Title: Bright Burns the Night
Author: Sara B. Larson
Pub. Date: May 29, 2018
Ten years ago, King Lorcan of the Dark Kingdom Dorjhalon defeated Queen Evelayn and cut her conduit stone from her. Since then, he has kept her trapped in her swan form. With the loss of balance between Dark and Light, winter has descended and the Draíolon of Éadrolan lose more power every day. But once a year, Lorcan transforms her back to her Draíolon form and offers a truce. And every year Evelayn refuses — for he requires her to Bind herself to him for life.
But now, with an Ancient power bearing down upon them, everything may change. Evelayn will learn that the truths she once believed have shattered, and that she may need her enemies even more than her allies. Lorcan and Evelayn become partners in a desperate quest to return the balance of power to Lachalonia. How far will this partnership go? Can friendship — perhaps even love — bloom where hatred has taken root?
This will be a short spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible and really enjoyed the production. Amy Shiels did a fantastic job voicing the characters and bringing the story to a new kind of life.
I wasn’t initially going to listen to the second book. But the line “Ten years ago” piqued my interest as well as the potential for enemies to lovers.
As far as those two things go, I was pretty damn pleased with this book. Overall, I really did enjoy it, and as a whole, I loved the duology.
My biggest complaint is the same as always, I wish there were more. The pacing was a little quick and I wish more time had been spent with Evelayn allowing her feelings towards Lorcan to change – a la more Beauty and the Beast. The progression wasn’t lightning quick but felt a little fast. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shipping them right off the bat. He’s flawed and did some terrible things to her, but I’m always down for a redemption trope. Not to mention, I love when “antagonists” only don the cloak of being the bad guy, because that’s everyone’s perception. So rather than fight it, just lean into it. I’m a sucker for that.
I also wish more background had been given about the world. I get that to an extent a lot of the history is lost to the recesses of time, but the whole Forest of the Dead bit seemed a smidge convenient. Ultimately, I just wish I could have spent more time in this world.
I’ve been a Sara B. Larson fan since Defy and I’ve loved everything she’s written since. I’m always left with wanting more.
I enjoyed the cast of characters in this book, the roles they played on their journey and how even the most unwilling, put aside some of their personal issues and did what needed to be done. Evelayn definitely got the short end of the stick in this book. She has it rough and I feel for her. Her whole life is ripped from her, and then truths she thought to be real, end up being false and it’s a lot to process.
Lorcan is…well, he’s tortured. He’s got his own baggage and demons he needs to face. His hands are tied in this book and he hates it. I loved how protective he is of Evelayn as the book goes on. I’m a sucker for his kind of character.
All in all, this was a pretty good ending for this duology, and I loved that it was a darker take on The Swan Princess. It’s always great to find retellings of less popular fairytales. I’m kind of kicking myself for waiting so long to read this book – this series – but I’m glad I finally did. I recommend picking up this series if you’re interested. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.