I might not be as thrilled about the story and plot, but the wonderful cover design thrills me very much. This time the story was successful for me only in places. It was average, mixed with some enjoyable reading. Some characters were convincing while others were not. And as far as Adam is concerned, it can't get any colder. A pity.

Dark Sigils-Wie Die Dunkelheit Befiehlt*
by Anna Benning
Dark Sigils Trilogy #2
Publisher Fischer KJB on May 24, 2023
Genre Urban-Fantasy
Pages 489
Format Hardcover
Source Fischer KJB

The Dark Sigils are the most powerful artifacts ever forged. But in exchange for their magic, they take everything from us - our own freedom and the chance to love who we want. My only hope is to join the rebels in reaching the mysterious eighth Dark Sigil. Only with his help will I be able to determine my own life. But the path there is dangerous... and I don't know if Adam will let me go. For he knows the darkness that will take over the world if the sigil bearers resist their fate. (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Rayne wants to be free from her Dark Sigil. She wants to decide how to live and whom she can love. Not an ancient artifact. But Adam wants the world to remain the way the world always was. And if that means leaving Rayne in the cold, so be it.

From the start, the story was a bit boring. I couldn't befriend the ice-cold Adam, and everything remained strangely distant. Anna Benning's writing style was clear and easy to read, but the amount of filler was a bit too much for me. The novel would have clearly gained more with significantly fewer pages. And what is suggested at the very end, that Adam no longer has a connection to Rayne and that she is supposed to become something that she doesn't actually want, seemed artificial to me. And yet I felt a strange pleasure while reading it. One or two chapters were quite entertaining.

This time I didn't warm to the characters. Adam is cold-hearted, Rayne clearly struggles with this and when Adam finally brutally loses his connection to Rayne during the plot and another character appears on the field, I am a bit confused. The fact that Adam has his own plans for Rayne and himself at the very end also didn't make sense to me.

I oscillate between a strange enthusiasm for reading and slight disappointment. It was a strange mishmash of confused story, ice-cold characters, and a plot that didn't entirely make sense. And I absolutely didn't like what the author did with Adam and Rayne.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer KJB in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. The book was at the time this review was published, only available in the German language.

Deutsche Rezension

Von Beginn an war die Story etwas langweilig. Ich konnte mich mit dem eiskalten Adam nicht anfreunden und alles blieb auf eigenartige Weise auf Distanz. Der Schreibstil von Anna Benning war zwar klar und einfach zu lesen, aber das viele Füllmaterial war mir eine Nummer zu viel. Der Roman hätte mit deutlich weniger Seiten eindeutig mehr gewonnen. Und was sich ganz am Ende andeutet, dass Adam keine Verbindung mehr zu Rayne hat und sie etwas werden soll, was sie eigentlich gar nicht will, das kam mir künstlich vor. Und dennoch hab ich beim Lesen ein seltsames Vergnügen verspürt. Das eine oder andere Kapitel war dann doch recht unterhaltsam.

Diesmal bin ich mit den Figuren nicht warm geworden. Adam ist kaltherzig, Rayne hat damit sichtlich zu kämpfen und als Adam im Handlungsverlauf schließlich die Verbindung zu Rayne auf brutale Weise verliert und eine weitere Figur auf dem Spielfeld auftaucht, war ich etwas verwirrt. Auch die Tatsache, dass Adam ganz zum Schluss sehr eigene Pläne für Rayne und sich hat, war für mich nicht ganz logisch.

Ich schwanke zwischen seltsamer Lesebegeisterung und leichter Enttäuschung. Das war ein eigenartiger Mischmasch aus konfuser Geschichte, eiskalten Figuren und einem nicht ganz logischen Plot. Und was die Autorin mit Adam und Rayne gemacht hat, dass hat mir absolut nicht gefallen.

Anna Benning
Anna Benning ©Viktoria Van Evert / Luma Photography

Anna Benning was born in 1988, the youngest of three children. While studying literature, she wrote book reviews for a magazine and also worked in a bookshop. She has been a publisher's editor since 2013. One day she took heart and put her own stories on paper. "Vortex" is her debut.


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