Turning Darkness Into Light

Turning Darkness Into Light

As the renowned granddaughter of Isabella Camherst (Lady Trent, of the riveting and daring Draconic adventure memoirs) Audrey Camherst has always known she, too, would want to make her scholarly mark upon a chosen field of study.When Lord Gleinheigh recruits Audrey to decipher a series of ancient tablets holding the secrets of the ancient Draconean civilization, she has no...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Turning Darkness Into Light
Author:Marie Brennan
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Turning Darkness Into Light Reviews

  • Karyn Silverman

    Loved it. I would read the Draconean tax records, frankly, if Brennan wrote them out, but this was much more enjoyable. A little more smoothly paced than the Lady Trent books (which tend to slingshot from travelogue to peril very fast), and I like Audrey Camherst a lot. She’s a scholar and clearly not a society girl, she’s good-hearted and smart but also good hearted enough to miss some clues, so that the reader has the fun of figuring things out just slightly ahead of the characters. The transl

    Loved it. I would read the Draconean tax records, frankly, if Brennan wrote them out, but this was much more enjoyable. A little more smoothly paced than the Lady Trent books (which tend to slingshot from travelogue to peril very fast), and I like Audrey Camherst a lot. She’s a scholar and clearly not a society girl, she’s good-hearted and smart but also good hearted enough to miss some clues, so that the reader has the fun of figuring things out just slightly ahead of the characters. The translated epic was also excellent, as was the incorporation of several voices. Plus! Diversity props — Audrey is brown in a very white Victorian England analogue, Cora seems to be on the spectrum and also a kickass character, and Kudshayn is Draconean and the prejudice and politics are all fascinating. I can’t wait for the sequel (there’s an ending that points to that being a sure thing) because I will head back to Scirling and the rest of this world as often as Brennan invites me.

  • Rachel Bridgeman

    My thanks to the team at Titan Books for my gifted paperback review copy which arrived along with dragon egg chocolates!! Best book post EVER! 'Turning Darkness Into Light' will be published in paperback on the 20th August 2019.

    This is a great introductory novel to Marie's alternate fantasy universe-it acts a bridge, a stand alone set in the same universe but centering Lady Trent's granddaughter, Audrey. Through her, the reader gains an understanding of their world, the divisions, the politics a

    My thanks to the team at Titan Books for my gifted paperback review copy which arrived along with dragon egg chocolates!! Best book post EVER! 'Turning Darkness Into Light' will be published in paperback on the 20th August 2019.

    This is a great introductory novel to Marie's alternate fantasy universe-it acts a bridge, a stand alone set in the same universe but centering Lady Trent's granddaughter, Audrey. Through her, the reader gains an understanding of their world, the divisions, the politics and the basis of what forms their history and theological texts.

    Audrey is hired to translate 12 tablets uncovered by Lord Everleigh in Akhia-his reputation as a hoarder of antiquities rather than a skilled archaeologist is quickly made apparent by both his lack of knowledge and his cluttered home with no reverence for the exhibits he has displayed willy-nilly!

    Audrey is suggested by interested parties in part because of her pedigree, and also because of her sex. Lord Everleigh presents as a person who would see Audrey as lacking in threat to him and not someone he needs to worry about 'spoiling' his exclusive translation of the Draconean tablets.

    He sends his niece, Cora, in undercover as a spy ,to make sure that no details of the tablets are allowed to escape, which includes monitoring Audrey's letters yet also letting her colleague, and Draconean scholar, Kudshayn, help her with her work in order for it be be completed before the Falchester Congress of the following year. The timing is absolutely crucial as at the Congress it will be decided whether or not forcing the Draconeans to live in The Sanctuary, where a tenuous agreement has allowed them to live, should be reinforced or lifted.

    The information being gathered from the tablets is expected to support the current assertion that the Draconean ancestors were human sacrificing beasts,engendering fear that the current incarnations of this race are only a small step away from adopting these characteristics.

    However, what Audrey, Cora and Kudshayn uncover is something quite specatular which could turn the entire perception of Draconeans on its head...and more than one party is hovering in the wings waiting to snatch that knowledge away and sell it to the highest bidder....

    An incredibly clever, and well constructed novel, this has lashings of Victorian , steampunk-esque trappings that I immediately fell in love with. Written in an epistolary fashion which recalled to mind the stylings of 'Dracula', I was worried about not understanding , for example, the names of the months, place names, history etc but these worries were quickly swept away with the pace of the story and the solidly rounded characters.

