Publishing Date: February 2015
Publisher Description: When Dark’s Diverse Delights arrives by night to set up shows and rides that promisefun and excitement for one and all, the outskirts of Rannit begin to look disturbingly likethe nightmares that plague Markhat’s sleep. Mama Hog has sent him a new client, a cattle rancher with a missing daughter. Markhat’s search reveals genuine terrors lurking amidst the carnival’s tawdry sideshows, where Death itself takes the main stage every evening, just past midnight.
Review: A fun ride from start to finish. The Darker Carnival edges in and out of the horror genre making it palatable by balancing characters and scenes. You have the twisted, and then Markhat as an engaging and witty character to help ease you into the bizarre.
So why the 4 stars and not 5? Some characters seemed to drag the story line down yet thankfully did not play an essential role. For instance Gertriss, Marhat’s protégé. Whiney, demanding, petulant and self-centered came to mind each time she was in a scene. At one point she demands to see her half dead friend (love methinks) and when he has sacrificed and chanced all to be with her, she rebuffs him. Sigh. Darla was another downer but manages to avail herself in tense situations.
This novel embodies everything you may like about fantasy; witches, skeleton men, animated dragons, huge spiders, trolls, werewolves and icky carney clowns. I wish I had known about this author and the Markhat series.