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Into the Darkness

(Cathell #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Sell-sword Aeryn Ravane didn't set out to end the world.

Aeryn shut everyone out when her father died. A whisper in the dark pulls her back, promising an end to her torment if she captures the legendary sword sealed within the Black Caverns. Ending the curse that guards it,however, means unlocking the secrets of the past, some of which should stay buried.

Her quest turns int
Paperback, Special Edition, 414 pages
Published July 2016 by Mighty Quill Books (first published January 1st 2015)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  49 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sell-sword Aeryn Ravane is determined to fulfill her late father’s dream and enter the cave of Tynan Selvantyr, a legendary adventurer who, upon his death long ago, not only sealed the cave but placed a curse on it. Unfortunately, she is not the only one seeking entry into the cave and, inside she meets Theo, a young thief as well as Tynan’s ghost. When the curse is triggered, the three are forced to flee the cave and find themselves hunted by those who want what Aeryn has found and they will st ...more
The author does a fantastic job creating a world full of fantasy and adventure. The characters created in this story are refreshingly rich with relatable characteristics. You can't help but hang onto every word written, turning each page with eager anticipation, selfishly wanting more. It has been a while since I have encountered a book that has me on the edge of my seat, dying to know what will happen next. The way each scene is described with just the right amount of details, makes it easy to ...more
Brooke Banks
I'm sorry, I tried. Got all the way to last leg of the journey before meeting The Big Bad for their showdown and started skimming.

I wasn't hooked or engaged, it was just killing time without anything better to do and when I had other stuff to do, I didn't pick it back up. I had to make myself go back but I can't do it anymore.

I found it bland and the writing uninspired, like a science report. Which is such a pity because I really liked Aeryn and Theo. Theo was the more engaging perspective thr
S. Thomas
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love strong female protagonists in literature! It’s no wonder, mom was a soldier, my sister is a war veteran, and my wife intimidates most men. Plus I had a HUGE crush on Xena. HUGE. Aeryn is my heroine now! She takes up her late father’s sword, Cursebreaker and sets out to get into the cursed tomb of Tynan. An adventure that her father and a hundred years’ worth of heroes attempted.

What’s a heroine without a young protégé? Theo is a girl who’s had a rough start. She’s got by before the advent
Read or Die
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Character and Dialogue 16 points
Setting and Description 18 points
Plot and Creativity 15 points
Technical Ability 17 points
Cover and Blurb 17 points

Overall 83 points

• Main character is kind of wooden for most of the book, but opens up as the story goes on; secondary characters are excellent.
• Not much detail about character appearance, but very good description of settings and events, as well as fast-paced action sequences.
• Easy to follow plot, with an excellent climax. Some characters introduced
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
"I need you to help me kill The Harbinger. I need the strength I know you have in you, that I don't have in me."

So I won a beautiful autographed special edition paperback copy of INTO THE DARKNESS through a Goodreads giveaway. This review is my own.

A ragtag group of individuals who otherwise would never have looked twice at each other must go on a journey to face an ancient being who thrives on death, power, and destruction.

Aeryn's on a mission to do something on her own, but for her late fat
Yvonne Davies
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-read
Aeryn Ravane is a sell-sword, a bodyguard for hire. She decides to honour her adopted father by finishing the quest that he had started. According to legend a sword by the name of Aric would rid their land of a curse. Aeryn’s quest starts at the Black Cavern and this is where she comes across the her soon to be travelling companies. Theo is a young street thief, but it is not till further on in the book that we find out her real intentions of being in the cave and the other unlikely companion is ...more
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: I am not generally a fan of fantasy. I slogged through Lord of the Rings. I have yet to motivate myself to get through 50 pages of the second George R.R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire series. It's always too detailed. Too verbose. I like my fantasy in film or television format. It's more digestible for me. That being said, I absolutely loved this novel. I loved that the main character was a woman. A woman who could buck the old stereotype of a "damsel in distress" and fight for he ...more
David Wooddell
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When your first major complaint of a novel is the title, and how many other novels share the same title, there is something going well in the writing itself. I don't read a lot of sword and sorcery fantasy, but enough to understand some of the tropes, as well as the cliches. This writer does pretty well with some surprises, and some subtle development of characters in unexpected directions. It is a quest story from the beginning, and doesn't shilly shally about it. I do wonder if the author has ...more
Deliaria Davis
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the Fantasy world of Cathell, you follow the sell-sword Aeryn on her adventure to stop the great evil from destroying her home.

This book was amazing on so many levels. From a callus start to a loving finish you are kept on the edge of your seat as to what is happening as you follow Aeryn the Cathell. Surprises abound around every corner, i couldn't stop reading, even while working on my own writing projects, I kept getting drawn back to Aeryn and Theo.

If you enjoyed books such as Eragon
Cats of Ulthar March of Shoggoths
Review: INTO THE DARKNESS by A.M. Rycroft