    How can anyone not fall in immediate love with Audrey?! !There is a scene of public outcry when Kudshayn arrives where Audrey behaves in a fashion most unladylike, but totally needed that had me whooping for joy! She is in the unenvious position of being Lady Trent's granddaughter, so the weight of expectation is heavy on her shoulders for her to not only continue the explorer's legacy, but also create one of her own.

    The way that the book is written is brilliant, you see snippets from newspapers, the differring translations of the same piece by both Cora and Audrey, as well as letters home from Kudshayn. Using the nature of the Draconeans and political unease, Marie Brennan neatly reflects real world concerns about the rise of facism to the right, and to the left.The identification-and imprisonment-of those who are classified as 'other' is a very real concern, whether in this world or the one where dragons exist.

    I absolutely loved reading about The Scriptures and the myths of one egg which hatched 4 dragons from whom all life has descended and the detail is incredible, whether describing the body language of Draconeans, or the 'rationale'(and I use that term loosely) of Hadamists and Calderites who oppose integration of Draconeans in society, and believe they should be contained.

    The intricate use of language makes 'Turning Darkness Into Light' immersive, fantastical and a credit to the skills and knowledge of Marie Brennan. I was genuinely saddened when the book came to an end-I am unsure whether this stand alone will be the start of a new series or serve as an introduction to Marie's world, however, I am excited to see that there are 5 Lady Trent novels to get my teeth into!

    And can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous the covers to her books are? Absolutely stunning!

    About the author...

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    It was heartbreaking for me when the original Memoirs of Lady Trent series, even knowing all good things must come to an end. And so, when I found out that Marie Brennan would be returning to the world with Turning Darkness into Light, to say I was thrilled is an understatement. And that’s not all; I was even more excited when I learned that the new book would follow Audrey Camherst, the granddaughter of Isabella the Lady

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    It was heartbreaking for me when the original Memoirs of Lady Trent series, even knowing all good things must come to an end. And so, when I found out that Marie Brennan would be returning to the world with Turning Darkness into Light, to say I was thrilled is an understatement. And that’s not all; I was even more excited when I learned that the new book would follow Audrey Camherst, the granddaughter of Isabella the Lady Trent, who has followed in the footsteps of her famous grandmother into the field of Draconean studies.

    However, presented in a series of letters, journal entries, articles, and study notes, the novel offers quite a change from Memoirs of Lady Trent beyond just the change in protagonist. Also, while Turning Darkness into Light is a standalone and can be read without any prerequisites, be aware that this book contains MASSIVE spoilers for the previous series. You have been warned!

    The story opens as Lord Gleinheigh, an avid collector of antiquities but a third-rate scholar, capitulates to demands for a suitable translator to decipher his collection of ancient clay tablets believed to hold the secrets of the Draconean civilization. Naturally, given her distinguished academic family as well as her own achievements in linguistics, Audrey Camhurst was one of the first names to come to mind. Her appointment would also have the added benefit of not being a threat to the insufferable and blustering Lord Gleinheigh, who won’t trust any of his male peers. But as it turns out, Gleinheigh is even more paranoid and protective of his treasures than anyone thought, sending his niece Cora to spy and report on Audrey’s findings, under the pretense of being her assistant.

    Meanwhile, believing that no translation would be proper or complete without the presence of an actual Draconean on the team, Audrey recruits her friend Kudshayn, a fellow archaeologist to help her with the project. Together, they begin to painstakingly piece together the story of the ancient tablets, revealing a breathtaking creation myth about the four dragon siblings who hatched from a single egg. But even as their work is taking place, a conspiracy is brewing behind the scenes, unknown to our protagonists. With anti-Draconean sentiment is still rampant in the society, there are certain factions who don’t wish for Audrey and her team to succeed, and they are willing to go to great lengths to sabotage their work.

    Let me first say I was very impressed with the way Brennan was able to convey so much information in epistolary format, to say nothing of the incredible story she was able to tell. She has managed to expand upon the world of Memoirs of Lady Trent and more, and it’s safe to say fans of the series who wanted more about the mysterious Draconean civilization will be very happy with this novel. For me, one of the main highlights was the as the draconic mythology, as well as the character of Kudshayn who provided readers with so much new insight into his people’s history, culture, and way of life—right down to the unique ways Draconeans communicate. It is no wonder they are so misunderstood in the society, leading to clashes in public opinion.

