Title: Down Comes the Night
Author: Allison Shaft
Pub. Date: March 2, 2021
Pub: Wednesday Books
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
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.
This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review. It’s 3AM and I have work tomorrow – well, today as you’re reading this. I couldn’t put the book down. Am I going to be exhausted at work, undoubtably, but it’s worth it.
I inhaled this book in about 6ish hours. Once I was hooked, I was invested. I didn’t want to stop reading. I was exhausted heading into this book, but it didn’t matter. I needed to know what was going to happen next. I need more Hal and Wren.
Their dynamic is amazing, and I just loved them so much. I love that Hal is clearly adorable. He might have been ruthless and dangerous and Not A Good Person but seeing him for who is truly is…impeccable.
His arc is just so satisfying.
And speaking of satisfying arcs, um, hello Wren.
Wren is amazing. She’s brilliant, witty and so incredibly strong. Sure, she makes mistakes, but when she realizes she’s making/made them, she learns and grows. I love that her strength is kindness. In a world that is constantly plagued by war and upheaval, Wren could have let everything harden her – but the fact that she doesn’t, it’s amazing. Her compassion is astounding.
Una, well, she kind of annoyed me. I’ve had friends like Una, ones who think they know what’s best for you, so they try and mold you into what they think you should be. Her arc in this book is interesting and ultimately satisfying. She grows and changes, but still stays true to who she is.
Her and Wren’s relationship is messy. It’s full of mixed feelings, intense pressure, frustration and longing. I think prior to the events at the end, they were friends, but more out of obligation. Post ending events, I think things will change.
As for Wren and Hal – I love them. I love them. I love them. That scene at the very end, when she [REDACTED] was just so wonderful. The way their relationship progressed, slowly and naturally, a gradual, begrudging get to know, was wonderful. The fact that they can see the fault of their countries, the biases and prejudices they’re raised with, and can move past them – it’s one of my favorite character dynamics. It also helps that Hal is the moody, broody type, and I have a hard time resisting those kinds of characters. And don’t even get me started on the soft moments, because I’ll be here all day.
Lowry was unfortunately predictable. He was the one element that I didn’t really care for in the book, and why I’m not giving it 5 stars. He just did nothing for me. His motivations didn’t move me or make me even want to remotely try and see his hurt and his reasoning. And maybe it was supposed to be obvious, but I kind of wish that it hadn’t been. I just grew bored of him and his machinations quickly.
Despite my one complaint, this book was great. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’ll be paying the price at work, but that’s okay. I knew I was going to enjoy this, and I loved the characters and the world. Setting the majority of this book on a snowy mountain manor house is *chef’s kiss*. I love books set in the backdrop of a creepy house, so this delivers. It’s engaging and you end up reading it in one sitting. The character relationships are wonderful, and the softer tender moments are perfect. You can’t help but enjoy this book. You fall in love with Wren and Hal and everything they go through. I definitely recommend this book, and it comes out next week, so you don’t have to wait long! Make sure you pre-order or pick up your copy next week once it’s released!