Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 / 5 stars)
Kanna never thought of herself as important. An orphan, often teased as a child, and forced to hide her emotions. After her guardian, Morgana, gives her approval, she is escorted to the Palace by Kenneth and Neel to become a knight. But there is a lot hidden in Kanna’s past that she doesn’t know about, and as she forms a friendship with Kenneth as her friend and mentor, she soon learns their paths are more entwined that she realized.
A fast paced adventure, Dark Irregular introduces us to a world where shadows run rampant and the people look to the knights for defense. Kanna is strong, talented, and fearless; slowly, she opens up to the reader…and to her friends as well. Kaitlyn Legaspi does a fantastic job in defining the main characters: between Kanna’s blunt timidness, Kenneth’s focused callousness, and Neel’s joyful playfulness. In such a short novel, you get a feel for who they are and their emotions.
The concept of an Irregular is a unique take on a “demon” type of creature as well. Born out of intense emotion, they haunt the landscape, leaving a void of emptiness that the reader not only feels in Kanna but in the world as a whole. Even as emotions run high, the feeling remains, making the reader wonder themselves if they’ll become a host for an irregular as well.
While I enjoyed the overall plot of Dark Irregular, and at times couldn’t put it down, the story moved a little too fast. I would have liked to spend more time watching the friendships between characters develop, as well as see Kanna face struggles in her training, and not just her ability to master it. The plot itself moves almost too fast, with world building elements mentioned only when they become relevant, rather than leaving clues along the way. Kanna is often thrown into the plot, moved about like a pawn rather than influencing most of the decisions. While this is understandable for a 14-year-old girl without much authority, I hope in future books that she will be able to guide the plot rather than be moved through it like a game piece.
Despite it’s flaws, Dark Irregular is a unique, fast paced fantasy that I think many people would enjoy. I full intend to pick up the sequel, White Blossom, in the near future.
Because with an ending like THAT…who wouldn’t want to read the next book?
What’s it about?
A world consists of two planes of existence. There is the world of the living, where humans, elves, and every whole-spirited creature breathe. Then there is the Void, where demons and beings made of pure darkness, shadows, live.
Almost fifteen years ago, these shadows brought the deaths of the Kingdom of Sylenia’s beloved king and queen and the disappearance of their newborn baby. In the present day, the kingdom remains in the capable hands of a young queen, her major generals, and their knights but is constantly threatened by the growing number of shadows that enter the living world.
A secluded young orphan named Kanna is one of the new apprentices that have been chosen to be trained for the purpose of defeating these shadows. Suddenly called upon to become a knight’s understudy, she is escorted to the palace by two older apprentices. Along the way, she is attacked by the shadows, much to the apprentices’, knights’, and even the major generals’ confusion.
While Kanna is figuring out why the shadows are targeting her, something else occupies her mind. Every time she is knocked unconscious by a shadow, she has familiar visions about a little boy she vaguely recognizes. Kanna eventually finds the boy that keeps appearing in her dreams. However, she meets him at a price due to the presence of a darker, more powerful entity: the Dark Irregular.