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Summary

Instant New York Times Best Seller
Indie Best Seller

In this stunning new fantasy novel from international best-selling author C. S. Pacat, heroes and villains of a long-forgotten war are reborn and begin to draw new battle lines. This epic fantasy with high-stakes romance will sit perfectly on shelves next to beloved fantasy novels like the Infernal Devices series, the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and the Red Queen series.

Sixteen-year-old dock boy Will is on the run, pursued by the men who killed his mother. Then an old servant tells him of his destiny to fight beside the Stewards, who have sworn to protect humanity if the Dark King ever returns. Will is thrust into a world of magic, where he starts training for a vital role in the oncoming battle against the Dark.

As London is threatened and old enmities are awakened, Will must stand with the last heroes of the Light to prevent the fate that destroyed their world from returning to destroy his own.

Like V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic and Shelby Mahurin’s Serpent & Dove, Dark Rise is more than just high intrigue fantasy - it’s fast-paced, action-packed, and completely surprising. Listeners will love exploring the rich setting of 19th-century London. This thrilling story of friendship, deception, loyalty, and betrayal is sure to find a passionate audience of listeners.

©2021 C. S. Pacat (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Dark Rise

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loved it!

A thrilling read! Wonderfully written and expertly narrated.

would thoroughly recommend giving it a go!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Expect the unexpected

This book was a trip!
It starts out with a similar vibe to other YA books, and you think "ok, its good" but nothing too surprising. BUT THEN. Things happen, a lot of unexpected and emotional things happen and they keeeep on going and the story will sucker punch you and you will feel like throwing the book out of a window :)
I will be eagerly wating for the sequels because I'm invested and i need to know where this is going.
The story and the narrative feel very fresh, and as surprising as things turn, you can see the events developing in retrospect, totally worth a second (or more) read.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great start to the series by Christian...

Well I have to say that even though this trilogy has only just started and this first instalment was pretty much an info dump, Christian Coulson knocked it out of the park [his inability to 'do' female voices notwithstanding]. What a bloomin' shame that he couldn't have narrated Pacat's Captive Prince trilogy cause I would definitely have bought all of it instead of returning it cause the narrator was rubbish! Christian was clear, precise, had a classic English accent and a good story-telling sort of voice. 5 stars without a doubt for the narration. 🥳🥳🥳

As far as the story is concerned, this one started off quite slowly for me as did the Captive Prince series; in fact, I didn't really make any bookmarks in the narration until around chapter 15, and then I couldn't seem to stop making them. The pace of the story really picked up, and yes, there are definitely similarities between some of the characters in this [the Shadow Kings] and the LotR behemoth by J.R.R. Tolkien, the main ones being the Ring Wraithes or Nazgûl. I personally likened the Citadel of the Stewards to Rivendell as it sounded so lovely, and the dreaded idea of everyone being subjected to the will of the Dark King was surely a nod to Sauron and his way of taking over peoples personalities and thoughts. Who knows which way this series will develop from here other than the Author herself, and I personally cannot wait for book 2...oh and GO VIOLET, GIRL YOU ROCK!! 4.5 stars for the story.

A heads up...there is NO sex in this story, NO real romance [gay or otherwise] as yet 😏 and bring on book 2...pretty please!!

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slow start but amazing finish!

the narration honestly helped me finish this book i'm just in love with how great christain coulson was as the narrator, im not a fan when the performance is over the top with voices and accents as i think it takes me out of the book sometimes but this was a very nice balance of being juuust dramatic enough for a ya but not overly over acted. the plot and characters i think developed a lot towards the end (like the last third of the book) james was very much a saving grace for me and a joy to listen to.

if you feel like dnfing half way please DONT i promise it gets better because i wasn't feeling it until quite a way in but the climax of the ending really paid off in the end and i'm currently relistening now.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-09-21

I kept screaming lol 10/10 would scream again

Coulson's narratation really brings out the feel of the book I had whiplash help

4 people found this helpful

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  • William B. Owen
  • 01-12-21

great performance, mediocre story

I've read and really loved C.S. Pacat's books before, but this one was a dud for me. The story was very slow to get started and, once it did, was pretty predictable. There was one genuine surprise at the very end, but by that point I was already a bit bored of the characters and the world. It wasn't a bad book, and I'll likely read the others in the series, but it was certainly underwhelming.

The voice performance, though, was excellent--in fact, it was my favorite part of this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-10-21

WOW!

