Order of Darkness: Dark Tracks by Philippa Gregory review

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Coming to the acclaimed Order Of Darkness series had me a little nervous, particularly off the back of the acclaim that it’s received so far. Book four, Dark Tracks, is available now, and what’s more, it’s a story that works if you’re new to the series or not. It can stand alone in its own right without alienating readers.

Following established characters Luca, Isolde and their companions on their quest to witness the end of the world, Dark Tracks has the group dealing with a village besieged with a dancing madness. Seems a little far fetched and outlandish for a medieval set novel? Nope, Gregory has done her research and has been inspired by records of unexplained phenomena in which people would spontaneously break out into a dance-like trance.

The pace is fast and engaging, perfect for a weekend binge read. Even when the group split and deal with individual problems the narrative keeps its momentum. The resolution is swift and neat but it does bring with it details that suggest a continuation of the series. The final pages seem a little jarring, but I’m intrigued to see what impact it has going forward.

Inevitably, you get more if you’ve read the three books beforehand, and there is a pay off waiting there for those who start at the beginning. I did feel this was a more isolated and streamlined outing than the offerings Gregory normally gives; almost like Patrick Rothuss’ most recent King Killer Chronicle.  All in all, it ‘s a good historical read with a fast paced plot and a rewarding resolution. And it offers ample incentive to catch up on the earlier books if you haven’t already!