Title: Knights of the Borrowed Dark / The Forever Court
Author: Dave Rudden
The Knights of the Borrowed Dark
Knights of the Borrowed Dark is a novel which constantly takes you by surprise. It takes a storyline we’ve all heard before – an orphan boy discovers he’s part of a secret, magical world – and turns it inside out. Rather than being met with wonder, Denizen is thrown into a magical war that is unforgiving, dangerous and deadly.
Denizen discovers the world is plagued by shadowy monsters, Tenebrous, who thrive on fear and chaos. Only a small group of people have the power to push against these creatures, and it comes with a Cost, one that cannot be undone. Rudden is incredibly creative with how he depicts this, particularly in the Tenebrous themselves; each one is unique and, with that, they step up from being a two-dimensional enemy to a very much present and complex one.
The writing is the perfect balance for a middle grade novel. It captures the world that Denizen finds himself in perfectly, yet in a way that is easy to read and absorb. There were so many twists and turns while the pacing kept me griped to the novel. That being said, it does get dark in places so younger children (and some older ones too, for that matter) may find it a little bit scary.
Knights of the Borrowed Dark kicks off this series with a bang and, with what this book demonstrates of Rudden’s creativity and writing skill, the sequels are going to be equally as thrilling, if not more so. This book wraps up well but leaves plenty more for us readers to get our noses into later on; and it’s a book which will keep you thinking about it even when you’re not reading.
The Forever Court
I am not sure what I was expecting when I started the sequel to Knights of the Borrowed Dark, but after reading The Forever Court, whatever I was expecting was surpassed, trodden on and forgotten.
The Forever Court takes what we learnt in the first book and expands it, twists it into something deeper and more complex. I cannot say too much about the plot, for fear of spoiling previous events, but this book sees a new villain arise, one more terrifying than the Tenebrous we see in Knights of the Borrowed Dark and all the more human. Denizen also continues his ventures into the world of the Knights and, in the process, opens it up to the reader.
Where Knights of the Borrowed Dark works as a set up to the series, The Forever Court takes that foundation and steadily builds upon it. Everything we see is developed in an organic manner – nothing felt forced and the more fantastical elements were nicely integrated into the realistic aspects of the story.
I really liked the addition of the Croits; they were easily my favourite part of the book and I could barely tear my nose away from the page during their chapters. They expanded what we knew of the Knights and Tenebrous while also introducing a sinister cult family element. The Croits’ storyline paralleled nicely with Denizen’s and this kept the pace of the book going while keeping my own interest firmly in place.
If you enjoyed the first book, you will love The Forever Court. It does everything a sequel is supposed to and steps far away from the dangers second novels usually come up against. I am very much looking forward to what the next book has to offer and am only disappointed that I will have to wait so long to read it