Dark fantasy fans looking to stow away the day with a good book will revel in the newest release Darklands, book three of the Rhenwars Saga series, by award-winning Indie author M.L. Spencer.

The purpose of a series is to start with the first book and read them sequentially, though realistically speaking, this likely happens less often than an author would like. As readers are spontaneous beings, writing a successful book that is not only part of a series but that also stands alone, exemplifies the raw talent of an author, which Spencer exudes from page-to-page, and book-to-book, allowing for readers to indiscriminately read however and whatever they like, whether they choose to read all of the Rhenwars Saga or just Darklands.

For many authors, particularly in fantasy and science fiction, finding a balance is pertinent to the story’s success. Too little detail disconnects the character’s importance to the story line, yet too much detail leaves little for the imagination and deprives a reader of that emotional connection that warrants a reader to keep reading, ultimately wanting more. Spencer’s raw talent is strikingly evident, whether it is from the dynamic world readers are thrust into or in how she brings her characters to life with precise balance of surreal emotion and physical detail.

“What will be is better than what is gone.”

In the case of reader’s fiending for their next epic of perilous adventure, Darklands is a must-read. While it’s quite feasible to see this story as a conflict between good and evil, I digress from this mindset and approach it more as merely being different social constructs, much like East and West, Christians and Muslims, Alliance and Horde, night and day etc. Spencer does an exemplary job of taking readers from the comfort of one side, and plunging them straight into the heart of the opposing side and not only walking a mile In their shoes, but turning every ill notion upside down.

Taking place two years after Darkmage, Darien finds himself leading the same army he once slaughtered, against the very same people he once belonged to and seeing the world in a vast different light. But can he convince the peoples of the Darklands and the Rhens that their assumption of one another causes more harm than good? Does it even matter?

While Darklands is filled with a superbly vivid cast within a fantasy realm, it’s difficult to not feel some personal moral dilemma as the story line unfolds as it so easily relates to our own global current events and might lead readers to confronting their own ill-perceived viewpoints.

Packed with action, conflict, and familiar characters, the only thing readers will find amiss is an actual ending as Spencer leaves the door wide-open for book 4, abruptly ending Darklands with a gut-wrenching cliffhanger and the question of how long will they have to wait?