Down Comes The Night by Allison Saft

Posted February 16, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Down Comes The Night

Down Comes The Night

by Allison Saft

Publisher: Wednesday Books on March 2, 2021
Genre: Fantasy, Gothic, Romance
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Representation: Bisexual, LGBTQIAP+
Content Warnings: Blood, Death, Medical Content, Medical Trauma

Rating: ★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

Wren Southerland is the most talented healer in the Queen’s Guard, but her reckless actions have repeatedly put her on thin ice with her superiors. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate to cure his servant from a mysterious disease, she seizes the chance to prove herself.

When she arrives at Colwick Hall, Wren realizes that nothing is what it seems. Particularly when she discovers her patient is actually Hal Cavendish, the sworn enemy of her kingdom.

As the snowy mountains make it impossible to leave the estate, Wren and Hal grow closer as they uncover a sinister plot that could destroy everything they hold dear. But choosing love could doom both their kingdoms.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Down Comes the Night is a really interesting, unique book within its genre.  It’s a fantasy, but it’s also a mystery.  It’s got vibes of things like Shadow and Bone – something cold with swirls of dark magic and forbidden romances.  Our story follows Wren, a healer, as she tries to salvage her place among the Queen’s Guard and broker a peace between two kingdoms.  When a mysterious call promising great reward summons her to Colwick Hall… the situation intended to be her saving grace is not quite what it appears.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Down Comes the Night when I started reading it.  The book seemed to have a spooky feel to it, and I do love a good ghost story so I started out expecting something more akin to that.  It’s not a ghost story – Down Comes the Night is a story about war.  It’s one of those unique books about war that does not take us into the fight, but rather, to a place where peace stands upon the edge of a knife.  There are diplomatic relations and monsters and there is blood.  In fact, parts of Down Comes the Night are surprisingly gory.  It’s a good thing to be aware of before diving into the story – there’s violence and blood and surgical procedures, all told in stark, straightforward detail.

For me, the first half the book dragged.  I wasn’t truly invested in the story until about 60%.  The action is slow to rise and there’s not a lot about Wren I actually liked.  She’s a stiff, stubborn character, and the world building felt… distant.  Descriptions and settings provide enough information to place the characters and plot, but there are few passages that truly build atmosphere.  Mix all of these things together, and I struggled to get invested.

By the end, though, the story picked up and there were enough sudden twists to keep me turning pages.  I still believe that the characters as a rule were too changeable and many scenes and conversations were a bit too convenient to be satisfying.  Still, the idea of this book was unique and in that way, it was refreshing.  We rarely see mysteries or a mash up of technology and magic in fantasy books, especially if they are not steampunk (which this certainly is not).  Down Comes the Night is a book I feel has a lot of potential, and it will find its readership, but there were too many missing elements for me to love it.  I would still recommend it, particularly for those readers who like a little spookiness, a highly inadvisable romance, and plots and machinations.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★ 1/2
Plot: ★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★ 1/2
Writing: ★★★ 1/2
Pacing: ★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2

3 Star Rating

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How would you feel about being trapped in a spooky mansion like Colwick Hall during a snowstorm?  Would you investigate or just stay hunkered down and wait to be able to leave?  Let me know your survival plans in the comments?

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