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Darkin: A Journey East

Darkin: A Journey East - Joseph A. Turkot Here is the review posted by Pablo on the Amazon page:

Joseph Turkot's debut novel, Darkin: A Journey East, achieves a level of literary greatness that most fledgling authors never reach in a lifetime, let alone on a first attempt. Turkot delves into the literary genre, fantasy fiction, that is more popular now than it has ever been. Author Douglas Coupland, who has a constant pulse on the literary mindset of the populace, pointed out recently that "two decades of profound technological shifts have literally, biologically, rewired our brains" and that "the only books people are writing or reading right now are fantasy." However, the glut of fantasy novels has not deterred Turkot from making inroads into the realm of the fantasy genre. Turkot's audacious first novel sets its heights high and Turkot does not hide these aspirations, pointing out in the preface that his work is "inspired in no small part by Tolkien" and that he pursues the gargantuan task of "creating a similar sensation of wonder and awe." While creating wonder and awe on a level of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the patriarch of modern fantasy fiction, seems like a quixotic task, it is one that is nevertheless achieved in this work.

Darkin: A Journey East traces the journey of Adacon, a slave who grows to manhood knowing nothing but bondage. Stoked by bold calls for freedom by his fellow slaves, most notably Remtall, Adacon's soul is filled with a desire for freedom that had been dormant for many years. After seeing his good friend Remtall hanged publicly for all of the farm slaves to see as an omen for what could happen to any slave who diverged from his subservient role on the farm, Adacon chooses freedom as his destiny at any cost, even his life. From that moment on Adacon embarks on a trek that takes him from the farm, the only only place he has ever known, into the realm of Darkin. It is a realm not fit for free men to travel and Adacon finds himself in constant danger.

Early in his travels Adacon encounters Krem, an old staff-carring mystic who could just as easily be a Tolkien character from the Lord of the Rings. Krem, whom Adacon quickly realizes possesses magical powers of sorts, takes a liking to Adacon and his conviction, ultimately joining him on his quest. The burgeoning group soon adds more members, all great help to Adacon and all characters that any fan of fantasy will surely love. Togther the group sets out to take on the dark lords of Darkin, the very ones who for so long have punished the men of the land. Before long Adacon's motley group - consisting of a magician, a gnome, a metal giant, and several men -is mixed up with dwarves and elves in alliance to defeat the evil lord, Vesleathren, and Aulterion, the Dark Mage and his Feral army. By the end of the novel Adacon finds himself in an epic battle in which the good people (and elves, dwarves, and golems, among other classis characters of fantasy) find themselves in an epic battle for their very lives.

This novel is sure not do disappoint anyone who enjoys fantasy, adventure or just plain good storytelling. The fluidity with which Turkot writes makes this a novel that is hard to put down once started. The reader quickly becomes invested in Adacon and emotionally tied to his struggle. The struggle for freedom is one that has reverberated with people throughout history and it is one that will continue to inspire for as long as people remain on Earth. This is a struggle that Turkot has captured, through the medium of fantasy, and made intriguing, enjoyable and inspirational for the reader. To borrown from the author's own words, he has achieved his goal of "creating a sensation of wonder and awe." It is a goal of which Tolkien would doubtless approve. Turkot has set his mark high, and unquestionably he has hit it.