This is a great novella that introduces us to The Darkwater Saga series. Having read the first full length novel in the series, The Shock of Night, I do recommend reading this prequel to set the stage.
We are introduced to Willet Dura, an investigator to the king of Bunard. He had once studied for the priesthood but had been called to war before his studies were over. He had an experience during the war that seriously affected him. He is a night walker and sometimes he comes back with blood on his cloak.
Dura's specialty is investigating murders. He is called to investigate the death of an old man, thought to have died from a stroke. But Dura sees signs of murder. As he investigates, he finds out this man was gifted. Aer (God) gives gifts, gifts that are to be passed down before death to the next generation. If a person dies without passing on the gift, it may be stolen.
As Dura continues his investigation he is faced with a startling possibility. Is someone systematically stealing gifts, assembling them to have great power? Is it possible that the divine right of kings, the special gifting Aer gave to the ruler, could be duplicated? Dura must find the answer – and the culprit – before it is too late.
If you like fantasy with a hint of Christian belief, you'll like this series. There is definite good and evil, a three person God, lots of suspense and the possibility of romance. The events of this novella are frequently referenced in The Shock of Night, so read this novella first. It's a free way to be introduced to the fantasy and Carr's great style of writing. And you'll find out how Dura became Lord Dura.
Patrick W. Carr graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984, has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, done work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. For the last eight years he has been teaching high school math in Nashville, Tennessee. He and his life have four sons and live in Nashville. You can find out more at http://www.patrickwcarr.com/.
Bethany House Publishers, 119 pages.