A well-written and intriguing fantasy focused on a young man's quest to discover his own place and purpose in life, and a young woman who becomes a mercenary to honor the memory of her father. The characters are well-rounded and explored, and the writing style will keep readers poised to discover more, and hoping to see the story continued in sequels.
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still reading half way through. Very engaging. Love it can't wait to see what happens next! Great characters & story!
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though it seemed to start off a little slowly for me, the story eventually picked up speed and came together shortly thereafter. Rycroft did a fantastic job with the main character, Aeryn, painting the picture of a strong, yet caring, complex, while relatable; we need more female heroes like her! Dark fantasy is not a genre I typically read, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any who like dark fantasy
I enjoyed the story. Ms Rycroft takes us on a spectacular dark adventure. If you like dark adventure the this is the book for you . I did think that the hero in the book was slightly under developed especially in the beginning, but as you progress in the story all becomes clear . looking forward to reading the rest of the series .
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I requested this from the Pittsburgh library shortly after its Pittsburgh-area writer got a review in the Pittsburgh newspaper. Unfortunately, the book and its title are so forgettable, I forgot I'd read it and requested it again six months later...
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this story. Would love to read more of the characters.
Jay Quietnight
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic dark fantasy told at just the right pace. But Into the Darkness's truly standout feature is its characters; complex and endearing, they make this story extra enjoyable.
Barb VanderWel
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this & I can't wait for more.
I will be also leaving a review on Goodreads @ Amazon.
And letting everyone know about it.
So i gave it a 5 Stars.
S.K. Wee
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aeryn Ravane is attempting to complete her father’s quest by entering the caverns in search of an ancient sword once owned by a mage named Tynan. She has obtained an artifact that should open the sealed caves so she can complete her mission. What happens deep inside the cave is unexpected, though Tynan’s curse is supposed to be lifted, the sword was holding an evil god hostage as well. The Harbinger is a force for evil and soon his darkness quickly spreads throughout Cathell. It seems the only m ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
E.J. Dawson
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great start to an intriguing world, AM Rycroft creates a world fantasy and dark magic that’s easy to follow with a set of strong female characters who are relatable and real. Aeryn is a sell-sword with a very specific goal in mind, and being shadowed by the thief Theo isn’t in her plans but the two come together to form an alliance against a greater enemy. There are the odd passages that have word repetition, and some time spent travelling, but overall the story was well crafted and unique.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Into the Darkness is an ambitious dark fantasy novel by indie author A.M. Rycroft. I say "ambitious" because she attempts to weave a story with a lot of intertwining plot elements. For the most part, she succeeds.

There isn't much in the way of new territory that is explored in this story as Rycroft utilizes rather standard elements of high fantasy. There is a quest, a magic sword, some sorcery, and even a vampyre (her spelling). Ho
J.D. Carabella
Into the Darkness is a classic Fantasy in the tradition of Dragonlance and the Forgotten Realm novels. However, it feels too much like it is pulled directly from someone's AD&D campaign-which in and of itself isn't bad-but it made it feel a bit silly when in general the book was rather serious. At times I felt it might be suitable for the same ages who read Rick Riordan, then there would be something that was too creepy for that young of an audience.

For me, the creepy parts were the best. Th
Katherine Bryant
I've been aware of dark fantasy as a genre for a long time, but this was the first novel I've read that described itself as such. This made me really excited to read it, because I was looking for something new in fantasy, and hopefully a little scary as well. Unfortunately, I was let down in that regard. "Into the Darkness" featured an army of bad guys, a handful of monsters and reanimated corpses, and The Harbinger, a Sauron-like Big Bad who is bent on evil and destruction for its own sake. The ...more
Stacy Overby
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free advanced copy of Into the Darkness Special Edition by A. M. Rycroft in exchange for an honest review. Overall, this was a fun read. It follows the typical fantasy pattern of a party going on a quest to save the world. Rycroft does a nice job of taking this plot line and owning it with this novel.

The story follows Aeryn Ravane, a sell-sword, who is on a quest to finish what her deceased father started in seeking out ancient legends. Little did she know that this would start a ch
This is a review for the Goodreads group Shut Up & Read's Read It & Reap Program. I was given an ebook copy for free to review honestly.

This is a high fantasy novel. If the tropes that accompany that type of writing aren’t your thing, then this book can come across as slow. Even as understanding of this as one can be, I have to admit that this story does suffers from a little slowness at times. And as much as I call this book a high fantasy novel, and there were some tropes associated w
Amy Peters
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel is quick paced and a quick read, following young Aeyrn Ravane on her self-imposed quest to discover the secrets of the Black Caverns, a legendary abode of a long ago adventurer. Along the way she gathers companions including a magic-using shade of the adventurer himself, a very young want to be thief, and a vampyre, as well as the prerequisite enemies who want to do away with her. And her world, of course. And although she has doubts and her own dark secrets, she’s the one who can save ...more
Andrew Ferrell
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gentle Readers, this is a story right up my alley. Swords, sorcery, good and evil gods, heroes and villains. All in a home brew world that would be great as a pen and paper, dice rolling weekend like I spent in my younger years. Rycroft gives us realism and cohesion in both character personality and the world in general.

Aeryn Ravane is a sellsword with a mission, to complete her father's final quest to break the curse on the Black Caverns and gain access to the treasures within. What Aeryn doesn
Alisha-Dear Constant Reader
I was three quarters of the way through this novel when I quit. I had been having a rough time caring about the characters for a few days and I realized, I was near the end and I didn't care one way or another.

First, this is a decent fantasy with some excellent world building. Unfortunately the novel lacks believability when it comes to its characters. The dialogue is stilted and contrived. And, although we've been told a few of the characters have anger issues or trust issues, they are more li
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rycroft takes the admittedly familiar swords-and-sorcery fantasy archetype and puts her own dark spin on it with a fully fleshed-out world full of memorable, believable characters with its own mythos. I read an interview somewhere in which she says she'd like to someday see the story made into a movie or miniseries, and I agree; not only is the story well-paced and interesting, but Rycroft's writing has a very cinematic feel to it. The reader not only can envision each "scene" within the book bu ...more
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A.M. Rycroft is the award-winning author of multiple dark fantasy series and horror short stories. She was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, so she naturally bleeds black and gold whenever she gets a paper cut. Her hobbies include binge watching hockey and football, ignoring her inbox as much as possible, and adding to her superhero bobblehead collection.

Other books in the series

Cathell (4 books)
  • The Taming
  • The Joy Thief
  • Shadowboxer: The Gathering Dark Pt. 1 (Cathell #4)