The Dark Season Saga: The Final Harvest by Yehya H. Safwat tells a wide-ranging, epic story of the struggle for the fantasy world Talor, and of Nymtha, who’s thrown into the heart of this war.
The battle for Talor is suspenseful and engaging. Sometimes I really did worry about the world’s future, instead of just assuming the good guys would win and evil would be vanquished. There’s something about the heightened language in this novel that keeps readers wondering if it might just be a dramatic tragedy instead.
Like any fantasy novel, there’s a stunning amount of new vocabulary. The author has invented all kinds of new personal names, cities, countries, tribes and orders, holidays and festivals, and so forth. The sheer number of fantasy proper nouns can be a little confusing to readers, especially keeping track of which groups are allied (Temporarily? Long term?), and which factions are against each other in this sweeping epic.
I liked the worldbuilding, and found the use of unique holidays and customs particularly well done. But I still found myself having to flip back to check on who the Order of Eon is or what Talor’s Plea is. There’s a map at the front and an appendix in the back with the world’s history.
But stick with it for character growth and development. The character development is the strongest aspect of this novel. Sure, there’s an epic plot, but libraries (and Amazon) are filled with epic fantasy sagas. It’s the character development, especially for our protagonist Nymtha, that really stands out. Nymtha’s personal choices and personal growth that made this novel work for me. We don’t just see heroes being brave in the battles The Dark Season Saga: The Final Harvest, we’re moved by seeing one man’s actions and choices at the heart of this conflict.