I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Descent: Journeys in the Dark book The Shield of Daqan written by David Guymer and published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

Secondly I am a friend of Davidon Facebook, and whilst we aren’t best buds, we do interact with each other on occasion and I consider him a class person.

I am going to try my best to not let these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What’s is Descent: Journeys in the Dark

Simply put Descent: Journeys in the Dark is good old fashioned dungeon crawler whose linage goes all the way back to Heroquest.

Based very much on the Doom board game published by Fantasy Flight Games, you can see influences from across the gaming hobby, with bits from Space Hulk and Lord of the Rings being identifiable.

It’s set in the world of Terrinoth, a setting shared with Runewars, Runeage and a few other games and RPGs published by Fantasty Flight Games.

It’s a high fantasy universe and you will recognise many of the tropes and races seen in other similar fantasy style settings. It’s not particularly unique, but it is fairly well developed and interesting.

Descent is the dungeon crawler game in that universe, with one player being the evil overlord of the dungeon and the others taking in the tiles of the hero’s.

For a dungeon crawler, let’s be honest it’s one of the best out there, and the only reason it’s not in my collection is that Lindsay and Megan aren’t as enthusiastic about high fantasy as I am!

The Story

This book is honestly a real page turner, I devoured it in two sittings, it really is that good.

Told from multiple points of view like the Song of Ice and Fire books, this really is a engrossing and wonderful book to read, my favourite of Aconytes books thus far.

The book tells the story of the invasion of the Barony of Kell, once the last bastion against the evil from beyond the veil, and now is a shadow of its former self, assailed by bandits and famine. The noble Baron is a leader who cares for his people and he has found himself caught between the trap of feeding his people or defending them, without the manpower to do both. The Barony now faces an invasion of the barbarous Uthuk, led by vile Ne’Krul whose purpose is to bring her demonic masters into reality.

We have the legendary Trenloe the Strong and his Companions of Trenloe, a group of mercenaries, dedicated to protecting the people of the realm, and we are introduced to them as they escort refugees to safety. And the other hero, the holy warrior Andira Runehand, and her band of pious pilgrims, come to confront demons and stop them from entering the mortal plane.

These two heroes find themselves becoming the last hope of Kell, and through separate journeys play a part in an epic and desperate battle to save the world.


Its fun, its exciting, its literally dripping with personality, and what’s more, you need absolutely zero knowledge of the setting. This is a perfect franchise genre novel in my opinion.

Its absolutely character driven and not one scene in the book feels forced, everything feels like its there to drive the characters more, to give more insight to them. The first sitting, I literally devoured 65% of the book because I simply couldn’t put it down, and I only stopped because I actually feel asleep at 4am!

I cannot highly recommend this book enough, the only slight negative, is that this very much feels like the start of an epic series, and I am now desperate for the next book, so David, get writing post haste!

You can buy the eBook now and the paperback gets a release on the 15th April