In the Darkness of the Pit The Light Shines Brightest
Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor. The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart. But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?
How can I even begin to say how incredible this book was? Throughout this novella, Anne Elisabeth interwove the themes of fear and bravery, giving the entire work a sense of continuity. It bound the two plotlines together — the plotline with Draven and his sister, Ita, and the plotline with the girl whose name we do not learn until the very last chapter.
Her characters were authentic and deeply relatable. Each of the main characters had his or her own struggle with fear, and yet each was unique. The result was a cast of truly unforgettable characters that I will, I am confident, carry with me for the rest of my life.
Chronologically, Draven’s Light is the earliest work yet in the Tales of Goldstone Wood. It’s set in the days during the building of the House of Lights, and even in the days before the Houses, which we had had very little insight into before this novella. Anne Elisabeth developed a vibrant, intriguing world in the short 189 pages of this novella.
In summary? This is one of the best books I have ever read. It’s a story that I am always going to remember, and will come back to over and over again. I loved the storyline. I loved the allegory. I especially loved the characters. I have literally nothing bad to say about this book. Go. Pick it up. Read it. Read it again. And again. And again. And then pass it around, because all of your friends need to read it, too. It is amazing.