Last night I wrapped up Alison Sinclair's Darkborn, the first in a trilogy that takes place in a world that has been cursed by magic. For decades, there have been the Darkborn -- those for whom the light means instant death -- and the Lightborn, just the opposite. The two races live mostly separate except in the town of Minhorne where physician Balthasar Hearne shares a wall with his Lightborn friend, Floria White Hand. Their close friendship is exactly what saves Bal when Tercelle Amberley, a woman once involved with Bal's long missing brother, appears on his doorstep about to give birth. Bal's sister is a mage, something the Darkborn society very much looks down upon, but she is there to help attend the birth. She returns to her duties and Tercelle slips Bal a sedative while she plans to leave her newborns out for the sun. Bal saves the children with Floria's help, but when strangers come looking for the children, it is Floria who comes to the rescue. Bal is left for dead and his own daughter is kidnapped as ransom. Meanwhile, Bal's wife, Telmaine, returns home just in time to help heal her husband. Telmaine has been hiding a secret for many years, but her own magical abilities are going to come in handy in this dark time of need.
Darkborn is a fantasy with action, political intrigue, and magic. In the midst of the story, the turmoil between the two races begins to come to a dangerous head, something I believe will be explored even more in the second installment, Lightborn.
Sinclair is the author of a previous Sci-fi trilogy and Throne Prince, written with Lynda Williams. This is her first fantasy novel. Lightborn is due out next year, but you can get a sneak peak of it in the back of Darkborn, which hits shelves on May 5.
Readers who enjoy fantasy with an intricate and original history will love this book. I would say the most recent fantasy read that I have come across that is similar in style and scope would be Pamela Freeman's Castings Trilogy.