Light Dawning by Ty Arthur #darkfantasy

34953386Once known as the City on the Hill and revered far and wide for its independence and boundless opportunity, Cestia has become home only to the damned. Surviving under the brutal occupation of a southern empire for three long years, the oppressed populace has lost hope of liberation, turning instead towards an increasingly desperate rebellion willing to commit any atrocity for a chance at freedom.

As total war approaches, four lost souls trapped behind Cestia’s walls are on a collision course with fate, destined to either save the city or see it utterly destroyed while calling on forces beyond mankind’s comprehension. For good or ill, the light of a new day is about to dawn.

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Author ebook 288 indie Fantasy May 26th, 2017

I first found out about this book over at Drew’s spaceΒ (you all know Drew at this stage, hence no grand introduction to the sarcastic gentleman) via author’s guest post. I then posted a character spotlight here a few days back. Those two insights into Light Dawning were enough to decide that I simply wanted to read the book. There was a promise of dark fantasy with elements of horror and a squeeze of grimdark and that promise was delivered on. There was also a promise of spreading feelings of sadness, hopelessness and the fact that the good guys don’t always win. That box was ticked as well.

The four main characters in the novel are Myrr, Tala, Father Erret and Casterly. They are all within the walls of Cestia which is under occupation and where any rebels will be dealt with in the most horrid ways. Whether a Knight sent by the Empress, a rebel fighting to get their city back or even a religious man trying to guide his flock towards light, it matters not because there are bigger powers at play which care non for the bloody games that humans play. Everyone is a pawn but they just don’t realize it yet.

The opening of the book sets up the sorry and sombre state of the city and its suffering inhabitants and it truly is grim, hopeless. It is in fact so crap for most that death would be a relief! Quite early on, I started wondering what would be the catalyst which breaks a crack into the whole darkness, to bring about hope, a new fresh start… but true to his word, Ty Author does not let up. You’re in it for the long bloody ride with no escape!

Light Dawning is not about magical, sparkling fantasy worlds. It’s not even about fire-breathing dragons. It’s focus is more on the state of Cestia and how our four main characters battle within themselves and with external elements to live another day. Should they even live another day? But from early on, there is a sense of something bigger being at play (as I mentioned earlier) and at first its description is vague… ‘the thing’ is being mentioned. Slowly but surely, ‘the thing’, birthed by darkness and light, is unraveled and revealed, even though I am still not sure it is just a thing. It’s more of a universal state of somethingness, or nothingness, that through finding a host powers towards its own goal.

Father Erret with his schematics was probably the main, shall I say, perpetrator and cause for most of those unexpected twists and turns by trying to make the fate work his way, through his vision and beliefs. Tala and Myrr find each other to be fighting similar internal demons and as such become close to act as moral support to one another through understanding. Casterly was a great example of what can happened to a man when they reach the breaking point and how the downward spiral, even though kicked off by an ‘unlucky happening’, will possibly set him on a path of revenge.

In terms of otherworldly beings, there is the thing that is darkness and the thing that is light. Where does it all come from? I cannot tell you… Maybe it is the never ending fight in between good and evil, dark and light… There is a druid that travels on a big flying beast (displayed on the book cover) and they, too, seem to be having their own agenda, separate from the goings on of Cestia, separate from the death of evil and innocent. Everyone seems to fear the druid and the beast, Vim, but their presence in the novel is minor. I expect their presence will have a bigger role in the sequel.

Then there are the ‘scuttlers’. The scuttlers are dog-like beings with two heads and arachnid limbs and they hunt down the rebels and everyone in the city against the occupying force. No one escapes a scuttler’s jaws. Rabid rabid beasts, them ones. Quite well written as well, because imagining them definitely helped me imagine them and thus adding that horror element.

Additionally, there is mention of cherub and seraphim… Father Erret claims that they are of the god of light, the Farwalker. Alas, these ‘beings’ don’t look anything like angels and rather more like something birthed by demons, and at least one of them was brought into this world through rape.

If you’ve read this far, then- feeling the darkness yet?

Going back to the overall thoughts of the book… There is definitely a great number of twists and unexpected events which kept me turning the pages. It didn’t feel like one of those’ hey ho, off to action we go‘ reads though. It was more of a slow burn of a feeling, trying to trudge through bloody mud towards being free… Freedom that is only granted by death. It’s one of those novels where the worst can get even worse and everything you don’t want to happen, happens.

