lots of innuendo, some swearing (mostly "horses--t") and heavy, fall-down drinking in taverns by an older teen. In this ensemble of major characters, both straight and LGBTQ, most change for the better. Prince Hassan makes a large mistake and decides that he will do everything to make up for it and still be the leader his people need. Jude begins his journey with a lot of shame about his faults and discovers that they are an integral and vital part of him.
Is It Any Good?
This promising fantasy series start features cool magical powers, an ensemble of complex, often haunted characters, and a dark prophecy that ties them all together. It will remind avid readers of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows duology, the way it shifts perspective every chapter and the way each character searches for their own redemption in an often wicked world. The best part about There Will Come a Darkness is all the surprises. No one is who you think and nothing ever goes even remotely according to plan. Which makes it rather funny that Jude, the assigned protector of the prophet, thinks he's strayed wildly from his mission when he's really the only one who hasn't.
Newbie author Katy Rose Pool is sure to garner a large following as the series continues, given the right marketing push. Here's hoping she can keep up the momentum and surprise readers many more times through the rest of the saga.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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