This week, our series on Tom Deitz’s David Sullivan books continues with Darkthunder’s Way.
The lands of the Sidhe are left far behind as David Sullivan, his best friend Alec, his faery ally, Fionchadd, and their newfound friend and ally,Calvin set off on an urgent quest across a world of Native American myth, Galunlati.
Only two weeks have passed since the events of Fireshaper’s Doom, and the beginning of the novel is fraught with endings. David’s lady love, Liz, is poised to leave, moving to another town to attend a better school, and the pressures on their relationship are threatening to shatter David’s relationship with Alec, as well, as David ignores his best friend to try and convince his girlfriend to stay with him.
Amidst it all, war threatens the lands of Faerie, and an ally of Ailill once again plots to stir up trouble. The solution to the question of war lies across the Golden Sea of Galunlati, and the four young men set off in an effort to avert disaster. With some aid from Oisin and Calvin, whose Native American heritage stands them in good stead, the way to Galunlati is opened…and a whole new world of danger rears its ugly head.
For unknown to the questers, the great-and-deadly serpent Uktena will soon slither into their future.
Darkthunder’s Way shows us new aspects of the cosmology of this world, as well as reveals deeper flaws in the characters we have come to know and love. At times, I wanted to smack David upside the head. Later, it was Alec’s turn. Come on, boys! Let’s talk it out!
The adventure is no less adventuresome, however. It is still gripping and enjoyable, but that easy quality of yarn-spinning has frayed, a bit, in this new direction the story has taken. In some ways, the events of this book grow out of those in Fireshaper’s Doom and Windmaster’s Bane, but they are at a further remove, and the addition of new cosmology increases the distance even further. The story is becoming something different. That in and of itself is no bad thing, but when you love something, sometimes it is very hard to see it shift and change, to lose some of what made you love it so much in the first place.
The events in the endgame of this book bring several things full circle, and change or even reverse others, sometimes in ways we as readers might never have thought possible. There are endings here, and things to make the reader grieve in that sweet-sad way we do when the ending of a tale is nigh. And the ending of Darkthunder’s Way very much feels like an ending to the Saga of David Sullivan.
Now, I know I have six more books to go. Six more books to read, before I reach the true and final ending, but I’ve had a taste of it here, both bitter and sweet. I won’t lie, I’m a little bit resentful of some of the things that happened. But I’m not going to let that poison the story for me…There is more to the tale that is yet to be read, more to be heard in the telling.
The ultimate ending is still on the horizon, and there are ways long and long to walk ere I reach it.
Previous: Fireshaper’s Doom
Next: Sunshaker’s War