Gil dreams of a world where the people have good reason to be afraid of the dark and where humans are struggling for their civilization to survive. She keeps seeing a wizard in those dreams and one day, the wizard sits in her kitchen, with a child he has rescued from that world.
I picked up The Time of the Dark by Barbara Hambly as part of a Humble Bundle and read it without knowing anything about it. I'm glad I did because it's, on the surface, just the kind of fantasy I really do not like at all. But it's extremely well written, even if the story of 'ordinary people must survive in a fantasy world' has been done so many time before and since. Gil and Rudy are very relatable characters and the wizard Ingold, let's just say I'd follow him into hell if I were in their place, too.
The Dark are terrifying villains. They are extremely hard to fight, you cannot see them coming and you never get a closer look at them throughout the book. There are hints of a more complex backstory to them and I always like that about a villain.
What really sold me on this book was Hambly's writing, though. It took half a page at most and I was lost in the world, even on the subway. Her prose is extremely vivid and she describes scenes for all senses. I appreciate it a lot when authors do that and I try to do it myself when I run a roleplaying game because it's a lot more immersive than just sight and sound.
When I looked Barbara Hambly up, I found out that she had written, among a lot of other things, one of my favourite Star Trek novels: Ishmael.. I used to read tons of these novels, but Ishamel still stands out to me even after, I don't know, twenty years. I absolutely plan on reading the rest of the Darwath trilogy and maybe the Benjamin January novels because those sound interesting - New Orleans in the 1830 and a free man of colour, a doctor and musician, as the main character.