SpecMusicMuse Review—Dark Shala by Cathy Benedetto
Everything you’d expect from an epic fantasy can be found in Dark Shala by Cathy Benedetto, the second book of the Shala Trilogy. The Shala are a tall race of powerful dark skinned warriors who possess a telepathic bond with large cats they call fels. As a vast army invades their lands, just as had been prophesied, the Shala come to the aid of the native humans.
In this second installment, their leader, Tahjeen, and his Shala escort human refugees through an ancient network of underground tunnels. But they soon find themselves being hunted by Shala exiles that practice dark magic, or “Dark Shala,” who have sided with the invaders for a chance at revenge.
Benedetto has created an interesting mix of lovable characters as well as a world and story worthy of the genre. She knows how to keep a reader turning those pages long after they should be going to bed.
I found the prologue to be unnecessary since it was merely a recap of the previous book, and the information it provided was nothing that didn’t later pop up in the story itself, whether through dialogue or exposition. Those types of prologues are neither required and can be quite irksome. But aside from that, the story was an enjoyable read.
Best to read while listening to: the soundtrack to Avatar.
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