This is an intriguing and original book, though the execution is not always perfect. The core of Knight’s fantasy saga reminds me of Alice in Wonderland/Wizard of Oz, in that somewhat average characters are dragged from the modern world into a strange new land that feels more like a series of interesting set-pieces than a traditional high-fantasy universe. “Darkness” is grittier, occasionally evoking gory images and dealing with adult subject matter, but the spirit of the fantasy/adventure is there.
Knight does inject his own interesting spin on the process, bringing his pseudo-psychological theme to the Internal Landscape. Rather than hiding the symbolism in layers of metaphor, he places the symbols directly in the story: a demonic old woman in the Internal Landscape isn’t symbolic of the main character’s mother, it literally appears as his mother. This is repeated with varying degrees of efficacy throughout the novel, though often the symbols do not hold up to scrutiny. Because many aspects of the Internal Landscape are shared between characters who live there, it cannot ever really pull off being a personalized kind of “psycho-fantasy” for the characters, which I would have found more interesting.
There are some pacing issues in the story; the plot is often split between three or four viewpoints, and they are not equally interesting. However, I applaud a creative story that takes risks, and hope to see more from the author.