The Benighted (The Benighted Saga, #1)

The Benighted (The Benighted Saga, #1)

by A. M. Dunnewin

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2017 Readers' Favorite Bronze Medal Winner in Young Adult-Action

The King was dead.

His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King's murder.

Confined to darkness, Skylar's captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It's when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can't suppress the memories of her family's downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is, because even the darkness can't hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all.

With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar's only hope is in the person who has gone missing--Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison's walls, Skylar will soon see why he's one of the benighted.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940153387710
Publisher: Dark Hour Press, LLC
Publication date: 11/25/2013
Series: The Benighted Saga , #1
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 365,639
File size: 427 KB

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The Benighted 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
ReadersFavorite4 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite Skylar, the main character of The Benighted (The Benighted Saga Book 1) by A.M. Dunnewin, is in bit of trouble: after her father - the king - has been found dead, she is the only legitimate heir to the throne. Unfortunately, she is held prisoner unless she agrees on marrying someone whose family would like to gain power by marrying into the royal family. Skylar resists, even when she is tortured, and holds out hope that Harlin, her assigned protector, will return and save her. There is more to Harlin, though, than she thought, and whether he will be able to help is another question. I picked up The Benighted by A.M. Dunnewin because the cover of the book caught my eye. It evoked ideas of adventure, fantasy, noble heroes with some secrets, and intrigue. I know, you should not judge a book by its cover - but isn't that what we all do? Fortunately, the contents of the book gave what the cover promised, even though I would have liked to see more of Harlin as I liked him better than Skylar (to whom I could not find any kind of emotional attachment for a while). It would have been interesting to see things from his perspective. I enjoyed the plot but I found some scenes too long, with too many descriptions that made the plot progress a bit too slow. However, other readers might indeed appreciate just that - you can't ever get it right for everyone. The writing was flawless and made you understand where the heroine's actions and thoughts were coming from. I would definitely recommend this to people who enjoy intriguing fantasy tales with a female main character.
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite A.M. Dunnewin’s The Benighted is a beautiful and gripping opening to a saga that explores murder and usurpation of power, and a woman’s struggle against injustice done to her family. After her brother and father are murdered, the princess Skylar Mandolyn, who should have inherited the kingdom, is imprisoned and treated with all sorts of indignities for helping a knight framed for the murders to escape. She knows Sir Harlin Brien didn’t kill her father. Now she is in no position to help him clear his name and there is no hope of escape for her, only the thought of the knight on the run. However, there are surprises she hasn’t considered and Sir Harlin Brien could be the last piece that will unravel the mystery. Is he returning and how would it be possible? You’ll love to find out. The Benighted is dark and raw, the kind of story that isn’t written for the faint-of-heart. It is filled with a lot of darkness, and oh the awful things they do to her! It is impossible to read this book without loving the protagonist, not because she is extraordinary, but because she is sculpted from loyalty and resilience. She suffers a lot physically, but breaking her spirit isn’t easy. The plot is fairly paced and the writing is good — although an editor could have dealt with some of the small errors that occasionally come up in the writing, but these are not significant enough to have a negative impact on the reader. There is a lot to love in this novel — the compelling plot with twists, the biting suspense, the intrigue, and this sense of pervading danger that punctuates the entire work. A.M. Dunnewin has the gift for a good story, a great entertainer.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite The Benighted is the first book in a series by A.M. Dunnewin, featuring murder, intrigue, and betrayal, one of those stories adored by fans of crime fiction and political intrigue. First they killed the prince, then the king, and everyone thinks it’s the knight, Sir Harlin Brien. The princess, Skylar Mandolyn, could inherit the throne, but she is now in prison for helping the murderer to escape. In her dark despair, she doesn’t forget the knight, framed for the murder of her father, but she is uncertain about her future. Her kingdom is under serious threat of war, and her enemies are as powerful and skilled as anything she could imagine. Only one hope is left for her — the return of the fugitive knight, and would he really be returning? A.M. Dunnewin is a good storyteller and begins this story with a great hook, a powerful description of a dream, and the reader immediately senses that something is wrong with the protagonist. The descriptions are very compelling and the language beautiful for a self-published book. The story line is wonderfully imagined and fast-paced; the author makes great use of flashbacks to create suspense, something that some readers may think is overdone, but it was fun for me. I enjoyed the way the darkness in the protagonist is explored, the inhuman treatment she receives, and her dark despair. The characters are well-developed and readers will easily find a place in their hearts to sympathize with the protagonist and the knight. Overall, The Benighted was a great read and one of the stories I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for something dark and unconventional.