As chaos and madness slowly reign the world, we are left wondering what will happen next now that we are faced with tragedy after another. Peace is lost when selfish interests become the forefront of the ones that make the decisions, and unchecked powers emerge, destroying what was once a balanced world — disrupting the harmony and the lives of everyone. In Dark Taal, author Dean Matthews shows his readers a fantasy world that mirrors the current happening of the world at war right now.
The story follows the world after the creation of the stones that brought balance and harmony. The Firebrand stone and the Chimera stone's creation marked a world of equality, thus creating a world at peace. However, the power of the Firebrand stone that was made of darkness threatens to bring the world back to destruction. With the Chimera stone's disappearance, powerful wizards lurk within, seeking dominion over Aymara, a hero championed by the goddess Seline is born. With magic uncontrolled and unrestrained, Aridain struggles to fulfill his mission. With the aid of his friends and family, however, he must learn to control his powers quickly, or else the world will perish, and new darkness will reign.
With that being said, The Dark Taal offers a world of fantasy like no other. It brings forward a world ravaged by war with powerful stones left unchecked. Perhaps, the stones are a metaphor for evil and goodness in the world on which our decisions are based, and Matthews is able to highlight its importance throughout the whole book. The complexity of Aridain and how he struggles to control his powers is reminiscent of heroes who go through challenges before achieving greatness. By doing this, the author shows his readers that a hero is not just born. He is also made. To become great like Aridain and fulfill our purpose in the world, we must become like diamonds which go through certain processes before becoming shiny and valuable. Along with that, the book's rich narratives paint a graphic image of what it is like to be in between a war of interests. A war in which one seeks dominion for his own interest. The novel also highlights important topics such as relationships with friends and family and how they can help us find our purpose in the world, just like Aridain.
While the story revolves only around the world of Aymara and its races, The Dark Taal is a story of how humanity is able to survive such powerful attacks. The hero's emergence is one, but the world's resilience amid the ongoing war shows how powerful a united world can be against dark forces. Matthews can show this through his masterful narrative, emphasizing the bravery and courage of not only Aridain but also those who surround him.
The Dark Taal is a great read for all ages as it encompasses the understanding of humanity, of the journey to bring back a peaceful world, one where everyone thrives and becomes an embodiment of harmony.