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Robert Duncan no longer believes in magic. A mysterious call about a blood moon, however, leads him back to the magical world of his childhood and to Luthien, the beautiful girl with flame-coloured hair, who he loved and lost.
As Robert unravels the secrets of his childhood, darkness enters his life and an ancient evil awakens. To have any chance of defeating the dark forces that would destroy two worlds, Robert must find Luthien before the rise of the blood moon. He must, once more, believe in magic …
A Wicked Kind of Dark mixes vast and spectacular fantasy landscapes with gritty urban reality. A must-read for people of all ages who believe in the power of imagination, and the importance of never losing touch with your inner child.
Jonathan Benton always wanted to write books, having won first place in a short story competition when he was ten. Inspired by writers such as Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, Jonathan first discovered the crossover genre of literary/fantasy while reading Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Jonathan grew up in New Zealand, dreaming of travelling to London and finally making the pilgrimage in his mid-twenties. Returning from England, he settled in Australia, the country he now calls home, and decided to take his writing seriously.
“… How do you make yourself known in such a crowded market [young adult]. Well, before all else, you have to produce a very good book filled with beautiful writing, and this is what Jonathan has done …” – Irina Dunn, Director, ID Consultancy and Australian Writers Network
“Jonathan’s great achievement in this, his first novel, is to marry Tolkien-esque fantasy and apocalyptic escapism with contemporary urban alienation. Like his troubled protagonist, he moves between these worlds – which are equally real and haunting – with ease.” Sean Doyle Director, Lynk Manuscript Assessment Service
“A Wicked Kind of Dark is a well-paced and well told tale.” - Susannah Fullerton, Literary Lecturer, author and literary tour leader
"A Wicked Kind of Dark by Jonathan K. Benton opens on an ancient battlefield, with two enemies facing off. Their prize is control of the portals that link two worlds and its people in a close bond. In one world, the war is open and deadly. In the other, most people are oblivious to the struggle, and victory - or defeat - depends on hidden, secret gestures and discoveries. For Robert, it begins with a mysterious phone call, followed by the gift of a beautiful and compelling painting. He feels that he knows the painting's subject and when he sets out to explore these emotions, the memory to a tragedy from his past is unlocked, as well as that of a magical land to which he senses a connection. Soon he is pushed to the forefront with a crucial role to play.I feel that Jonathan K. Benton really succeeded in bringing the characters and setting of A Wicked Kind of Dark to life. I got a real sense of the soup-kitchen and the underground in London, the ruined castle in Castleton, and Minaea, the magical realm the two children are drawn to discover. I found myself warming to characters like Arthur and his mysterious double identity, Luthien, and even Gabriel, Robert's smooth and affluent brother. Each of them felt distinct enough to seem like a real person, with strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. If you like irrepressibly cheerful and bouncy fairies, you will be in for a treat as soon as you meet Allaria. The story is a well-paced page-turner and the writing style engages the reader to care about the outcome." - Five Star Award from Readers' Favorite