“A Path of Darkness and Runes” is Marnie L. Norton’s stunning debut novel. If you’re looking for a quick synopsis, I’ll give it in one word: magnificent.
We follow Rhona, her brother Ronan and Eli, her unrequited love-from-afar once husband-to-be (it’s actually quite complicated, alright?) on an ill-fated mission. Rhona is tasked with a blood-debt to hunt a lycan after what could only be described as a monumental cock-up with the Maiden, Mother and Crone. Though, the winds of fate change, making her mission all the more important when it’s revealed that the world as they know it has become corrupted. The fates of the Fallow, and the magical world as a whole lay in her hands.
First things first, I need to acknowledge the writing of this novel. The style, the cadence, the voice — it’s gorgeous. So much so that, I, someone who loudly and vehemently dislikes first-person perspectives, enjoyed myself. Immensely. The storytelling was stunning, giving the reader so much to sink their teeth into.
I will admit that the first few chapters were a bit difficult for me to trudge through. The pacing was almost excruciatingly slow. I was afraid that this lovely book was going to wind up on my DNF list before I could get past a quarter of the way through. I’m happy that I stuck with it. Once I passed that threshold, the story took off!
From there, the pacing was immaculate. It had an action-packed plot that managed to give me something new to look forward to every page without making me feel overwhelmed/fatigued.
The characters are beautifully written, and delightfully developed. I fell in love with Rhona — I pined for Eli. I wanted to throw back a few drinks with Roman. And later, I wanted to learn more about Asta and the-ever-mystifying Finian.
I am immensely looking forward to a follow-up from Norton. I am desperate to know what happened to the characters I fell in love with.
All in all, I’d give “A Path of Darkness and Runes” five stars!
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