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(The Rhenwars Saga #2)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Compelled to obey the dark god he pledged his soul to, Darien finds himself tasked with delivering the people of the Black Lands from under the curse of darkness which shrouds the skies. With the enemy mage Azár, Darien sets out across a barren darkscape to assume his place as the leader of a people who despise him.
As he journeys deeper into the shadowed waste, Darien is c
Kindle Edition, 355 pages
Published June 22nd 2017 by Stoneguard Publications
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Richard Nell
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An unexpected, interesting read that I think should appeal to a cross-section of fantasy fans. It's dark, but not too bleak; philosophical, but not preachy; complex, but approachable. My only warning is to readers who want a break-neck plot pace, because this one moves fairly slowly and savors the details. On the flip side if you like your plots a bit slower and the time to enjoy every word and reaction, then this will suit you perfectly.

Very thorough and well-
C.T. Phipps
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
DARKLANDS is the third novel in the Rhenwars series that is sort of an inversion of the Wheel of Time. The story begins with the protagonists doing their absolute best to fight the various forces of darkness as well as prevent the end of the world as their methods become more extreme, only for them to gradually come to sympathize with the so-called evil doers as their understanding of the universe expands.

in the previous novels, we've had protagonists Branden and Darien break out all the stops i
Mar 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
I've given up on this second book in the Rhenwars Saga. Duplication of plot for the basic premise of the first book with variations tossed in. While fantasy, I thought some of the "happenings" were simply bizarre. Exit, stage left, this reader from the Rhenwars Saga.

And correct, I did not finish it. Maybe got a third of the way in.

Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it

Having read Darklands solidified my view that The Rhenwars Saga is both a love letter and a subversion of Wheel of Time. Imagine if Rand becomes a full antihero and all Aiel turn out to be Dark One's followers with justified cause. Imagine if Aiel Waste is fully cursed and the Forsaken are actually capable, then you'll get Darklands.

Darklands adopts the staple epic fantasy plot of the looming magical catastrophe while exploring the spectrum of grey morality, where the failures and consequen
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book differs from Darkstorm and Darkmage in the scale of its conflict. Rather than being about a battlefield, this story heavily focuses on Darien and Meiran sorting out their dynamic after all the repercussions of Darien's choices in Darkmage.

The main characters spend time planning and negotiating their terms building up to what will perhaps be all-out war, but the imminent clash does not yet arrive in this book. We do learn a lot more about The Enemy, their lifestyles, their struggles, a
San Diego Book Review
Reviewed by Kim Heimbuch for San Diego Book Review

Dark fantasy fans looking to stow away the day with a good book will revel in the newest release “Darklands”, book three of the Rhenwars Saga series, by award-winning Indie author M.L. Spencer.

The purpose of a series is to start with the first book and read them sequentially, though realistically speaking, this likely happens less often than an author would like. As readers are spontaneous beings, writing a successful book that is not only part
Susan Brouillette
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has me completely enthralled. The depth of the characters is very well written. I am very anxious to start on Darkrise. I hope Meiran gets over herself.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only one complaint

Very well done! But, even with the minor grammatical faux pas my only complaint is I want more! Rather than writing "The End" it should say "To be continued"!
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Originally reviewed at West Coast Book Reviews.

My fabulous brother in law and fellow Virgo knows just how pull my strings. He gives me, oh say, book three in a series, then watches in full-on amusement as I drop everything, helpless against the impulse to run to the book store for books one and two.

Being "she who must have the entire set" can seem like a nonsense compulsion, but getting more books isn't really a bad thing at all, right?

So when M.L. Spencer offered ARCs of Darklands, I readied my
D.N. Frost
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Darklands is a thrilling and momentous foray behind the veils of good and evil. M.L. Spencer turns evil inside-out to explore the long-term costs of the desperation and sacrifice in previous books, as well as the consequences of demonizing another people. Deeply fascinating, Spencer's thoughtful and in-depth world-building animates an impossible realm. Clinging to life, a resilient population within a cursed land toils for each square inch of arable light in a black world. They live in darkness, ...more
Nicole Luttrell
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I started this book, I had a fairly clear idea of who the bad guy was. I had a clear idea of who the bad guy was at the end too.

The depth of the characters in this book is really what makes it stand out from other fantasy stories. Absolutely worth a read. I have to catch up with the first two, and can't wait for the next.
Kevin Potter
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
As with the previous two, the audiobook narrator is skilled, but leaves something to be desired. Particularly when it comes to pronunciation. Quite a few words just sound... odd.

