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David Andrew Crawford

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Dark Solus: An Assassin's Tale
by David Andrew Crawford   

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Publisher:  Assassins Inc. ISBN-10:  0987677314 Type: 


Copyright:  March 5, 2011 ISBN-13:  9780987677310

Price: $0.99 (eBook)
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David Andrew Crawford

Mythological creatures and deadly assassins armed with magical lethal devices abound in this dark tale where one lone man will exact his revenge for the merciless execution of his parents when he was just a boy.

Dark Solus, An Assassin's Tale is a dark, science fiction fantasy novel about one of the deadliest assassins on the planet Eorth. The evil wizard Kalifen, along with the ruthless leaders of the Assassins, Thieves and Halflings guilds, murdered Dark Solus' parents when he was only a child. Haunted by their merciless execution, he now waits and prepares to exact his revenge on all those responsible for their demise. Dark is transformed and trained by the Styg, the warden of the Stygian depths, and his grandfather Mephistopheles, an ancient silver dragon. Twelve years later, Dark is now ready to travel to the City of Duergar, the home of his enemies. Trained in the skills of assassination, and armed with lethal magic devices and knowledge of the dark arts, he has set himself only one kill them all! This action-packed book comes alive with ancient imagery, in a time before solid boundaries formed between the mystical kingdoms of Faërie and the mortal world of man.

Let me tell you a story, but not your typical story where the prince saves the princess or even the one about the knight who slays the dragon and becomes king. No…this is not even a story at all, but rather a tale. This is an assassin’s tale.

The sun had set and nighttime fell upon the City of Duergar, so named for the dwarven King that had built and once ruled here many years ago. The moon was full and the stars were shining brightly, lighted by Nyx, the goddess of the night sky. Usually a time of mischief and thievery, eventide in the City of Duergar was a time for the creatures from the dark to venture forth performing ungodly acts of evil. Duergar had a reputation for being the greatest city in the world, full of wonder, magic and mystery, as well as being the wickedest, filled with villainous and powerful entities.

With the onset of darkness, the once bustling and hectic streets became silent, shops closed as most of the citizens retired to the safety of their homes. The coming of the night tide opened the taverns, brothels and gambling dens with numerous merchants and innkeepers willing to relieve a traveller of his cumbersome load of treasure.

City constables are common during the hours of daylight, but to keep the peace during the witching hour, the Night Watch, an elite group of guards were required. Maintenance of law and order fell to them to incarcerate any individuals who committed any offence against the Code of Justice in Duergar. Silence reigned in the city this night as people tended to desert the streets, seeing only those with dishonest intent venturing out into the capital after nightfall. The members of the night watchmen are thus a common sight on the boulevards of the city after dark, but on this night there were no patrols, no citizens…no one.

The city was indeed quiet, uncommonly quiet, but a creature did stir this night…two in fact. Scurrying along the rooftops were two dark cloaked figures clinging to the shadows so as not to be seen. Bounding from one building to another, hastily making their retreat, they passed the high market in the garden quarters, a residence for the rich and wealthy. They made their way to the Grand Bazaar, both stopping, coming to rest atop the great library of Duergar, quickly ducking behind two sizeable gargoyles for cover. The Grand Bazaar, located in the center of the city, was a huge open area with numerous stalls, tents and a plethora of little booths. Large two story shops surrounded the grandiose market and located at the core was the Ring of Champions. The City Bazaar is known for its many different shops, galleries, and specialty shops that you can't find anywhere else, with cobblestone streets teeming with skilled craftspeople selling their unique wares, numerous elegant taverns and a monument to the city’s greatest heroes.

Professional Reviews

Dark tale filled with magic, dragons, and dark characters
Dark Solus, The Assassin, is a dark tale of revenge. This tale grabs your interest from the beginning by introducing you to Dark's parents. The story begins in the dark of night with two figures, hunted. Elim tried to send his love, half elfin, Leynorr to safety for she carried his child. She managed to escape to the Albatross and waited for her beloved. After battling animated rock statues, Halflings, humanoids, and Kalifen, the Arch Mage he joined her on the ship with wings.