Light Dawning was easy to follow due to the descriptive and engaging writing. Prior to picking up this book I remember thinking to myself which of the four characters were going to fall into my love and hate ‘camps’. Those ‘camps’ didn’t form. While all four offer equally powerful presence in the novel, they all also come with their flaws and the ending of this book made me think they’re roles are simply not over yet. For none of them…

You can find Light Dawning on Goodreads | Amazon UK | USA


  1. This doesn’t sound like something I would read, but I’m pleased you enjoyed it! It sounds like an extremely dark and gritty read and it’s always a plus point when a book can keep you on your toes with all its twists and turns πŸ˜€
    Also, scuttlers sound horrific! Two headed dog-like beings I can handle…but two headed dog-like beings with arachnid limbs? Nope!
    Great review πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ˜€ hahaha.. yeah, lots of creeping and crawling and references to spiders…
      Thank you Jazz… I was surprised at how much I actually liked the book… It just shows that writing style and delivery is so important to make a book work πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh I have a copy of this to review aswell which I’m desperately trying to squeeze in as soon as possible because it really does look good! Your review has given me a boost on the it’s gonna kick arse front so thanks! πŸ‘Š

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the detailed review, I really appreciate it! You were correct in your guess – the main characters of the next book will be Fenton, the Druid, and a new person that hasn’t been met yet. Out of curiosity, what did you think of the short story after the main part of the book? I’ve had a few people tell me they preferred the main story and others mention in reviews that they thought “The Trade” made a bigger impact, so I’m wondering where you landed there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome and I definitely look forward to book 2. Will Tala be in book 2? I was hoping, with all the twists and turns that by some miracle… the ‘collector’ will show up again… but.. trying to avoid spoilers here just in case someone reads the comments! πŸ˜€ hahaha…
      I did enjoy the short story at the end of the book, and while it was interesting, I preferred the main story πŸ™‚
      Good luck with the book and writing the next one!


      • Most of the main characters from Light Dawning will be there, although in lesser roles. The next book takes a bigger view of things, since this one was so stuck in in a viewpoint of people who had no news of the outside world. It expands out the surrounding areas as Tala’s…. condition… is making things unpleasant for two clashing armies. For that corner of the map, its pretty much the end of the world. I won’t spoil what specifically happens with the character in particular you are wondering about, as its meant to be a sort of horrifyingly shocking revelation. You will read about him again, but it should go without saying that good news shouldn’t be expected in the world of Light Dawning.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooooh you have definitely sold this one to me! I haven’t read that much fantasy lately since the genre seems to tire me, but Light Dawning sure sounds like something else! Adding this to my wishlist as I type this comment. πŸ˜‰ Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great! Thank you very much… the book definitely starts the series off strong and I think the second book has potential to blow me away… this one did come with teeny tiny little niggles but overall, very good… as good as misery can be, you know?!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh WOW- this sounds fantastic!! I saw it on Drew’s blog too, but was waiting for reviews to come in before adding it to my tbr- but after your stonking review I will definitely have to read this!! Absolutely amazing review!!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds interesting. I almost snagged a copy, but with my current state I cannot take on more and to be honest it sounds like I might have a hard time following right now. My brain is a brutal mess. I do love the idea behind the characters. The scuttlers sound gross! Was this more political per say or am I misinterpreting? Fab review my dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s quite OK.. can’t get to all the books.. like ever, anyway … and as long as you’re feeling alright enough, I’m happy… πŸ™‚

      This is kind of political, but not as much… more driven by religious viewpoints but not in an overpowering way… and I think, book 2 will probably blow all this politics and religion out of the water because bigger things are at play… hmm…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like this was totally worth it, even with the overwhelming darkness. The creatures alone sound insanely awesome. I feared the descriptions wouldn’t be able to convey the ideas for some reason, but I guess it turned out to be quite the opposite! Glad to see how much you enjoyed this. Hopefully their next adventure will be even more intense and darker (if that’s even possible). πŸ˜€ Great review!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! ☺
      For some reason I feel like the second book is going to be even better and more polished… I know book 1 had a but of a personal meaning to the author and being debut.. well… i think his works will only get better and stronger.


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