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The Dark Ability

(The Dark Ability #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,123 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Exiled by his family. Claimed by thieves. Could his dark ability be the key to his salvation?

Rsiran is a disappointment to his family, gifted with the ability to Slide. It is a dark magic, one where he can transport himself wherever he wants, but using it will only turn him into the thief his father fears.

Forbidden from Sliding, he’s apprenticed under his father as a bla
Kindle Edition, 334 pages
Published January 4th 2016 by ASH Publishing
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,123 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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Montzalee Wittmann
The Dark Ability
(The Dark Ability #1)
by D.K. Holmberg, Vikas Adam (Reading)
I really, really loved this book! It's a young adult fantasy about a world where people have certain abilities. Some of these abilities are considered dark by most. Our young hero has one of those abilities, he can jump from one place to another or 'slide'. This is his story as a teen as his cruel father disowned him, him finding his way, making friends and choices. It is full of interesting characters, exciting fantasy,
Matt Maihi
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Elaeavn (Elven) is a city with a chronic cat problem. They are on every corner constantly yowling. Our erstwhile protagonist Rsiran is like his name stupid. He can teleport and has been told that is a terrible power by his bully of a father. For some inexplicable reason he believes him and wallows in misery.
Arse has no ambition at all, not to travel or even snog his smelly girlfriend. His hobbies include visiting this one warehouse repeatedly and counting cat cries.
Remarkably, he makes two othe
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
its the kind of book that is really annoying to read, because the author is a jackass who goes arround a arround the subject, you just want to know how it ends, and how it got there, but i skipped a lot of useless stuff done in the middle, the worst of it, the book and the world are really good, so i will just read the whole thing as fas as i can.
i am no a patient man so if you are a no nonsense kind of reader, dont read this it will trap you and you will not enjoy jumping ahead, i even skipped
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I have some complicated thoughts on this book. I had thought at first that the author was new at writing, and that would explain why the structure of the writing was often simplistic and straight-forward. Then I discovered that he has in fact written many, many books, and so it seemed perhaps he was merely trying to portray the text as the very naive very sheltered main character would express lend a feeling of simpleness to it all. But then it became clear he was trying to portray t ...more
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: spfbo5
* SPFBO5 Read *

The Dark Ability was one of interest around the FBC circle for SPFBO5, as it already has over 2,000 varied ratings on GR, so I was pretty excited to give it a try. The notion of magical abilities determining a person's standing in society is an intriguing approach to viewing the many prevalent inequities in our own society. The whole "they only hate and fear it because they don't understand it" concept plays a huge role in this story, and tackling it sends out a positive message t
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great first book, reminded me a bit of Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk (the shadow/sliding), but other then that these books stand on their own.

I loved the world DK has created here, we have our city Elaeavn, a high and low town and of course the Palace where the "most gifted family" lives. People are born with powers here, whether it's being able to read a persons emotions or mind, see small snippets of the future...or sliding. One thing I really liked was the idea of the eyes here, dull or bright,
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked the realistic characters. I liked the worldbuilding (mostly). The abilities that everyone has are interesting, and the corruption in the higher classes creates nice tension. I like that despite the fact that Jessa and Rsiran seem to be heading towards an inevitable romance, they're shown to be quirky friends first.

However, the protagonist is pretty naive and it shows. While that adds to the personality of the book, it also gets a bit repetitive after a while (especially regarding Rsiran'
Nore Em Dine
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
honestly, i've had high expectations for this book since the first time i set my eyes on it, i had this urge to read it no matter what, especially when i read the sypnosis. so i started to read it yasterday. upon turning page after page, i had this feeling that there is something messing in this book, it is like my expactation of this book turned into desapointment. i think that the writer would have done a better job of this book than this. i mean it is a great story, it would have turned to be ...more
Ryan Mueller
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a good book. It's shorter and less epic than a lot of fantasy, with a single point of view character. I'm not always in the mood for that kind of book, but it's a refreshing change of pace.

I felt for Rsiran's struggles in this one, and I enjoyed the world that Holmberg started to reveal. I didn't quite love it enough to give it five stars, but it came pretty close, and I'm excited to read more books in this series because this book finished so strong.

Rating: 8.5/10
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Somewhat repetitive in parts, but a fun read nonetheless. Maybe a little extra editing would've made this a 5 star book. The story is really interesting, an apprentice smith, some thieves, a strange metal and awesome abilities that make up quite a different world. I really enjoyed it! :)
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
No real surprises. Somewhat interested to see what happens to these charicters. May read next one.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Kind of Meh

While reading this book I never got excited. You know the way you get excited when you land in a brand new world. Just wasn't there for me.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best fantasy novel I've read in a couple of years

I guess that should be enough said :-) So good I'm going for the full series. Great plot, enough world building to pick one's interest without being overwhelmed by details either. Great characters, and here as well not too many that we can't track who's who. Perfect balance in this first volume!
David Khan
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rather enjoyed this story. It was well written, and kept me hooked all the way through, so much so I devoured it in two days.

The ending was satisfying as well. It sets up the next book well, but not at the expense of leaving book 1 hanging.

