Deep within the forests of Nyn’Dira, darkness rises, and Neer finds herself hunted at every turn. Fleeing from relentless enemies and vicious creatures of darkness, she embarks on a treacherous journey through the dangerous woodlands in search of strength and salvation.
As the humans push further into the forbidden lands, the Nasir and his men close in, finding strength in the blood of the innocent. With the balance beginning to shift, Neer is caught in a war she was never meant to be in, and is forced to make a decision that could change the tides of fate, or cause it all to collapse and burn.
Shadows of Nyn'Dira is the third book in the grim fantasy series Fallen Light, written by H.C. Newell. Let me start the review by saying this book is a huge step up over the first two books, feeling as a solid start to the nucleus of the series, using the foundations established to in Curse of the Fallen and The Forbidden Realms, which were a way to introduce us to the basic of the worlds and make us establish a bond with the main characters, especially with Neerana and Aella.
As a product of it, the pacing is slower in comparison with the previous books, not as frenetic, leaning closer to what you could expect from epic fantasy. Newell spends more time delving into the nuances of the world and the background of the characters, while still advancing on the main plot that took us on extensive travel for books 1 and 2.
Moving the action to the forest of Nyn'Dira allows us to explore more about the evaesh and the conflict that is rising in the frontiers of the forest; Neer is struggling with the darkness inside her, and for Aella, coming back to those lands is a big shock. While it is still a dark fantasy book, the focus moves more towards the politics and the relationships between different settlements, dealing with the evil that is threatening to destroy Nyn'Dira.
I think Newell has found her distinctive voice in this book, a nice mix between the raw emotions and the epicness happening; while the worldbuilding is flawless in this book, characters have gained weight, and the use of multiple POV, jumping between them to enhance the emotional punches.
Shadows of Nyn'Dira is an excellent book, which couldn't be understood without taking into account the two previous books; and at the same time, shows what Newell can do in a fully fleshed world. If you like dark fantasy, you should pick the Fallen Light series as soon as possible.
H.C. Newell is an American best-selling author of epic fantasy. She is best known for the Fallen Light fictional universe, in which her fantasy novel Curse of the Fallen, is set. Newell's works have been compared by readers to authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Andrejz Sapkowski, and Robert Jordan among others. Newell lives in Nashville, TN with her husband.