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite I must admit it. No matter how I try to squash it. No matter what lovers do to kill it. No matter what I do to myself to kill it. There is an undying romantic and idealist inside me that refuses to even surrender, let alone die. Most of the time he is silent, but occasionally, he demands that I acknowledge his existence. So, I find myself searching for that perfect girl. Most of the time I settle for the perfect romantic novel. He must settle for that for now. It’s all I have the time and energy for. A.M. Dunnewin's The Benighted, the first book in the Benighted Saga, perfectly fits my romantic need. For some reason, I kept recalling The Bodyguard movie that starred Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. There is just something about a beautiful woman whose life is threatened by unseen foes, and a handsome, capable, quiet guy determined not to let anything happen to her. Nine times out of ten it will lead to passion. Maybe I need to hire on as someone’s bodyguard. The Benighted by A.M. Dunnewin is in fact listed in the General Fantasy genre. It takes place in a feudal, medieval culture and is full of the expected strife those cultures bring. I love this setting and this kind of culture, but having said that the compelling point for me throughout this book, the reason I kept reading it and resented when I had to pause or stop was the oh so slowly developing relationship between Princess Skylar Mandolyn and her new bodyguard, Sir Brien, one of the fabled benighted. Watching this romance unfold is well worth the cost of the book, in and of itself. You get the kingdom saving for free.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite In The Benighted, the first book in The Benighted Saga by A.M. Dunnewin, twenty-three-year-old Skylar Mandolyn finds herself named heir after the tragic death of her brother. As the final heir, her existence is both an asset to the kingdom and a threat to those hoping to see its destruction. When her father is found murdered by assassins not long after her brother, instead of becoming queen, Skylar is imprisoned for helping her knight Harlin, who has been framed for the murder, escape. With her only hope being the knight who has gone missing, Skylar refuses to yield to the enemy, both foreign and those lurking in her own court, and must find the strength to oppose those determined to break her spirit through torture. Jumping between Skylar's present day situation and the past events leading up to it, Dunnewin manages to find the perfect balance in telling a story through flashbacks. It doesn't feel gimmicky nor does it bog the story down. I did wish the romance between Skylar and Harlin was emphasized a little more, but it has a subtle sweetness to it and I thought seeing Skylar grow and mature from a reluctant queen to a determined ruler was a satisfying alternative. Dunnewin crafts a fast paced, thoroughly enjoyable tale that has a slight steam punk bent thrown into the fantasy. It makes the setting of knights and princesses somewhat unique and is sure to grab readers' attention. The Benighted, the first book in a new fantasy series by A.M. Dunnewin, is great for fantasy fans looking for a quick read.
Archaeolibrarian More than 1 year ago
Skylar is being held in The Prison, for reasons unknown at the start. Her stay, and torture, are told in detail, along with the conditions that she is living in. It is very easy to 'see' what the circumstances are like due to the author's descriptive way of narrating. This story is told in a series flashbacks, memories and dreamscapes, which intermingle with the present time. It is this side of it that makes it a bit confusing, just like real memories and dreams. There is no chronological order to her memories, you just find out what she is remembering because of something that has happened to jog that particular one. There is also no clear distinction between her time in the prison, and the time she escapes into her mind. However!!! Through the story, you find out that it is layer much more deeply than you imagined at the start. With excellent world building, and characters, places and nations that seem 'alive', this is a wonderful Steampunk Fantasy that I thoroughly enjoyed. Both Skylar and Harlin are exceptional and I loved them completely. Tough right to the end, I loved their attitudes! Definitely recommended and I shall be looking out for book 2 in this series whenever it becomes available. * Verified Purchase on Amazon * Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
SteppyD More than 1 year ago
So I started reading this book over the weekend and since I happened to start it super late on Friday night, I was practically in tears from being so tired and not wanting to put the book down! It was extremely well written, despite the descriptions of the princess's outfits being a bit much for me. Truly a fantastic read, I've never read one of it's like before. Though for readers who are not into dark stories, I wouldn't recommend this particular one to you. Me personally, I love a tortured character because you can't help but feel connected to them as you witness them going through soul changing situations. Again I repeat, this is a SUPER DARK story! The only things about this book that I didn't particularly care for was the continuous flashbacks of past events, whether they be through delusions, dreams, or just dazing in and out. It was an interesting way of pulling the events that brought the characters to the now but I found myself getting a little frustrated about a third of the way through the book with wanting something productive to happen in the present time of the story. It is listed as a sci-fi/fantasy/romance, but I will say that this story didn't seem very 'romance' genre to me. As it gets closer to the end of the book you see that both Skylar and Harlin started developing feelings for each other but there weren't any lovey-dovey scenes going on. From what I've read it is supposed to be the first book of a saga but I'm not sure if Dunnewin is planning on continuing the book series seeing as this one was published two years ago. I really hope that she does because it left you hanging on the brink of war and I have to know how the story continues! Please finished the series!! If you're into dark fantasy books then you should totally check out The Benighted!
eternalised More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Benighted is a dark read filled with mystery, dread and suspense. It’s set in a mythical, epic-fantasy world with princesses, knights, and the ancient battle between good and evil. With a set of characters so real they feel like you could walk up and talk to them, and a plot that doesn’t shy away to explore some of the darker sides of humanity, this is an interesting, enjoyable read. Skylar, the princess of a fallen kingdom, daughter of a murdered king, is captured and imprisoned for helping the escape of Harlin Brien, the knight who was framed for the King’s murder. But Skylar is convinced of Harlin’s innocence, and she’s certain the king’s advisor, Cross Lutherus, is the real culprit behind the murders on the royal family. When I read “princesses” and “knights”, I can’t help but think of an unimaginative, innocent fairytale that will have a happy ending you can see miles away. Princesses tend to be personality-less cardboard figures. Skylar…not at all. She has personality, wit, backbone, courage. What she goes through isn’t for the faint of heart, and even though she wants to give up several times, part of her always manages to cling on. This is the kind of princess I can root for. The writing is haunting and descriptive, and the fantasy world A.M. Dunnewin conjures up, is definitely intriguing, but also dark and unsettling. An inspiring story for anyone who enjoys the darker side of fantasy.