    If I have one criticism though, it would be the limitations of the novel’s structure. That said, I know how tough it is to write an epistolary novel. As much as I loved what Brennan has done here, because so much of the story is conveyed in the form of letters, I missed the immediacy of the narrative. Granted, this is considered a fantasy of manners, so to be sure there is an air of formality to the prose. This did make Audrey’s voice sound a little stiff (compared to the Memoirs of Lady Trent in which Isabella’s attitude was that of an accomplished old woman who was beyond giving a fig what readers thought of her anymore) and made it a little harder to connect with the characters.

    Still, I have to say I really enjoyed Turning Darkness into Light. Like the previous series, I believe it will appeal greatly to readers who love science and the simple pleasures of discovery and learning. It was a joy to follow the story, especially at the beginning, when my attention was fully captivated by the mystery of the tablets and wondering what ancient secrets they might reveal.

    All in all, Marie Brennan has written another winner, building upon the brilliance of her Lady Trent series. Once more, she has changed the way we think about dragons with her unique perspective on these fantastical creatures, greatly expanding on her world-building, making this fan very happy.

  • imyril

    This is just wonderful. Coherent review to follow!

  • Kelsea

    For those unfamiliar with Brennan's books, she previously authored The Memoirs of Lady Trent Series, a completed five book series. Turning Darkness Into Light is a standalone book set in the same world, starring Lady Trent's granddaughter.

    I binged the entire Lady Trent series on audiobook earlier this summer, so despite my absol

    For those unfamiliar with Brennan's books, she previously authored The Memoirs of Lady Trent Series, a completed five book series. Turning Darkness Into Light is a standalone book set in the same world, starring Lady Trent's granddaughter.

    I binged the entire Lady Trent series on audiobook earlier this summer, so despite my absolutely atrocious book memory, I actually remember the events of that series. I feel the need to mention that and a few other things, because they really inform my experience with this book. First, as this was an e-ARC, it was jarring for me switching formats. Kate Redding did a fantastic job narrating the Lady Trent series and I missed hearing her voice in this book. Secondly, with Isabella (MC from the series) fresh in my memory, it was a little hard for me to separate my love for her from this reading experience. I craved more of Isabella -- and she

    in the book, but she's not the focus, and it took some time for me to accept that.

    With that out of the way, let's talk about TDIL. Audrey was an interesting character that felt very true to her age and place in the world. She has the burden of famous relatives that she feels the need to live up to -- but she's very much her own person as well, with her own interests and desires. Brennan is excellent at writing distinct, fascinating, smart, and imperfect characters, and Audrey fits all of those descriptions.

    There were so many things to love about the characters (Audrey and the others) as well as the story... and yet it was really, really hard for me to get into this book. I believe this would be considered an epistolary novel. And while the Lady Trent books are written as a a memoir, they were still almost entirely Isabella's thoughts and words, if I recall correctly. TDIL, on the other hand, is a mix of Audrey's diary entries, letters back and forth between her and her sister, diary entries from other characters, letters by other characters to off-screen characters, news articles, etc. There were some new interesting things that came up because of this format - the footnote banter on the translation was fun to read. BUT there is a LOT going on with the format and it was confusing to track at times.

    In addition, where Isabella was always off on an adventure, Audrey is sitting in a room for most of the book, translating tablets. Let me put it in HP house terms: Isabella's story was Ravenclaw x Gryffindor, but Audrey is pretty much entirely Ravenclaw. It was a little too much Ravenclaw for me. Sure, she does get out of the house and do a few headstrong type things, but she's still not out in the field studying dragons. I needed more adventure, more action, more things happening. I know it's not quite fair to compare it to Lady Trent (which I keep doing), because this is an entirely separate story, but again, having read them so close together, it was virtually impossible for me to avoid comparisons.

    Weirdly, though, my love for the Lady Trent series is also what carried me through the first part of TDIL. I honestly might have DNF'd it by halfway through if I didn't love Brennan's storytelling from Lady Trent so much and trust her to deliver.

    Thankfully, I stuck with the book and then it got good. It got really,

    good. I won't spoil anything, but Brennan's brilliance with nuanced characters, plot twists, and interesting character arcs really shone through. By the end I was smiling so hard - I love where the story went, love how Audrey grew and handled everything, love so so much about the ending. And the last part of the book made me really appreciate the building blocks sprinkled in earlier in the story.

    So here are my main takeaways for you:

    1. Read The Memoirs of Lady Trent first!

    2. Audrey is not Isabella and that's okay, because she's interesting in her own right.

    3. Keep in mind that the formatting is very different from the Lady Trent series!

    3. If you're not feeling the beginning, it's worth sticking with the story. Hopefully the ending will deliver for you, the way it did for me.

