He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness.
Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.
The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.
With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.
Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.
Love makes monsters of us all.
With an atmospheric, beautiful cover and a description giving me all kinds of gothic vibes, I was anxious to settle in with this story on a dreary night.
After Wren is suspended from the Queen’s Guard, she ducks out of her next assignment and heads to Colwick Hall in an attempt to get back into the good graces of her aunt, the queen. Although Wren’s last living relative, the queen has never shown her any affection and barely tolerates her. Once Wren realizes the patient she’s been hired to care for at the hall is an enemy of her kingdom (Hal’s killed hundreds of people), the story really began for me. The crumbling mansion surrounded by acres of snow is the perfect setting for her to unravel the mystery of Hal’s illness and uncover the person responsible for the disappearance of several soldiers from her kingdom.
Wren is a compassionate person, an important trait for a healer, but she trusts too easily, and it comes back to bite her more than once. As the Reaper, Hal has a dark, violent past, but I wanted to know more about his transformation from the Reaper to the person Wren meets. Several blank spaces kept me from really knowing both of these characters. Their slow burn romance is sweet and gooey, but as I’m not much of a romance fan, it got a little repetitive – but that’s just me. Other reviewers were big fans of their relationship.
The story offers plenty of tense, action-packed moments and a few graphic medical scenes that may cause some readers to cringe. It’s not exactly the novel I’d expected, but still an enjoyable read with a satisfying ending.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.