I'm gonna have goosebumps for hours! Those last four words though... wow! I can't remember the last I felt a book I read could legitimately be a movie franchise or a huge series. Especially not with lgbtq+ main characters. But it's so good, even the mainstream would have to accept them!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Emily
  • 08-10-21

Screamed the whole book

Holy hades Batman this was a RIDE! Oh my gosh I could touch the wood of the ship and the stone of the hall, everything described in glorious prose. GAH THE CHARACTERS!!! I would die for Violet and has anyone formed a Protect Will Kempen club because I desperately need to join. Bad Kitty - JAMES U MAGNIFICENT BASTARD my god I am. Obsessed. The entire plot turned on its head in the most wonderful way in the last few chapters and I was shrieking in a freezer remembering clues that I didn’t realize were clues and gods. This is a well written, brilliantly paced ode to classic fantasy along the lines of Tolkien and Lewis while remaining something Pacat’s own. Coulson’s narration is top notch (and he’s the cute Tom Riddle from hp 2?? Mind. Blown.) 10/10 want to buy more copies in the hope that somehow that will make book two come out faster.

3 people found this helpful

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  • zHotPocketz
  • 15-03-22

A Mess

This missed the mark in so many ways. Solid narration but just about everything else is lackluster. So much of the book is spent mindlessly talking in a location I found boring. Gonna re-read the Captive Prince trilogy for the good stuff.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cats&Coconuts
  • 06-10-21

Fate vs Free Will…but Make it Epic

*cracks knuckles* Here we go!

Dark Rise is working to setup the foundations for the rest of the trilogy. The pacing started a little slow for me, but having read the Captive Prince series this was within expectations. I personally started to get jazzed and couldn’t stop listening around the mid-point. As far as Pacat’s trademark plot twists, they’re there but perhaps a little more obvious (maybe I just read too much dark fantasy lol.)

The multiple character POVs threw me off a little bit. I happen to be the kind of reader to prefer one POV, so that’s probably why the storyline was occasionally a little jerky for me. In any case, the characters are all pretty enticing and each have interesting backgrounds with the potential for badassery. I’m straight up living for the devious secrets and reveals forthcoming. 😈 Pacat did not disappoint in that category (Shocking absolutely no one.)

Shoutout to the narrator, Christian Coulson also! He was great and easy to listen to.

So. Real talk. I’m kind of hoping this someday leads to a final Narnia/LOTR-esque epic battle in some fantasy field somewhere because that’s the vibe I’m getting from this. And I could want for nothing more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jin
  • 24-02-22

Narrator is great, but the story is kind of a mess

The narrator is great, has distinct voices for each character.

The story is messy though. There are some twists that are good but there are also some that are laughable (in a not so good way).

This book has a lot of descriptions of things and people, and repeated sentences and descriptions. ”This place is ____, as if it was ____, this person is like _____, as if she is _____…etc.”

The mythical creature in the story is just LOL in a bad way. That bit came out of no way and fell forced into the story. Character didn’t add much to the story.

The confrontation near in the end between two of the main characters is also a bit laughable.one of the person who hasn’t known about the stewards/dark king until recently, instantly believed that he/she is the fated one and immediately wanting to kill the other person, but seconds later she started asking the person she tried to kill why her weapon isn’t working as intended…”
Um, he just warned you seconds ago about that happening >_>

Overall the narrator was great but I wouldn’t read this or sequels (if any). The writing is just a bit messy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kay Jayachandran
  • 01-02-22

Wanted to Love It

I truly love CS Pacat’s other series, but this felt like a deep dive into every YA trope there is. A classic dark vs light (good vs evil) that didn’t have the depth of character or world that I had expected from Pacat. I can’t say too much more without giving away the end, but the plot twist felt empty with the narrative choices that were made—leaving me feeling more like I was lied to rather than artfully misdirected. Wish I liked it more, but I will say, I appreciated the performance of the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Anderson
  • 17-12-21

the dark and twisted fantasy I never knew I needed

the narrating! the story! the characters! everything beyond words! I was drawn in so quickly and couldn't sleep till I was finished. hauntingly beautiful, perfectly tragic, with just enough hope to keep me clinging for dear life. I am utterly in love!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Raigan York
  • 08-12-21

Solid 3.75

I have to admit, I was confused for a good 2/3 of this story. The author was really good with their use of descriptive language, it allowed for a clear picture of the story being told to present itself in my mind, but I was still very confused.
The last 1/3 of this book was very intriguing and the ending makes me want more. It was a little difficult to get into but I still find myself impatient, waiting for the next book to be written.

1 person found this helpful