Daywards: Book three of the Darklands Trilogy

Anthony Eaton

Daywards: Book three of the Darklands Trilogy
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Daywards: Book three of the Darklands Trilogy

Anthony Eaton

The thrilling conclusion to the award-winning Darklands trilogy by Anthony Eaton The city filled the horizon; shattered and fallen …… a desolate wasteland of tangled grey. Here and there the remains of skydomes still stood - towering impossibly above the surrounding ruins and throwing long, late afternoon shadows towards the hills. When the skycity fell, most believed it took with it the last vestiges of humanity. Only a few escaped, led by a girl with a hidden destiny. Together, they fled into a hostile landscape where, without any technology or the ancient knowledge of their Darklander ancestors, they forged a new beginning. But when the demons of the past come back to haunt them once more, Saria and her family must set out again, following an unmapped path across a dying land. Walking daywards. Daywards, the powerful conclusion to The Darklands trilogy, plunges its characters into an unknown where the future of us all depends on the fragile memory of an almost-forgotten past. A fantastic ending to a well-received and talked about trilogy from one of Australia’s most exciting children’s authors.

Review

Daywards is the final installation in Anthony Eaton’s acclaimed Darklands trilogy. Dara, her brother Jaran and cousin Eyna live with the rest of their Clan in the caves and forests of a formidable Australian landscape one thousand years from now. They are among the ‘viable’ new generation of Clan members who can handle the harsh daytime sun and who have powers to reach into the Earthmother. Clan leader Da Janil dies in the opening pages of the book, causing instant instability in the community. Uncle Xani believes he is the right person to lead the group, and claims he was privy to Da Janil’s plans. Respected, elderly Ma Saria (the youthful protagonist of Book One, Nightpeople, and Book Two Skyfall) has other ideas.

Daywards focusses on Dara and Jaran, who, although they are twins, have a troubled relationship riddled with competition, miscommunication and distrust. Dara, Jaran, Saria and Eyna separate from the Clan and travel to the Darklands. I have to be very careful not to spoil the plot here! The extreme tension in the story depends on Dara (and the reader) being unsure of who to trust, and which side is working for the ultimate good. In fact, there are no easy answers and no perfect solutions in this dangerous futuristic Australia. Dara is a fascinating, brave and strong-willed character who is only just discovering the full extent of her powers and importance. The tense relationship she has with her brother is very easy to relate to.

It’s pretty foolish to jump into a trilogy at the third book, but I’m really glad I did. It is possible to read Daywards as a stand-alone book, it just required a little extra patience at the start while I got the setting and history straight in my head. Eaton is a skilful and confident writer, and his detailed descriptions of the alien, and somehow also familiar, landscape, are first-rate. The sections in the decrepit Skycity were particularly mesmerising! The attention to detail means that the pace is moderate, but this didn’t affect the page-turning powers of Daywards for me at all.

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