    Looking forward to the next thing Brennan writes!

    ARC provided by Tor Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  • Christine Sandquist (eriophora)

    Marie Brennan is back once more in the world of Lady Trent with her newest novel, Turning

    Marie Brennan is back once more in the world of Lady Trent with her newest novel, Turning Darkness Into Light. While TDiL follows the granddaughter of the famous Lady Trent, this is not merely a rehash of the same themes we saw in the first series. Audrey is her own person with her own goals… and a heavy familial legacy to live up to. I was impressed not only by Audrey, but also the side characters: Kudshayn and Cora. Told in the form of letters and journal entries, this book has drawn me in from the first page – Brennan has not only met the standard her original series set, but surpassed it.

    This is a character-driven novel with a writing style similar to the Lady Trent series, but with a new and novel mixed media approach to the story. Audrey Camherst is the primary narrator, and the bulk of the novel is told via her diary entries. However, in addition to that, we see sneak peeks into other characters and the world at large through letters back home from Kudshayn, letters to friends by Cora, and clippings of newspapers following large socially important events.

    Audrey has in part taken up her grandmother’s mantle in that she, too, is an avid researcher. Rather than being a dragon naturalist, however, she’s a historian; she’s fascinated by the ancient Draconean culture. She’s a linguist who studies their language and writings, investigates artifacts, and works with various museums with their collections. Naturally, she does tend to attract trouble much as her dear grandmama managed back in her day.

    Between the events of Lady Trent and Turning Darkness into Light, it was discovered that a small population of Draconeans are, in fact, still alive – which forms the political backdrop of this novel. What’s more, a landmark set of tablets depicting one of the earliest Draconean creation myths has additionally been unearthed by one Lord Gleinleigh, a private collector of Draconean artifacts… and when he needs a translator, adding the famous Camherst/Trent name seems like the best option to bring him fame and legitimacy. With a senate vote coming up regarding the fate and independence of the Draconeans, the content of the tablets rapidly becomes an important social topic. Lord Gleinleigh, being involved in politics himself, has a large stake in their contents as the collection is likely to win him power and influence.

    As Audrey, Kudshayn, and Cora (Lord Gleinleigh’s young niece and ward) translate the tablets, they find that Lord Gleinleigh’s motives may not be nearly as pure as one might hope. When he’s seen consorting with known Hadamists, members of an anti-Draconean hate group, Audrey’s hackles immediately rise. What’s more, an old flame of Audrey’s who stole her work and betrayed her may also be involved in the plot. The goals of Gleinleigh and Co. are gradually revealed as the novel moves forward, often with some surprisingly twisty turns – Brennan weaves a fantastic intrigue in this novel, which caught me off-guard several times.

    I think my favorite part of this novel was the way Brennan integrated the translated Draconean tablet text and used its plot to mirror the real-world conspiracy plot. The prose is mythic and has a distinct feel to it, and the back-and-forth annotations between Kudshayn, Audrey, and Cora were fun to read. Where human society’s tend to center around the repetition of three in most folklore, Draconean differs slightly: their mythic number is instead four. This gives it a surprisingly different flavor for being overall a very small change. This number reflects the themes of their ancient gods: creation (the sun), destruction (death), stability (the earth), and change (the wind).

    Modern Draconeans, however, worship only two gods: creation and stability, the sun and the earth. Kudshayn, being a priest of the Draconean people, finds this not only fascinating… but also distressing in the extreme. The foundations of his faith and his understanding of his history are shaken, and he must decide which is more valid: modern Draconean religion, or the religion from whence it came. Should he worship the lost gods? Or should he remain firm in what he was taught from the shell? I thoroughly enjoyed the added depth this gave to the plot, and I felt that it added a great deal of weight to the overall importance of the tablets and the conspiracies surrounding them.

    All in all, I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoyed the Lady Trent novels. For those who would like a smaller, stand-alone introduction to the world, this would also be a great choice. While knowledge of the Lady Trent novels adds some additional context, it is certainly not necessary to have a good time with this book.

    This book and others can be read on my blog,

    .

    Thank you to Tor Books for providing this ARC for review!

  • Acqua

    And here I am, continuing my tradition of reading series out of order. I mean, it was fine when I did that with the

    series, and I also believe that

    , so why not try and read something when there are five books of worldbuilding before that one? This kind of thing obviously can't go wrong².

    You don't

    to have read the

    series to understand

    . However, I think it could b

    And here I am, continuing my tradition of reading series out of order. I mean, it was fine¹ when I did that with the

    series, and I also believe that

    , so why not try and read something when there are five books of worldbuilding before that one? This kind of thing obviously can't go wrong².

