Get hype everyone, I'm reading the DarkBlade book 🥳 https://twitter.com/NightbloomWitch/status/1381398117216489472
Booktwt stop encouraging me to read B-list middle-grade YA, before I met y'all I used to have Standards.

In all seriousness, I'm not really reading this just to make fun of it, this looks like the kind of book that would have been my jam when I was 10.
The real joke here is that, whilst DarkBlade is the hot new Grishaverse mlm ship, I am also a HUGE Elric fangirl, and if there is genuine Black Blade inspiration behind this book, I will PASS AWAY
Let's do this, Mr Feasley.

I was miserable about ACOTAR for like 3 whole days because of grievous misuse of archetypes, symbols and tropes, and the (allegedly) non-redeemable antagonist being killed, YOU THINK YOU CAN HURT ME?
You probably can, it's not that difficult.

Just don't kill any sad wizards (or witches, or other miscellaneous magical beings), and we'll get along fine. Probably.

Yes I am emotionally stable about books
why do you ask
I haven't read any of the authors with quotes inside the cover.

I know I read the first Septimus Heap book probably about 15 years, but remember nothing.

Yes I am very out of touch. This is promising. 🥴
We have a map, but it's TINY.

Looks normal enough, the most suspicious thing is "to the Northern Lands of the Ice People."

So of course, my first assumption is that it's the Norns again (under different name, of course). We shall see.
It was a dark (and surprisingly not stormy) night, and the infant Hero of Destiny has been mysteriously left on the doorstep of a poor and childless but loving couple.

Sometimes the oldest ones in the book can be a great comfort. I'm settling in.
That was the prologue down, now it's ANOTHER dark (and stormy this time) night, and the protagonist's mother has died. As always, I hope Protagonist's Dead Mother gets some backstory later on.

"Majik" will never not be painful. Why. Just why.
(Also, very nice affirmation that this is, of course, a bildungsroman).

There was a Biblical Giant/King Og, but I'm going to assume this is coincidence.
Oof, there goes my immersion.

I really don't believe in "dumbing down" the writing for kids' books; maybe that's the standard these days, idk
Now that Protagonist's Mother is dead, Protagonist's Father has undergone a swift transformation into bastard, so one (or both) of the following can occur"

> Protagonist begins quest to find his "real" father
> Protagonist encounters mentor figure who will assume fatherly role
AAWWW YEEEAAAHHH THERE'S ANTAGONIST POV CHAPTERS!!
I love him already.
IF HE DOESN'T GET A REDEMPTION ARC ISTG I'LL GET YOU, STEVE
I anticipate the arrival of an evil counselor or a mysterious dark force or something, because I refuse to believe this sad child is "the villain".
OMG HE'S A BABY WIZARD

AND HIS MOTHER TAUGHT HIM MAJIK (ugh) but then she died 😭

I'm his Mummy now, I will protecc

(This just keeps getting better, I'm actually really enjoying it, thanks Booktwt).
Odds are that Lann is going to end up with a sword (the Dark Blade?) because heroes always have swords. We're setting up the parallels between these two with their dead parents and all.
I'm already imagining their sword-and-sorcery team up...two books from now, probably 😭
I won't lie, I'm feeling pretty safe with this book now, because there's NO WAY as a children's author you don't expect the target audience to identify with the shy bookish kid.
We also have a girl protagonist, she is the sarcastic, clever one. Fortunately I think this book is just a bit below the target age range where love triangle drama is likely to be a major problem.
Well, fuck. We're back in Lann's POV, and the Call to Adventure has found where he lives.
The minions of evil are werewolves, this time.
Chasing a magical animal into a forest. I sense the presence of a Mentor.
This is what I saw in the reviews; The Void is roughly equivalent to the Shadow Fold, I think (presumably much less yonic, though), and this is the reason for the comparison to Shadow and Bone.

I want to go there.
Fleya the Witch is the Mentor; that's the first obvious mythological name reference I've encountered.

Lann went blind in the last chapter, I figured it would be temporary but he's still blind several weeks later. If this is permanent, it will be really something special.
Oh wow, he's been blind for nine months.
I sense we're setting up a life/death contrast between Lann and...The As-Yet-Unknown Master of the Forces Of Evil here.
The specific nine months is a very obvious flag that the time for "rebirth" (via adventure) has come.
Personally I'm still frustrated that SF feels the need to explain to the reader all the symbolism, but this IS a children's book, maybe it's supposed to be didactic.
Important figures to note:

> Yirgan the necromancer, chief servant of
> Lorgukk, the god of darkness

Fleya is over 120 years old and was born during The Dark Times when the Black Heretic created the Shadow Fold... uh, I mean, when Yirgan created the Void (I think?)
Supposedly Yirgan was killed by the gods 100 years ago. It sounds to me like it's time for him to be resurrected/come out of hiding.

Nothing is allowed to escape the tangled web in traditional epic fantasy, so my best guess for now is that Fleya is his daughter.
OH DEAR
Virginity-powered magic? Really, Steve? Was this really necessary?
Maybe he'll do something decent with it, I won't judge too harshly yet. 🥴
> Destined Hero's mother is sister of ancient witch
> Hero raised in anonymity as farm boy until death of adoptive parents
> Ancient witch aunt becomes mentor figure
Is this the Belgariad?
That would absolutely not be a bad thing, those books were formative for generations.
Also lol it's kinda awkward to have to talk about David and Leigh these days, 'cause...eh...

Vintage-SFF-authors-stop-turning-out-to-have-been-child-abusers-all-along challenge.

*sigh*
This prophetic dream is METAL. 🤘😈
He's not blind anymore; he woke up from the dream and he can see again. But there's a god in his bedroom.
There's been a bit of teasing about who his real father is. I expect him to be some legendary king or hero or something,
but I don't remember being told about any such figure so far, so if that is the case, the impact will have been diminished by the time we get there, because now I'm going to be guessing that EVERY legendary king or hero we hear about is his father.
Or maybe it is the god, idk
Was this really necessary?
I'm not going to play your alphabet games any longer, sir, it will be regular spellings only in this thread from now on.
Some time ago I think my brain reached maximum capacity on "fantasy worlds I can remember the details of without taking notes", and wires are starting to get crossed.
When I read S&B I spent the whole time trying to find an etymological connection between "volcra" and "Velka"
but as far as I can tell, no such connection exists.
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