- Paperback: 412 pages
- Publisher: Design by Tarah L. Wolff (January 4, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0985022809
- ISBN-13: 978-0985022808
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,192,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Embraced by Darkness Book One: Sacrifices Paperback – January 4, 2012
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"Embraced by Darkness Book One: Sacrifices" offers a realistic and graphic spin on the already murky discussion of just what constitutes an adult fantasy ... It remains to be seen if adult fantasy fans will embrace "Sacrifices," ... my guess is that there are those who will."
Reviewed by Joseph Yurt for Reader Views
"This fantasy novel is a unique work within its respective genre. I think that Wolff is a very talented young author and look forward to what she has in store for the reader in the next installment in the series, "Embraced by Darkness- Book Two: Stricken" Reviewed by Kam Aures for Rebecca's Reads
"The passion of the characters drove the story forward, and I liked that about Sacrifices. You get to really know them... The Human interaction with the other species was fun, and Wolff definitely knows a thing or two about horses, which she flawlessly incorporates into her unique cast of Centaurs."
About the Author
Tarah was born on February 24th, 1986, in Park Rapids, Minnesota. She attended public school for one year (kindergarten) before being placed in a Baptist Christian School for several years until being home schooled. She graduated early from home schooling (2001) and became the club manager at her family's golf course. When she was five years old, her family built and began operating Fair Havens Golf Course and she began work there at the age of fifteen. In 2005, she met a man online from Oklahoma and began a long distance relationship with him. They purchased a home in Durant, Oklahoma, and renovated the entire house by themselves. She learned how to run electrical, patch a roof, drywall, plumbing and countless other manual labors. In this time, Tarah finished most of her work on Sacrifices and she regards those years as the most trying and darkest years of her life. Their relationship ended in August, 2010, when she finally drove home to Minnesota for the last time. When Tarah was eleven years old, she joined The Jackpine Writers' Bloc (www.jackpinewriters.com) based out of her home town of Park Rapids, Minnesota. With the writers' group looking at abandonment along with their literary journal, Tarah, along with her aunt Sharon Harris, took the group over. They restarted the monthly writers' meetings and took control of the group's book, The Talking Stick (www.thetalkingstick.com). They joke yearly that they don't know if they have another book in them. But, after having been a part of publishing sixteen books with The Jackpine Writers' Bloc, it's easy to see how they will continue with their efforts. In their time, the JWB has gone from a little known writers' group to a publication with reports of books sold on the Internet from Alaska to England. In 2005, Tarah started a web and print design business called Web Services of Park Rapids. The business has been successful for her and she continues it to this day. She will be the first to say, though, how badly she simply wishes to support herself by writing for the rest of her life. www.parkrapidsweb.com. If you're interested in learning more: in 2009 Tarah started her blog chronicling her journey as a novelist and every hard lesson along the way: www.tarahlynn.com. And, for more information about the Embraced by Darkness series, you can visit the official website: www.embracedbydarkness.com
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Top customer reviews
If you like fantasy novels, you should give this book a try.
Oh, yeah. I also liked that the characters who told the story were all female. I don't know if this is rare in fantasy, but I thought it showed how strong women could be.
Just about every page is redolent with a musky aura of earthy-animalistic yearning and sensual passion.
Also at the heart of this ambitious tale looms the ever-present shadow of the feminine archetype - exploring what it means to be a woman -- and the eternal central dilemma of the female sex. It's the predicament of womankind since the beginning of time - dealing with the dangers of violent male predation and lust, while also aching for the pleasure and passion of an all-absorbing union with the male archetype.
A latent theme of rape or threat of rape never strays far from the narrative. At the same time, the female characters often willingly enter into intense sexual unions of mind-boggling, soul-shattering pleasure with men ... and, yes, even man-like things!
Certainly, a Freudian psychologist would have a field day analyzing the sexual allegory suggested between that of women and horses in these pages. Yes, yes ... I realize that a centaur is half-human, half-horse, but the women here seem equally enamored with regular horses and the feel of them "between their legs." (I put that latter phrase in quotes because it appears more than once in connection with a woman riding a horse). (Also: Just how does a woman have sex with a centaur? Hmmm. Ponder that for a moment!)
But wait a minute - let me step away from pedantic nerd mode to tell the reader that I think anyone can enjoy this this novel on any level one wants to. If you're looking for an entertaining, sweeping sword and sorcery epic filled with all the props of that genre, you'll find it: Hunky sword wielding men, gorgeous gutsy women, elves, mythical creatures, dragons, demonic ghouls, a dark lord - it's all here.
The central plot is strong enough, if somewhat derivative of the genre formula. The characters are sharp, vivid and real; they come alive on the page - even if you find them spiteful, obnoxious or too good to be true - you'll still care about what happens to them. The background fantasy world is richly imagined. It does what a great fantasy novel needs to do - it takes you away, allows you to escape, to an magical universe that is alive with shimmering wonder.
The pacing is decent, although I'll stop short of calling this a page turner; it's actually something better. Some may be challenged by the 400+ page length, but I think most will be eager to keep reading.
Yes, good wins out over evil in the end. (I'm not giving anything away; all fantasy novels end that way). However, what's terrific about this novel is that those who are "good" and those who are "evil" are not always sharply defined as so - so even in their victory, the reader may wonder if the heroes really deserved to triumph at all.
That's especially true of Jezaline - one of three primary female characters who anchor the narrative. And the tough-as-nails tomboy Osondrous is as incredible, unstoppable ass-kicker of epic proportions. Oh my, what a woman! Only the saintly Karalay represents what we would recognize as the personification of a traditional heroine -- pretty as an angel, selfless, giving and pure of heart. (I should also give Constance and honorable mention, a kitten-sexy soft beauty who is a visionary with a poetic soul. I suspect Constance will play a large role in the sequel, due out later this year).
Finally, I must mention the writing itself. My friends, this young author, TARAH L. WOLFF, can flat out turn a phrase. She crafts and weaves sentences that are beautiful. The reader will be treated to graceful paragraphs that flow out and glide across the page. True - it's not consistently thus throughout - but who cares! Often enough, the author seems to "go unconscious," something "clicks in" and she spins out page after page of marvelous flare and elegance.
If you have a pulse, this writer's prose will give you goose bumps.
The author's tells us her goal in creating EMBRACED BY DARKNESS was to push the envelope of the fantasy genre further, taking it to greater heights and perhaps a deeper level significance. Mission accomplished.