Us few lucky devils (pun intended) got to read DM Cain’s A Chronicle of Chaos before its release date and I feel very privileged to be among them.
Cain has embarked on a rather unique endeavor with this fantasy-fiction saga. One might go as far to call it her life’s work, as she spent many, many years creating this world, building layer upon layer. I’m sure even Cain herself still has moments when her own characters surprise her, but the future has been set. She knows it and we don’t. Not yet, anyway. With A Chronicle of Chaos we get a first glimpse of that future and I for one can’t wait to read the other books.
Without further ado, the reviews! Enjoy them and if you decide this is the book for you, you can pre-order it here
A Chronicle of Chaos
Normally when I’m confronted with so many books up front, I think: “That sounds like a lot of work.” Cain, however, has created such an interesting concept, it pulled me in from the start. A Chronicle of Chaos is part of a series, yes, but it can also be read as a stand-alone. Just like all the other books that will follow and you can read them in any particular order. How refreshing! There’s only one book which doesn’t comply with this feeling of freedom and that’s the final book, which will have to be read, like the title implies, last.
Chaos, our main character in this book, is a bit of a spoiled brat, in desperate need of approval from his grandmother Callista, the ruler and matriarch of his people. You do feel for him though, as does his father and his own regiment, and you want to know more about why they have such faith in Chaos, who is destined to fulfill an important prophecy and only too happy to believe that himself.
When Chaos receives yet another scolding from his grandmother before the council, he flees the city to gather his thoughts of humiliation and anger. Crossing their boundary lines he meets a stranger in a bar who seems to be struggling with the exact same things. Chaos learns and grows a great deal, basking in the knowledge there is someone else who really understands him. Anathema and Chaos develop a friendship, fighting each other, sharing stories and something stirs within them both. Something more than friendship.
The only problem is, Anathema is a demon in human form. And though both may not know it now, his mission will soon read: Destroy Chaos and his people. When the clock is ticking and everybody is looking to you for answers and salvation, do you follow orders or do you follow your own heart? And will you be able to face the consequences?
Lisa – author of The Elemental
This opening book in DM Cain’s epic Light and Shadow fantasy series certainly plunges us in at the deep end.
A Chronicle Of Chaos sets the scene for a centuries-long battle for dominance between The Children of Light and The Brotherhood of Shadow, introducing us to a number of humans, angels and demons.
The premise behind what will become DM Cain’s multi-book story spanning thousands of years, is that each novel tells the tale of one character – and its unique aspect is that they can be read in almost any order. Each one will be self-contained, with the underlying story arc flowing through it, as the protagonists choose which side to take, building the tension towards one final Armageddon.
Throughout much of this first one, our hero, Chaos Lennox, is seen as more of a petulant anti-hero as the reader comes to terms with his immaturity and stubbornness (despite his great age by our standards and the success he has achieved before we meet him).
While it begins as a classic opening for traditional good versus evil, it quickly develops into a book of two distinct threads. The first introduces us to Callista, the matriarch whose family dynasty rules the land of Alcherys; to a group of demons who are freed from Hell to give the Brotherhood of Shadow a helping hand; and to the angels who turn up to level the playing field. The second thread graphically describes a series of battles with horrendous consequences, while interweaving a dangerous love story – dangerous because it is not only same sex love, but between different species. While there is nothing explicit or graphic in the sex aspects, DM Cain masterfully sets the ultimate dilemma for the two lovers – should they sacrifice everything for each other?
The characters in this novel are finely written, both those representing the good side and evil – you’ll wonder how Callista rose to her position of supremacy, and who the malevolent Bavelize is. You’ll marvel at the wonderful power and goodness of the angels while weeping at the fate of some of them. You’ll gasp in horror at the ruthless brutality of the demons as they unleash their horrors upon hordes of innocent villagers, as well as on the angels and Children of Light. And you’ll be perplexed at Mikhail’s stunning ability. Don’t expect to find all the answers in A Chronicle Of Chaos. We’ll have to wait for each character’s own novel to tie up the loose ends.
But the heart of this first book – its true essence – is prejudice and love, persistence and stubbornness. The love aspect is certainly not for the faint-hearted, showing just how blind that most powerful and raw of emotions can be. I was left wondering all the way through how it could possibly end – it has to end badly for one or both of the lovers, doesn’t it? Sorry, I’m giving no clues as to the outcome, other than saying you’ll have to wait until the very last sentence to find out.
Roll on The Shield Of Soren – book number two in what promises to be a fascinating and awe-inspiring series.
Stewart Bint – author of Timeshaft
The first book from the Light and Shadow Chronicles series called A Chronicle of Chaos sets up a fantastic world of fantasy and adventure. The main character, Chaos, is a young man in a group called Nightfall. He is destined to be a great fighter and is eager to fulfil his destiny.
He meets Anathema, a young man who is also feeling he needs to prove his value to his group. The story continues as Chaos and Anathema become closer and closer neither realising they are enemies and that Anathema and Chaos are on opposing sides.
The descriptions of the landscape and villages are breathtaking and are so good you can see the scenes in your mind. There are many battles that are tense and really pull at your nerves. The Children of Light call the angels to help fight the group Anathema has after them. All the while Anathema has demons at his disposal leading to some unimaginable battles. A Chronicle of Chaos has a lot of mythology and history that keeps your attention and will set the scene for many great tales in the books in this series.
A Chronicle of Chaos is a story of love, loss, and coming of age all within a wonderful fantasy world. I was thrilled, excited and heartbroken all at the same time. The range of emotions brought me back to D.M. Cain’s first book The Phoenix Project. I’m excited to see the final book and the next book in the series.
David Spell – Reader
In her second novel, D M Cain introduces us to a deep and immersing new world and to a struggle that has been raging for hundreds of years. Told through the experiences of a young man trying to earn his place in the world, and a monster struggling against his bonds, it is an intriguing glimpse into the nature of friend and foe, and into the fragility of absolutes.
Once again Cain manages to subvert our expectations, forcing upon us surprising pathos for the sociopathic, and unreasoning anger against decisions that can only objectively be described as just. I for one eagerly anticipate the next book in the series.
Mathew Gregory – Reader