Early Review: FADE TO BLACK (Rojan Dizon #1) by Francis Knight

February 22, 2013 Review 0

*This title will be released on February 26, 2013*

Cover by: N/A

Fade To Black

(Rojan Dizon, #1)
by Francis Knight

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Chris | Source: NetGalley

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (February 26, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0316217689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316217682


Okay – A few good points, but with significant flaws. Library/swap/borrow if you want.

Sexual Content

Sex scenes.


From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala

 It’s a city built upwards, not across – where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.

Rojan Dizon doesn’t mind staying in the shadows, because he’s got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But he can’t hide for ever.

Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic. And unlucky for Rojan – this is going to hurt.


Yawn. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. Or maybe bland. Both are apt descriptions for FADE TO BLACK.  A few chapters in I wrote in my notes that it seemed as if the author had a checklist of everything she thought should go in an urban fantasy novel and merrily went down the list as she wrote the book. This feeling never changed as the book progressed.

The main character of the book is Rojan Dizon. He’s a stereotype of every best-selling urban fantasy character rolled in to one. Badly. I’m having a hard time expressing how much I detested this character. Everything about him had me rolling my eyes in annoyance. It’s so bad that I’m kind of hoping the author meant him to be some sort of avant-garde statement on horrible urban fantasy clichés, but I really doubt it.

Now for the plot: Rojan’s niece is kidnapped! Oh noes! Maybe I hated this plot so much because when I’m not reading urban fantasy I’m probably reading a mystery novel and the family member getting kidnapped plot is one of the most overdone storylines. That isn’t to say the kidnap plot can’t be done well, but it certainly isn’t here. The plot seemed to just be a way for the author to make Rojan take some responsibility for himself. Which is fine, but why can’t we have characters who are already responsible? Anti-heroes can be fun, but Rojan just comes across as an angsty, emo asshole.

Anyway, there are some cool things about the book. The city of Mahala is interesting and kind of reminded me of the giant cities built in David Wingrove’s Chung Kuo books.  Sadly just having a neat location isn’t enough to fill a book. All in all this a standard, paint-by-numbers dark fantasy and not one I can recommend. There are too many good books out there to waste time reading ones like this.


  1. Fade to Black 
  2. Rojan Dizon

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