    You don't

    to have read the

    series to understand

    . However, I think it could be much more meaningful to you if you had, as some of the characters from that series are often mentioned, and as this novel is told entirely through letters, lists, journal entries and translations of ancient tablets. This is a really interesting choice, and

    , which is probably the reason I still have no idea how a Draconian looks like.

    This is the story of Audrey Camherst (Lady Trent's granddaughter) as she translates ancient tablets from a long-lost Draconean civilization in a place where anti-Draconean sentiment seems to be on the rise, and betrayal could be lurking on every corner. It's also the story of the Four who hatched from a single shell - yes, this novel has

    .

    More than anything,

    is about

    , and how nothing is ever "just a story". Writing fiction is, and has always been, inherently political.

    It also makes some really good points about how bigotry isn't something in which only extremists engage, and the subtle, non-violent kind is just as dangerous as the unsubtle, violent one, as the two are tied together. One can't exist without the other.

    The positives end there. I don't have much else to say;

    , Cora being the only exception. I appreciated that the portrayal of an antagonistic relationship between a man and a woman that had an undercurrent of attraction but didn't turn into a romance, as an idea, but I didn't really believe it as much as I'd hoped. The format didn't help with that, as I felt it added a lot of distance between me and the characters.

    This is a solid novel, if not a really memorable one, and the

    is one of the series that I'm considering and will maybe start this year.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    ¹ narrator: it was not fine. She struggled for half of the first novella she tried

    ² narrator: keep telling yourself that.

  • Bookphenomena (Micky)

    2.5 - 3 stars.

    Do you like dragons, mystery and ancient antiquities with a bit of an Indiana Jones feeling? If the answer is yes then TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT might be the book for you. It is marketed as a standalone fantasy and it can standalone, however I do believe that readers of Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series will have a great advantage when reading this.

    This book has a feminist tone all the way through and the main protagonist, Audrey is commissioned to study and translate some rare t

    2.5 - 3 stars.

    Do you like dragons, mystery and ancient antiquities with a bit of an Indiana Jones feeling? If the answer is yes then TURNING DARKNESS INTO LIGHT might be the book for you. It is marketed as a standalone fantasy and it can standalone, however I do believe that readers of Marie Brennan’s Lady Trent series will have a great advantage when reading this.

    This book has a feminist tone all the way through and the main protagonist, Audrey is commissioned to study and translate some rare tablets recently found. Audrey is a young but accomplished academic type, from a family of similar types. Audrey was likeable, she took risks and she knew that she needed help. That help came in the shape of Kudshayn, another archeologist.

    With Kudshayn, my confusion about the world only grew and I have to say I struggled with being in the dark through most of the book. There is little world building and assumptions are made that the reader can just go with what’s happening and accept the odd, vague reveal about the world and species existing. The Draconean species and culture was not explained adequately and I do believe that to standalone, more world building was needed.

    The book is told in a variety of styles, the contemporary, many letters and some newspaper articles. I enjoyed the variety of storytelling styles. Audrey’s POV is occasionally interspersed by Kudshayn and another POV. The story builds and builds around this translation of tablets to a great crescendo, involving a variety of characters and criminal activity.

    This was an interesting but sometimes frustrating read for me. I loved the cover, the idea of the story and Marie Brennan’s writing was enjoyable in the main. I would consider going back and reading the Lady Trent series.

    Thank you to Titan Books for the review copy.

    This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities Blog

    .

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    by Marie Brennan is a fun historical fantasy featuring dragons. It's part of the

    universe, but you don't need to be familiar with that series to understand this novel. I haven't read that series yet and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm sure I would have gotten much more enjoyment out of this if I was already familiar with that series. I have to admit that I did feel out of the loop from tim

    by Marie Brennan is a fun historical fantasy featuring dragons. It's part of the

    universe, but you don't need to be familiar with that series to understand this novel. I haven't read that series yet and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm sure I would have gotten much more enjoyment out of this if I was already familiar with that series. I have to admit that I did feel out of the loop from time to time. Otherwise I particularly enjoyed the mixed media / epistolary format of the novel. Unfortunately I wasn't very interested one way or another in the cast of characters. Perhaps if I were more familiar with the author's style and the previous novels set in this world. I'm definitely going to have to try more from Brennan in the future.

  • Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    OMG!!! A future generation continuation to the Memoirs of Lady Trent??!! ::sobs:: I'm so excited! :D

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.