‘The Colour of Darkness’ (DSL) (Book)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

A Dreamspinner and the Eternity Crystal with the Tenth Doctor

We got to Karagula quicker than I expected! 😀

After reading two exciting instalments in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ book series, including ‘The Dusts of Ages’ and ‘The Graves of Mordane’, I was looking forward to reading the third book in the series – ‘The Colour of Darkness’ by Richard Dungworth. This seemed to be a pretty exciting instalment here.

I’ve not come across Richard Dungworth as a ‘Doctor Who’ writer before. He’s written children’s stories for ‘Doctor Who’, including ones for the ‘Decide Your Destiny’ series; one for a ‘2 in 1 Novel’ and a few stories for anthologies including ‘The Twelve Doctors of Christmas’ and ‘Tales of Terror’. 🙂

I enjoyed Richard Dungworth’s writing in this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure for ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series, although I don’t think it’s as good as the first two instalments by Justin Richards and Colin Brake. Maybe I was expecting too much or maybe I’m not appreciating this tale as it should’ve been.

I hoped for a full-on confrontation between the Tenth Doctor and the Darksmith Collective when he went to confront them on the planet Karagula to get back the Eternity Crystal. Instead we have the Doctor trying to save the lives of some stolen children from the Darksmiths before having the crystal.

Not that’s a bad thing and maybe if the story was written with more emotional depth, I would appreciate the epic scale this adventure should have. It’s not terribly written and maybe I wasn’t in a right frame of mind, but the adventure did feel quite average to me in terms of the tale’s execution.

The story has the Doctor in pursuit of the robot Agent who took the Eternity Crystal from him at the end of ‘The Graves of Mordane’. Eventually ending up on Karagula, the Doctor tries to find the Dark Cathedral. Before he ends up there, he agrees to help a village who have lost their children recently.

The Doctor has to solve the mystery on why these children have been taken by this strange Dreamspinner woman called Shas-Raklat and how it connects to the Eternity Crystal and the Darksmiths. Will he recover the Crystal back from the Darksmiths and get to escape in his TARDIS? 🙂

Like the previous two books in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series, the story is divided into 10 chapters. There are also activity pages as well as TARDIS data bank information pages to enjoy. Even I used a pen to solve one of the puzzles on an activity page in the final chapter of this ‘Darksmith’ instalment.

It was quite exciting to read this book and meet the Karagulans on Kragula. This includes people like Fra’Vallir, Far’Tramlor, Far’Sagral, Fra’Ballord, Far’Callord and Fra’Jared. There’s a lot of Fras on Karagula, aren’t there? There’s also a young boy whom the Doctor gets to meet. He’s named Lorton.

Lorton has a sister called Bethin (I used to have a sister called Bethan 😀 ) who was taken by the Queenspinner Shas-Raklat who used ‘the colour of darkness’ to lure people in via her disguise and dreams. Lorton helps the Doctor in order to find a way into the Dark Cathedral and save the children.

And of course at the Dark Cathedral, we meet the Darksmith Collective itself. The characters in the Darksmith Collective have been in previous ‘Darksmith Legacy’ instalments, including High Minister Drakon, Brother Talen, Brother Ardos, Sister Clathine, Sister Hellan and many more characters. 🙂

The story does have the Doctor trying to bluff his way into the Dark Cathedral by using his John Smith alias and pretending to be a Special Envoy of the Spiel Confederation. The Darksmith Collective gradually work out who the Doctor is and learn more information from their Robot Agent.

It was tense when Lorton was taken in by Shas-Raklat’s illusions before the Doctor stepped in and interrupted. The Doctor gets to learn who Shas-Raklat is as she comes from the planet Menim who have enhanced senses of colour. He also learns that Sha-Raklat is an ally of the Darksmith Collective.

The book does contain an action sequence where the Doctor and Lorton rescue Bethin and escape in Shas-Raklat’s spacecraft before she can get to him and they leave her with the Darksmiths. The Doctor, Lorton and Bethin soon return every child that had been stolen back their own parents here.

Maybe it’s down to time and how the chapter lengths were, but I would’ve liked more of a confrontation between the Doctor and the Darksmiths in this story. It seemed the addition of the non-Darksmith characters of Karagula got in the way. Maybe it’ll be in the final book of the series. 😀

After allowing Lorton and Bethin to see inside his TARDIS, the Doctor sets off for the planet Flydon Maxima…also called Despair where the creator of the Eternity Crystal, Brother Varlos’, destination is. He’s unaware that the Darksmith Collective have him pursued in the Dreadnought Adamantine. 😮

I’ve no idea what will happen in the next book and how the Darksmiths intend to outwit the Doctor with a certain kind of armament they have. The Darksmiths hope to use Clause 374 of the Shadow Proclamation against the Doctor since he’s stolen the Eternity Crystal from them. Oh dear. Not good.

At the end of the book, there’s an excerpt from the fourth book in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series called ‘The Depths of Despair’ to look forward to. Please bear in mind, the ‘Collected’ Party at the end of the book is out of date since October 2009 is over. Shame! I would’ve liked to have joined in! 😀

I enjoyed ‘The Colour of Darkness’. It’s not as good as the first two books in ‘The Darksmith Legacy’ series, but it’s a decent enough adventure. I’m glad the Doctor’s got the Eternity Crystal back from the Darksmith Collective and I wonder what will happen next to him as he visits the planet of Despair.

‘The Colour of Darkness’ (DSL) rating – 7/10

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