The whole book is told from the perspective of the main character, but in no way does this deminish the other characters that frequent the story. The different types of abilities people have makes it interesting too and the world in which it is set suits it we
Bill Johnston
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I recently completed the fourth book and decided it was time to write my review for the series. The world that the author builds is great. It has the hallmarks of the but-he's-just-a-regular-kid coming of age stories, but with some nice twists on that classic case. My only frustration is the pacing -
I had to subtract a star. The world and the concept are great, but the pacing is a bit too slow. The main character spent waaay too much time in his head in the 3rd book. I started to feel like the
Randy Smith
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
The overall story was actually very good. But the main character is just a bit too whiny for my taste. I should go through this book and count the number of times the term ‘ I all most’ then whines about it for the next two paragraphs. But the sad fact is this is the same story told a million times before with the same doubt, fear and whininess of the main character. Overall I don’t think this story would appeal to readers who are widely read in this genre, but somebody new coming to it would pr ...more
Imabig Ducksfan
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-book
I like the story itself. The different abilities are interesting. I will finish the series because i want to see how it ends. The reason it's only getting 3 stars is the trap I see a few writers get into. So intent on making sure the reader understands a mindset or situation the author hammers on it over and over and over. Look we get he can sense lorcith, we don't need to be reminded every 3rd sentence. And the what if what if what if self talks make me think he actually works for the redundant ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The world that D.K. Holmberg created in this book is very unique and interesting. I read this in a few hours and it kept me reading. At first I thought I wasn't going to like it, The story became interesting and the main characters are developed throughout the book, with plots and twists that keep you turning the page. Great reading everyone.
Update: I read this series again, I love it even more. I read a book a day pretty much and I enjoyed them together (meaning one after another). You will en
Douglas Debner
Jun 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First, for some readers this may be an enjoyable read so I will make some effort to avoid spoilers, primarily by speaking in generalities. However, this isn’t a sufficiently good book for me to put a lot of effort into spoiler avoidance.

Second, I go into a fair amount of detail in this review for my own benefit. This way should I ever forget this book I can read this review and remind myself not to waste my time. If you like this kind of book and aren’t a critical reader you may be able to enjo
Cillian Gavin
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great read

Really liked this origin story for Rsiran. His struggle to find his place was well written and now that he has an idea of it I'm excited to see the next part of his tale.
arnold miller
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good start

Good first book. Characters well developed. The story started out a little slow but really picked up & segued into the second book very well with many questions still unanswered. About to start the second book with very high expectations
Jordan Foote
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was ok

Just another caste system robot, with little original thought or ideas, but has mysterious powers that miraculously save the day without any actual real effort.
jeremy horn
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Reminds me of some of Raymond E. Feist work. Great characters and great story line. Sorry about spelling thanks DK Holmberg. Looking forward to the series
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic little book. I say "little" because the story flew by without me realising how far I was into it before it ended and leaving me wanting more, so it felt like a short read. However, as the saying goes, quality is definitely over quantity here. I would like to add that I have never read anything by this author before. Being a fan of major fantasy books always sets a precedent as well. This means I am sometimes very pleasantly surprised when I come across an unknown fantasy author, as is ...more
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from the author. I had the opportunity to review or not.

This book, while it built slowly, intrigued me from the beginning. I knew there was going to be some surprises in store and I was correct. The main character, Rsiren, is an apprentice blacksmith with abilities that his father forbids him to use. Rsiren is bullied by father into obeying him, a very difficult thing for Rsiren to accomplish. His father says his abilities are dark and must be avoided.

While Rs
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book in a while that wasn’t recommended to me or turned into a show I saw first. I believe I got this book for free, or very cheap. I didn’t expect much from it, but I found it well written and very intriguing. I’m usually a very slow reader. I only read about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. I managed to get through this book in 20 days! That by itself says a lot.

This fantasy world is quite different from many of the other fantasy novels I’ve read. I’m impressed at the abil
Timothy Skilton
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. The world-building was pretty good and not forced at all. The author kept the boundaries of the world contained to a manageable space, but inserted nice hints about the broader world beyond the constraints of the story. He also left plenty of room for discovery in later books in the series. Character development was alright, but I had difficulty with some of the motivations of various characters. The plot was interesting and easy to follow, but not too simplistic. The editin ...more
Sabrina Sellers
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this, can't wait to read #2. Fantasy story about a young blacksmith who can Slide (basically teleport), anywhere he wants to go, except this is an ability only assassins and thieves have and his family has rejected him for having this ability. Everyone from this city has some kind of ability, great or small, but our hero has to find a way to use his ability for good. And the Sliding turns out not to be his only gift, but I won't spoil the story. There's a plot involving the ruling class, o ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing

What a great imagination and talent Mr Holmberg has exhibited in his writing with this story. A different and unusual kind of magic in this tale transcends the reader into a fantasy world that is very unique. The vivid characters written so well throughout that they have become my friends. I empathized with the protagonist, Rsiren, when his father disowned him and sent him to the mines where criminals are punished. The world building describes a unique area of life with buildings s
Emris Lindsay
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story is quite captivating, the storyline is great and the characters are cool. Rsiran had to find himself instead of always allowing himself to be led, though it took some near-death experiences to nudge him in the right direction. This story tells of a betrayal of the worse kind and new beginnings froth with danger, action and very intense, it is also where our hero get to forge his own path after being put to the test. Rsiran the Blacksmith had hidden talents he himself didn’t know about ...more
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Other books in the series

The Dark Ability (8 books)
  • The Heartstone Blade (The Dark Ability, #2)
  • The Tower of Venass (The Dark Ability, #3)
  • Blood of the Watcher (The Dark Ability, #4)
  • The Shadowsteel Forge (The Dark Ability #5)
  • The Guild Secret (The Dark Ability, #6)
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  • The Dark Ability: Books 1-4
“We might not have the same view, but we don’t have as far to fall. Besides, we can see the ground better here.” 0 likes
“Each of us is more than we present ourselves to be, and even the most honest still hides something.” 0 likes
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