So, I bought this book sometime in 2020 and I so wanted to start it but I didn’t have the time I thought I needed for this. It’s a 803 pages book, so I thought I might need too many days to read it. I managed to do so in 7 days and I am really happy for that! I do need to admit that I’m a fun of her YA books, even though I didn’t go head over heels with “A Court of Frost and Starlight”. This one however is a totally new universe with so many different characters and creatures than what we met in the “A Court Of Thorns And Roses” series. And everything sounded so enticing.
Bryce Quinlan, a half Fae half human young woman, is happy with her life. She has a job and a roommate who is also her best friend. Their friendship started in the University and the two of them have formed a bond unlike any other. Danika is a shifter, a wolf and the Alpha of her Pack. And given the close friendship between the two girls, the Pack is also Bryce’s Pack, even though she is not a wolf. On night though, Bryce comes home to find Danika and the whole Pack brutally murdered. That leaves her devastated. She is sad and alone and she misses her best friend and the feeling of belonging.
Hunt Athalar is the Shadow of Death, as most of Crescent City citizens call him. He is a Fallen Angel, that had rebelled against the Archangels and the Asteri, the masters of this world, who he believed to be unfair. He was leading an Archangel’s army in the rebellion, but that Archangel is now dead and he is enslaved to the very Archangels he fought to overthrow. But his power and strength have made him a valuable asset. He is doing all the dirty work, all the assassinations his boss needs to be done. When that same boss offers him a deal, have his freedom within reach, if he finds Danika’s murder alongside Bryce, he cannot really decline.
The two of them don’t have much of a choice but to work together. Especially when they find out that a deeper, darker power is roving Crescent City’s streets at night, spreading terror and threatening everything and everyone they hold dear. They will not back down, no matter the danger they might face themselves. They will keep digging until they reveal everything that is hidden in the dark and free their city while they also do justice to Danika and the Pack.
What I loved the most about this book was the world building, which was also the reason why it started really slowly. The reader needs first to understand this new universe and the main characters history in order to become one with the story. After that, the rest of the book flows like water and you don’t really understand when you’ve reached midpoint. Given that the setting is on a different planet with creatures that found a way to inhabit, we need to understand how this all happened. And we get do that by delving into Bryce’s and Hunt’s stories.
I hadn’t read a book with so many different creatures recently and I really enjoyed this one for that exact reason. These creatures that are not human are called Vanir and they all, along with the humans, belong to the Four Houses of Midgard. “House of Earth and Blood” houses Shifters, humans, witches, ordinary animals. “House of Sky and Breath” houses malakim (angels), Fae, elementals, sprites. “House of Many Waters” houses river-spirits, mer, water beasts, nymphs, kelpies, nokks. “House of Flame and Shadow” houses daemonaki, Reapers, wraiths, vampyrs, draki, dragons, necromancers. In this first book we get to see many of the above mentioned creatures of the different Houses which makes it all the most interesting to know what comes next! I really liked some of the creatures we met in this book, some that were not the main characters I mean.
Ruhn was an amazing Fae half brother, the Fae Prince and Chosen One. Danika was a wonderful friend and a mighty warrior. Lehabah was unforgettable, the kind of friend you want at your side, even though you don’t realize it. Syrie was just adorable!!! Fury and June, so different from one another but a pair you want at your side. And so many others that I don’t want to mention so as not to give out any spoilers!
As I was saying earlier, there is a slow start because of the world building. But when the main part of it is out there, the action begins and we have a fast paced, action packed book till the very end. Different clues, lead to different hypothesis and the case that starts to unfold before their eyes, leading to a conclusion none of them really expected.
One thing I can say for sure. I want to read the next book yesterday, even if it is another 800 pages!