The Dark Companions is a dark fantasy thriller written by M.A. Kassel.
Every child in Ursyca is partnered with a monster, a dark companion, at birth. On the child’s 16th birthday, a showdown takes place between him and his dark companion. While the monster feeds on his fears and nightmares as it grows, the child prepares for the fateful day. It is either he wins and takes control of the monster or he is eaten alive.
Sid is a young ore digger who wants to be a powerful Subduer. He feeds his beast with his pain and misery hoping to subdue and control it and save his sister Eyleen from being eaten by her monster. On the day of his showdown, however, something goes terribly wrong and Sid has to leave his village to look for help. Meanwhile, the obsessed and bloodthirsty Count Kalderan is intent to find every Subduer in the land to increase his power.
This is an action-packed and adventure-filled dark fantasy novel that will keep you reading. Written in easy to read style, various scenes are carefully and vividly depicted. Chasing, fighting and battle scenes are presented in details and the different types of monsters are described complete with various abilities.
In addition to the great plot is a set of well-developed characters, some exceptionally admirable and endearing while others are totally disgusting and loathsome. Though I particularly like Zee for her adventuresome spirit, I like Sid the most. I admire his determination and strength of character. Moreover, the story is made up of seemingly unending trials and unexpected turn of events faced with the most unlikely allies.
However, I found the description of Eyleen more fitting for a little girl instead of a teenager. Moreover, there are several noticeable errors which include misspelled and missing words. Finally, there are some obscene languages as well as violent and gory details which may not be suitable for young readers.
Though I prefer a different ending, I still enjoyed reading the entire book. This is a great story of 'camaraderie, compassion and sense of sacrifice' and I recommend it to all fans of dark fantasy.