Deeper,Older, Darker by P.J. Richards
Deeper, Older, Darker
P. J. Richards
About the Book
Ancient yew trees - living links between the past and present - embody a magical discipline that offers a way to reach beyond the mundane world. An occult group has rediscovered this knowledge, and uses it to experience a reality where legends live, magic is currency and willpower is a weapon. They find themselves drawn into a hunt for the last magical artifacts left in Britain - but the land is an entity with its own deadly agenda, and is harnessing these individuals for its own ends.
Deeper, Older, Darker is an urban fantasy set in the wilds
of Somerset and steeped in English Folklore.
So with that, it immediately got
a plus point from me as I very rarely see a fantasy using English Folklore much,
and there is a rich vein of myths and legends that do not wholly revolve around
King Arthur or Robin Hood. Yes, some of them may tie in, such as the Girt dog
of Langport, but if you go around the British Isles there are all sorts of
So, when I read the blurb for
this and read about this fact, I was quietly excited to be honest.
The story revolves around a
shadow organisation called the Bowlore, which kind of works outside the
parameters of normal existence and is comprised of a set of different
independent groups, named after certain ancient British landmarks, like Silbury
hill or Badbury Rings.
Within this organisation there is
a lot of jockeying for position and the possession of certain artefacts of
power that will increase the standing in the organisational structure of the
And it Is with that we get the
crux of the story, as we centre on the possession of a particular artefact
called the wolf stone thus increasing the power of the group that owns it.
I liked this book. I liked how it
took folklore as the main driver of the story and how it integrates and impacts
not only on the Bowlore, but on the groups within it. Like I said, it really is
steeped in folklore with such things as the power of healing obtained from Yew
trees, the thirteen treasures of the Island of Britain, the legend of Wayland’s
Smithy and all the mystical things associated with England.
PJ Richards does a really good
job of weaving these fascinating aspects of British folklore into the story,
using it as a driver for the plot. However, not only are these legends used but
also the very land and sites around England associated with these legends.
In terms of the book itself, like
I said, I felt that it fell into urban fantasy and it is a while that I dipped
into this aspect of fantasy, and with Deeper, Older, Darker, PJ Richard’s
presents a good read for any fans of the genre.
I did have some things that
didn’t quite click with me. However, that entirely depends on where this book
Let me explain! I felt that the
characters of the book were secondary characters to the main character, which
was the Bowlore itself. I would have liked to have some more history and
information about the organisation of the Bowlore, like its hierarchical
structures, how it was developed, what some of the terminologies meant.
I think for me, this was one of
the most difficult parts of the book as I would frequently become lost, trying
to work out the structures of the different groups and some of the terms used
in the book. In addition to this, there were points in the story where I
couldn’t recall which character was which and how they stood within that regime
of the different groups.
When it came to the characters of
the story, most of them are pretty morally grey, and their motivations tended
to revolve around their own personal motivations, machinations and selfish
obtaining of power, and they have no inclination to care for those that they
hurt in the process.
I have to say that I didn’t find
them particularly likeable at all, but I am not averse to morally grey,
unlikeable characters as long as they are interesting, and I certainly found
them to have that in common.
However, as I said I did feel
like the characters of the book played a secondary role to the Bowlore itself.
Did this spoil the enjoyment of
the plot? Not particularly, as the pace of the plot kept it flowing along quite
Now going back to my earlier
point, which I said earlier before I described my own personal little foibles
with the book. These foibles depend on whether this is intended as a series
(which I feel that it does have scope for). If this is to be a series, then
some of these things don’t particularly matter as much as I am sure that they
will be expanded on later in the series and so will the characters, making this
a good introduction to the world of the Bowlore. However, if it is a
standalone, then those points would come back into play.
On top of this, there were
certain facets of English folklore that I was not aware of, like the Girt Dog
of Langport which would send me off into a flurry of gaining more information
about this, which I have to say that personally, I enjoyed immensely. I love
going off and looking at titbits of information and coming out of a book with
more knowledge than I went in. However, I am sure that there will be people
that will have a converse opinion to that.
I think P. J. Richard’s trusts
that the reader will gain the necessary bits of information themselves rather
than spoon feeding it to the reader. Although, equally at some points some
background exposition may be useful.
So, if you are interested in a unique slice of urban fantasy steeped in English folklore, then I think that you may enjoy this one.
Title | Deeper, Darker, Older
Author | P.J. Richards
Publisher | SnowBooks
Pub Date | 10th November 2020
Pages | 345