First off, the cover is gorgeous. The only problem is... it doesn't really fit the book all that well. I presume it's supposed to be Telmaine, the "heroine", but it really doesn't fit her at all. More like Tercelle, but she's not really a major enough character to warrant a spot on the cover.
The premise is really interesting. A city divided-- the Lightborn cannot live in darkness (literally, it's lethal) and the Darkborn cannot live in the light stronger than a fire. The Darkborn also cannot see, instead they "sonn" which I think is sort of an echo-location thing, though to be honest even having finished the book I'm not totally sure.
Of the main characters, I only found one to be really interesting and compelling. Ish is a social outcast, a mage (albeit a weak one) and a Shadowhunter. I most enjoyed the story when it was focused on him.
Telmaine, the "heroine", drove me nuts. Deeply prejudiced, which didn't make a ton of sense given who she is and who she chose to marry, and really just kind of annoying, I didn't connect with her. Her daughter is kidnapped, which in theory should be the focus of the book, and I frequently found that I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN that there was a kidnapped kid. When 2 of the main veiwpoints are the child's parents, that's not a good thing.
Telmaine's husband, Bal, was slightly more interesting and less annoying, but there didn't seem to be a lot of depth to him.
Add in the fact that he's sort of in love with another woman and Telmaine's falling in love with Ish... blah. I don't like love-triangle junk as it is. When it's a MARRIED COUPLE, no. Just not good. Not if they're characters I'm supposed to like.
But, like the ever-annoying Fringe (anyone else watch this? I want to kill Olivia), the premise was compelling enough that I kind of enjoyed at least parts of it and was interested enough to continue reading.
There is a sequel (which is important, since a fair amount of Darkborn was set-up) and the excerpt does start out with Ish, but I'm not sure I care enough to read it. And I'm not sure I can handle another dose of Telmaine. Though it may be more about Floria, the only Lightborn character in Darkborn, which might be interesting.
Have YOU read Darkborn? Because I'm really curious to know what other people thought of it.
Counts for the Reader's Choice and Support Your Local Library challenges.