Now, I'm thrilled to report that we're finally seeing a few things come together (or have a full explanation) that have been unclear to me prior to this one.

In fairness, that lack of clarity might be my own fault (I listen while driving and doing other things that sometimes require my attention, so inevitably I miss thi
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 take place two years after Darien had sacrificed his life to close the well of tears and had sold his soul to Xerys the God of Chaos and Lord of the Underworld in order to release Meiren the woman he loves! he had also killed Arden Hannah, one of the eight dark mages, servants to the dark lord and had subsequently taken her place amongst the eight. Now the well was opened once again and the eight were let loose on the world. The last sentinel of Aerysius needed to unleash his inner demons ...more
S. D. Howarth
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan Pembroke
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Darklands picks up some time after Darkmage. The Well of Tears is again opened by the enemies of the Rhen, servants of the God of Chaos stalk the land, and it's up to the intrepid characters to stop it.

I felt the pacing of Darklands was a bit slower than the first book but also a bit more consistent. The plot didn't have a whole lot of bumps and read like it was setting up for much more momentous events to come. There's a lot of character building and relationship development, and a couple of in
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-tbr
A fast-paced work delving into human nature’s ideas of prejudice toward things we do not understand or associate with as our own “norm.”

My favorite excerpt:
“Things happen the way they do because they’re set in motion by our actions. And then, from there, they tend to follow a certain trajectory. Every decision we make has consequences. Tremendous consequences, so many that we have no way of foreseeing them all or anticipating what direction they’ll take us in. Everything that happens, happens a
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, this has easily been the best book of the series so far. Ms. Spencer was able to turn a disappointing beginning, with the portal that was fought so hard to be closed, opened yet again, into an absolutely stunning turn of plot. Over the course of the novel she expertly twists the mind and personal morals, forcing the reader to question their own ideals of right and wrong and ultimately wonder, what truly defines evil.

I can't wait to dive into the next chapter and eagerly anticipate the co
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Hayden
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fantasy
We learn of why the Well of Tears was created in the first place. There is a new danger for all things made of magic, and that includes the mages. Darien also gets placed with the people he saw as an enemy due to the way he was raised. Darien sees how the others live, and has to defend and help them.

I'm ready to journey with our characters to see what the outcome is with the magic and the people in the darklands.

Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book more than the first in the series. All the characters are becoming more alive with their conflicts and narrow perception of their world. In a way it is a mirror of what is going on today in the world. The story keeps building to some kind of conclusion and I can't wait to find out what.
Scott Pare
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Book was a bit short and seemed to lag a bit in places. Still not a bad read.

The whole concept of "right and wrong" is interesting, and from what I've seen in this book the characterization of Merien just wasn't believable. She is very black and white, and for someone who has actually been to hell and had someone sacrifice so much for them, she should be more in the grays.
Sarah Hays
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Excellent sequel!

Darklands is an awesome novel following the lives of Kyle and Naia as they seek to protect their world from danger once more. Darkmages enter their realm again; some out for blood and others hoping for atonement for their sins. I can't wait to read the next installment of the series! I highly recommend any novel by ML Spencer!
William Barnes
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An exciting saga continues!

This part of the story was fast moving and knitted together very good. The story continues to built towards an exciting finish. New people are introduced and a new plan comes forth from Darien. I look forward to the next book!
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than the first two

Still a tough read for me, I just never was captured by the story and characters. However, I believe the story is well written and this is the best of the three books so far. I wish I had started with this one first.
Ronald Williams
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book and good series

This author reminds me of many of the great authors I’ve read. He does start out slow but he’s actually explaining everything to not lose you in the depths of his characters.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is written so poorly. I hate everything about this series. I refuse to commit to the last three books. What a waste of time this has been.
Stephen Couchman
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2020
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M.L. Spencer grew up on the works of Steven R. Donaldson, Stephen King and Frank Herbert. She wrote her first novel-length manuscript at thirteen. Her debut novel Darkmage won the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Award for Fantasy. She was also awarded 1st Place Prose in in the San Bernardino County Writing Celebration.

Ms. Spencer lives in Southern California. By day she works as a biology teacher; by n

Other books in the series

The Rhenwars Saga (5 books)
  • Darkstorm (The Rhenwars Saga, #0.5)
  • Darkmage (The Rhenwars Saga, #1)
  • Darkrise (The Rhenwars Saga Book 3)
  • Darkfall (The Rhenwars Saga Book 4)

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