The Kingdom of Boulom has been lost.
The realms have already seen what happens when the Gods and their Harbingers are left unchecked.
The Gods cannot be trusted. No one knows that better than David Williams, the leader of the Guardians tasked to protect the realm from the gods and their powerful Harbingers ever since the fall of Boulom.
Six Guardians take their pledge to leave the squabbles of kingdoms behind and live only to stop the Harbingers and protect the realm from the gods.
Serenna Morgan, a famed Crystal Mage and Guardian, struggles with the Guardian Pact when the Kingdom of Terrangus invades her home.
She’s supposed to stay out of it.
But she can’t.
When she breaks her Oath and joins in the skirmish, she earns the favor of the God of Death when the conflict escalates to an all-out war.
And he makes her an offer, one that’ll make sure she’ll never fail in her goals again.
To become his Harbinger. To partake in the ecstasy of destruction.
I’ll be honest, what first drew me to this book was the cover, and the synopsis intrigued me enough to make the purchase.
This book had an interesting premise. Serenna is one of six guardians tasked to protect the world from deadly Harbingers—mortals coerced by power to do the bidding of warring deities. As such, she is forbidden to engage in war with other nations, even when her own is under attack, and as the synopsis indicates, she can’t just sit by and watch her home burn. Breaking the Pact has far-reaching consequences that aren’t immediately apparent to anyone.
Her story is one of struggle, both with the war and with the death god. It lays a good foundation for the other characters featured, and there are several. David is the leader of the Guardians, a veteran of many battles against Harbingers and demons of various sorts. Zeen is a young soldier with a complicated history that involves Serenna. Nyfe is the half crazed general of Terrangus’ army, who also has a history with the death god. There are a few others, but those are the main players.
Initially, I liked Zeen best, then Sardonyx was introduced. I loved Sardonyx, the zephum warlord with a glorious attitude.
Overall, the story was engaging and well-written, and I enjoyed the action sequences. Some of the Harbinger battles reminded me of my MMO gaming days; one person draws the attention of x monster, while the high damage group goes after the smaller (and usually annoying) helper monsters, and everyone must protect those nearly defenseless mages. Even some of the battle structures had a very raid boss-mechanics feel.
While that worked for the most part, there were a few times I wish the strategy had been presented a little differently. As they were preparing to engage the very first Harbinger for example, David rattles off a list of instructions—yes, I know he’s their leader and has the most experience—but it felt almost too structured. I would have enjoyed it a little more if one of the demons had been sighted first, and then he told the group how to handle it, rather than spouting off the instructions ahead of encountering anything at all. Maybe it’s just me, but I like a hefty dose of chaos in my battles and the early Harbinger fights didn’t really have that.
I felt the later battles were constructed much better and had a more realistic feel.
But overall, I really enjoyed the book. The worldbuilding and lore was pretty extensive, and the way the gods were portrayed (even those that may have been allies) was fascinating. I didn’t trust a single one of them—they were all out to further their own designs, and mortals were merely tools.
Platinum Tinted Darkness is listed as book one in the series, but I felt it wrapped up the storyline very well and could potentially be read as a standalone. I would like to see more of this world and its characters myself, so I’ll be watching for future works from this author.