Kill Your Darlings
by L.E. Harper
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Pub Date 24 May 2023 | Archive Date 02 Mar 2023
Shivnath Productions, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles
Fantasy author Kyla knows dreams don't come true. Isolated and grappling with debilitating depression, she copes by writing about the realm of Solera. Fearless heroes, feisty shapeshifters, and mighty dragons come alive on her pages. She adores her characters, but she doesn’t believe in happy endings. And if she can’t have one, why should they?
Kyla’s on the verge of giving up on everything when she wakes one morning, magically trapped in her fictional world. Now she’s with her most cherished characters: the friends she's always yearned for, the family she's never known. There's even someone who might be Prince Charming (if Kyla could get her act together and manage some honest communication). She’d surrender to the halcyon fantasy, except she knows a nightmarish ending awaits. Solera is at war, and its defenders are losing against the insidious villain spawned in the depths of Kyla’s mind. He feeds on the energy of dreams, seeks the destruction of all who oppose him—and Kyla’s become his number one target.
Kyla must trade her pen for a sword and fight to change her story's ending, but this isn’t a fantasy anymore. No happily-ever-after is guaranteed. And mental illness has robbed her of everything she needs to succeed: love, fighting spirit, hope. If Kyla can’t overcome the darkness inside her, she’ll die alongside her darlings.
A Note From the Publisher
Additional Book Format: 9781792366628
Average rating from 159 members
I really enjoyed reading this, it was what I was hoping for from the description. I enjoyed how well the fantasy author was trapped in her fictional world. It does a great job in being a great read, the characters were interesting and did what I was hoping for. The world was interesting and it had a good allegory for mental health. L.E. Harper has a great writing style and I'm glad I was able to read this.
"Magic is the energy that powers our life functions. Yours is not a soul that provides wieldable energy, but it is a soul nonetheless. It was strong enough to sustain Kyla’s body the last time we met; now it is fading.”
A spectacular read, perhaps one of the most emotional journeys a book has taken me on this year. I’m familiar with the concept of the main character being transported to another world, in this case the author themselves, but I’ve never read a take on it from a western/european fantasy point of view so that’s what first drew me to this. As well as that, once I started reading, I was also taken in what felt like a very personal journey not only to the author but also myself. There were a lot of things I needed to hear written in these pages, as simple as some were, and I thank the author very much for them.
It’s hard to summarise the book itself without throwing spoilers everywhere but the blurb does a good job. If you’re interested in fantasy (especially dragons and evil dark lords), as well as heroes and journeys both fictional and “real” then this just might be a great book for you. The pacing, prose, complexity and intrigue are all there, and I felt so many different things while reading that it’d be useless to try and fit them into this review. Do be sure to read the forward though, the trigger warnings will be appropriate for this ride for many.
Overall, a wonderfully unique take that spans multiple genres and offers up a true heroes journey.
More of us might just need to remember to save our darlings, who knows where they’ll take us?
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, which I thank them