Christopher Patterson captures your imagination, holding you hostage in the fantasy world of Dark Winds. The quest continues for the treasure and prized heirloom lost in the dwarfish city of Orvencrest. The Shadow’s influence is growing stronger, war wages; the era of The Great Peace is coming to an end. For the adventurous trio of Erik, Befel and Bryon, the world has become much larger than it seemed on the farm. The further they travel from home; the longing for its comfort grows stronger. The cost of their adventure has come with an unforeseen high price to pay - Death. So much death, agonizing sorrow haunts their days and phantoms of morbid faces invade their sleep. Overwhelmed with guilt, the young warriors grieve over the men they have killed and their fallen comrades. Erik and his companions are in constant danger; many are on their trail, some seek to right a wrong, and others to kill them before they reach the treasure. Although fate has brought them together, tensions are rising within the company of mercenaries. The opposition and competition is great. However, for Erik, Befel and Bryon there is something more valuable than riches and an ancient heirloom, their manhood is at stake. Daily, they are being tested in faith, strength, will and purpose. As they travel closer to the mountains, there is a foreboding change in the winds; the “Dark Winds” are approaching. “Things are changing. The world is changing.” They are changing.
Dark Winds is the second book in The Shadow’s Fire Trilogy. The narrative poses two vital questions: What makes a savage? What makes a hero? Christopher Patterson is a creative and gifted storyteller. His love of fantasy, adventure, music and faith are relevant in his writing. He takes the elements of fantasy, covers them with flesh and blood, crafting an adventure that comes alive with unrestrained imagery. Vivid, brilliant and figurative language is used to paint graphic word pictures, especially regarding the barbaric battle scenes, and the fear drenched animations suffered during nightmares. The narrative begins with a band of tormented wounded warriors. Their battle fatigue and disgruntled moods are heightened by ominous weather, bizarre blood moons, and evil surroundings. As the plot progresses, the narrative goes deeper into its primitive world, depicting horrific mountain trolls, weapons with consciences, and a subterranean dwarf kingdom. The primary conflict of the story lies between the forces of good and evil, and it is through this divergence the aforementioned questions of savagery and heroism are answered. Man versus himself is the subordinate conflict. With his innocence warped, the protagonist experiences inner turmoil. Traumatized by the exploits of battle; he is wrecked by guilt.
Dark Winds is written in third person omniscient point of view, allowing for the soul and idiosyncrasies of the characters to be exposed. The cast of characters is extensive; it is a blend of young and old, dwarves and men, villains and heroes. However, the narrative focuses mainly on the lives of Erik, Befel and Bryon. Erik is the protagonist; through his character growth, the overall theme of the narrative is unveiled - As you overcome the challenges of life, you change. Patterson pens many memorable lines. My favorite is “Knowledge is the most powerful weapon the world has ever known.” During the rising action, Erik’s destiny compels him to face danger transforming him from a farm boy into a warrior. At the apex of the action, he discovers his life has purpose; this breakthrough releases the desire for increased knowledge. As the story closes, Erik’s maturity sets him apart from the others. Dark Winds concludes with a brave resolve. What lies ahead is yet to be seen.
“Knowledge is the most powerful weapon the world has ever known.”