This novel is one of the best-selling fantasy novel series Harry Turtledove has written. It is a very interesting book to read and Harry Turtledove would have to be one of the geniuses of this demanding field.
Turtledove has created a fascinating world of various lands and peoples, of colour, high honour and the realities of bloody death. With echoes of the First World War, Into the Darkness is a tour de force of fantasy and the utter futility of armed struggles between nations. The story begins with relative peace between the nations of the continent of Derlavai, after a previous war known as the Six Years War. But conflict arrises when the death of a duke instigates the King of the Algarve nation to swiftly advance and reclaim the duchy, that was lost during the Six Years War. But country after country is dragged into the war, as alliances reassert themselves and a hatred of difference escalates into rabid nationalism.
Turtledove has placed many characters into this story, all varying in their own way. From pompous kings to sly diplomats, from ordinary people - both men and women - caught up in the horrors of war to dragon fliers, they must all play their part in the battles which lay waste to country after country. The advantage to this is that the story can be told from many different points of view and how everything works to fit into the big picture. Like how the generals think and how their war strategies are put into action, how the troops react to this war and the opinions of the civilians as the war affects them in some way. Turtledove shown this in every character in this book, his attitude to war, broken up and illustrated differently with every character and their opinions. From the ignorance of the civilians, to the first-hand experience from the soldiers. But his attitude to war is an obvious one, portrayed in the suffering of the people either on the front line or in the cities where they worry for their loved ones.