From here our story moves forward in time, where we meet Dark and his hell horse, Nightmare. Mephisto was training Dark, his grandson when the evil Taliesin appeared bragging about the murder of Dark's parents and challenging Mephisto who quickly shifted into a dragon like creature. From that moment on thirteen year old, Dark desired vengeance. For ten years Dark studied and trained with Styg. He knew that was not enough. He continued his preparations by taking on quests for talismans that will help him destroy those that destroy his loved ones.

Dark Solus is a dark tale filled with magic, dragons, and dark characters. Author David Andrew Crawford presents readers with a tale that will make the most discriminating Demons and Dungeons fans beg for more. As the reader journeys with Dark on his many quests, he/she will meet many outstanding characters. Crawford carefully molds the characters into creatures that seem to climb off the page. While the plot of Dark Solus is excellent, it was the characters that kept me turning the pages.

A tantalizing dark fantasy tale that is a treat to read from beginning to end
"It is always a pleasure to come across a quality fantasy novel and Dark Solus: An Assassin's Tale by David Andrew Crawford is an entertaining read. This is one of those fantasy books that leave you thinking and visualizing about it well after you are done. The author weaves a tale that grabs your attention and holds it the entire way through. Simply put, the story is about a child, Dark Solus, who experiences the life-changing trauma of his parent's murders at a young age. He becomes an assassin to exact revenge. The story takes the reader through the life of Dark Solus as he is growing up with his grandfather raising him. He struggles with the driving force of retribution shaping his decisions. Dark Solus becomes a strong personality because of this drive and the conflict between him and his grandfather will have readers empathizing with both characters' point of view.

Crawford has an amazing imagination and it was obvious that he took considerable time and thought to write his first novel. The story is rich in detail with a quality storyline and excellent character development. The dialogue between the characters flowed well throughout most of the novel. There are fantastic action sequences throughout and enough sorcery and mystery to satisfy any fantasy buff.

Readers are left with a solid ending and will have to wait with anticipation for the sequel to find out what happens in the next chapter of Dark Solus, the assassin." - TBR

A Well-Researched, Action-Packed Saga of Vengeance
David Andrew Crawford's Dark Solus: An Assassin's Tale is the riveting saga of a thirteen-year-old boy and his mission to vanquish his parents' enemies after witnessing their harrowing demise. Filled with wizards, magic, dwarves, elves, dragons, betrayal, conspiracies, and much more, Dark Solus adds a uniquely psychological element that sets it apart from the normal, run-of-the-mill fantasy. Thrillingly dark to its core, this science fiction/fantasy will not disappoint. Reaching deep into the recesses of his imagination, Crawford has crafted a well-written, detail-rich story that will make readers fall in love with this genre all over again.

As in any tantalizing fantasy tale, Dark Solus' action-packed scenes are preceded by a winding, well-researched historical description, or back-story. The narrative revolves around Dark Solus, the son of Elim and Leynorr Solus, and his unyielding desire to eliminate the masterminds behind his parents' murders, especially the evil wizard and Shadow Lord, Kalifen.

With the help and training from his thousand year-old grandfather Mephistopheles, a polymorphic legendary silver dragon and his friend and teacher the Styg, Warden of the Stygian Depths--a warrior and poet, and the individual who trained Dark's father--Dark hones his powers and prepares for his mission to defeat Kalifen and Lord Blackthorn, and wreak vengeance upon the Assassins, Thieves, and Halfling Guilds.

Though the plot itself is mesmerizing, the dynamic storyline forces readers to conjure how a thirteen year-old child instantly evolves into an assassin--avenging the brutal murders of his parents. Dark is constantly haunted by the memories of his parents. More specifically, the night of the murders is described from Dark's perspective: "That night, Dark's sleep was restless, tormented and haunted by nightmarish images of his parents trapped inside a shadowy coffin."

As Dark, now the cloaked assassin completes his training and prepares to invade the city of Duergar, he receives gifts and tools from his well-wishers that will help him in his endeavors. Can Dark single-handedly do what his parents were unable to do together?

Ultimately, Dark Solus: An Assassin's Tale is captivating, from the plot to the precise details, and the fateful birth of an assassin in Dark Solus. It's a must read for all sci-fi/fantasy aficionados.

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