Into a Dark Land picks up immediately after the events in Gods of Sand and Stone and follows Conn, Mur, and Aerlyn in their quest to find a way to destroy a mad god, Cernunnos. At the start of the story, I thought there might be the chance of a somewhat darker take on the classic four-person RPG party, but the sidhe warrior basically walks off after saying, “Sure, the gods might kills us, but they’ll kill you stupid humans first, and that won’t be so bad.” (I’m paraphrasing heavily.) So that leaves Conn’s party as a trio, who upon stepping out of the sidhe’s territory discover that they’ve lost two years in human time, and that things are going very badly for the locals.
While Conn and his friends stop in at a small town to get information, Cernunnos approaches a grieving king, Tigernmas, and seduces him with promises of power and a return to prosperity for his kingdom. The two sides amass armies destined to meet, and in the following weeks of training, Conn also learns the origins of his spear, the real reason why Cernunnos has become corrupted, and that there are many more gods involved in this war than he’d previously believed.
The book concludes with a massive battle between the two armies, though it would be hard to declare either the victor at this point. This sets the stage for book three, where I’m sure there will be more gods introduced, more bodies, and more revelations.
I’ll give Into a Dark Land 4 stars. It’s a short, fast-paced novel that should appeal to fans of dark fantasy, though I’d suggest reading the first book in The God Wars series before delving into this episode.