Monday, May 27, 2024

Review Tour & Giveaway: The Dark Court (Songs of the Sage, #2) by Vyvyan Evans

The Dark Court
Songs of the Sage, Book Two
Vyvyan Evans

Science Fiction
Publisher: Nephilim Publishing
Publication Date: May 7, 2024
Page count: 392 pages



A genre-blending dystopian, sci-fi mystery-thriller that will make you think about communication in a whole new way.

Five years after the Great Language Outage, lang-laws have been repealed, but world affairs have only gotten worse. The new automation agenda has resulted in a social caste system based on IQ. Manual employment is a thing of the past, and the lowest soc-ed class, the Unskills, are forced into permanent unemployment.

In a world on the brink of civil war, a deadly insomnia pandemic threatens to kill billions. Lilith King, Interpol’s most celebrated detective, is assigned to the case.

Together with a sleep specialist, Dr. Kace Westwood, Lilith must figure out who or what is behind this new threat. Could the pandemic be the result of the upskilling vagus chips being offered to the lowest soc-ed class? Or are language chips being hacked? And what of the viral conspiracy theories by the mysterious Dark Court, sweeping the globe? Lilith must work every possible angle, and quickly: she is running out of time!

While attempting to stop a vast conspiracy on an intergalactic scale, Lilith also faces shocking revelations about her origin, coming to terms with her own destiny.



But just then, twenty meters in front of me, a small group of Dark Court cultists emerged, out from a side corridor. I grimaced—this only meant trouble. There were four of them, this time with cappa hoods covering their heads, obscuring their faces from sec-cam and LS orb identification by NYPD droids. They were no doubt trying to imitate their beloved, so-called adjudicators, the self-appointed, anonymous leaders of this vile cult of violence and misinformation. The cultists were dressed in black from head to toe, including leather pants and tunics. They even wore black, tactical Kevlar gloves. 

The cultists spotted me. “Let’s get her, boys,” said one voice. Then I heard raucous laughter. 

They moved toward me, cutting off my route to the UN employee East River entrance. And as they approached, they pulled out neural shock sticks, sheathed in cases worn around their belts. Of course, just my luck. The long, thin devices were illegal, and for good reason. If applied for more than a few seconds, they could result in permanent brain damage or even death. I steeled myself—this was the only way through. 

As I neared, the group appeared surprised I was still heading toward them—not the response they expected. I would never run away again, not since that night in the Black Forest, twenty years ago. Sure, I had been through Interpol’s basic combat training, back in the day. For what that was worth. But since the Black Forest, I had taken self-defense training to insane levels, obsessive as always. You could say I had elevated it to the status of a dark art.

5 stars!

An immersive mix of sci-fi, mystery, and thriller. 

The Dark Court is the second book in author Vyvyan Evans’s science fiction plus series, Songs of the Sage, and is an excellent followup to its debut novel, The Babel Apocalypse. With its engaging characters and imaginative rendering of a dystopian, near-future Earth society, where brain power literally determines your fate, this book is one of my favorites of 2024. 

Lilith King is a determined, bulldog of a sleuth, and a main character I was immediately behind and rooting for. I liked her complex yet unclear background, giving her depths for the author to build and draw on later. 

As with the series’ starter, the plot hits the ground running and the never slows, leaving plenty of questions along the way. The author’s storytelling is compelling, and I had difficulty finding a stopping point when I needed one. Plot twists kept me too invested to step away. The unique mix of science fiction, mystery, and thriller makes this entire series a must read. 

I recommend THE DARK COURT to fans of the previous book and readers who enjoy dystopian tales and speculative fiction.


Dr. Vyvyan Evans is a native of Chester, England. He holds a PhD in linguistics from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and is a Professor of Linguistics. He has published numerous acclaimed popular science and technical books on language and linguistics. His popular science essays and articles have appeared in numerous venues including 'The Guardian', 'Psychology Today', 'New York Post', 'New Scientist', 'Newsweek' and 'The New Republic.' His award-winning writing focuses, in one way or another, on the nature of language and mind, the impact of technology on language, and the future of communication. His science fiction work explores the status of language and digital communication technology as potential weapons of mass destruction.


Vyvyan Evans will award a randomly drawn winner
paperback copies of
both Book 1 and Book 2 of the
Songs of the Sage series.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you so much for hosting and reviewing today.

Michael Law said...

This looks spectacular. Thanks for sharing and hosting this tour.

bn100 said...


Karen Hitt Siddall said...

I highly recommend this series!