Freefire [Darkon Rising 2]

L.E. Horn

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Following their abduction and enslavement by the savage reptilian Tlok’mk, Lianndra, Michael and their group of fellow rebels are on the run, aiming to seek shelter and support among those who they’ve been forced to fight, the Gryphons. Under the constant threat of re-capture by the Farr-led squads, and the new threat of a weapon so powerful that it alone could end the war once and for all, can the former slaves and Gryphons work together to defeat the Tlok’mk?

In this second instalment of the Darkon Rising trilogy, we uncover more about the origins and reasons for this war between the Gryphon and the invading Tlok’mk, and discover what or who the Darkon are. Lianndra determines the extent of her new abilities, and learns that no good deed goes unpunished.

In Freeforce, there were parallels with Anne McCaffrey’s Restoree and Catteni sequence, and these remain. The Gryphons remind me of another of my favourite series, Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar-based Mage Wars. I suppose that’s fairly inevitable, given that there aren’t too many gryphon-based stories around, but it’s not just the similarity in species which bring them to mind.

I didn’t find this to be quite as good as the first novel in the trilogy. I’m still struggling to remember who’s who with the non-human characters, a problem which has been exacerbated by the addition of the Gryphons, and even the human characters are beginning to blur into each other. However, the story and action (especially the action) continues at a rollicking pace, and leaves me looking forward to the final part of the trilogy, Freefight.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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