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Book Review: The Darkening by Sunya Mara


Prince Dalca was born for one purpose: to protect his home from the Storm, a deadly force that surrounds his city and curses everyone it touches. Vesper Vale is the daughter of failed revolutionaries. Since the Queen sentenced her mother to death by the Storm, she and her father have been on the run.

So when the queen’s soldiers – led by Prince Dalca – catch up to Vesper’s father, she will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing her mother’s cruel fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, and that her home is in dire peril, she has little choice: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm . . .


The Darkening is the first book in a thrilling new YA fantasy series and a fabulous debut novel. I enjoyed following Vesper on her quest to rescue her father from the clutches of the Wardana, the city’s defence guardians. This is an atmospheric world with an interesting magic system called Ikonomancy, using the formation of icons and letters to create magic. The storyline is captivating and interspersed with scenes of action and intrigue, I became completely immersed in the story. The world is divided into seven rings, reminiscent of a class system and the closer you are to the middle and away from the Storm the wealthier you are. The outer rings are now barren wasteland ravaged by the ever encroaching Storm which surrounds the city. This is an all consuming darkness made up of layers of mist, smoke and shadow that curses people it touches and in which evil storm monsters are bourne.

The characters are rich and colourful and Vesper stands out as a strong lead female. The daughter of failed revolutionaries, she is determined and headstrong and nothing stands in her way. The romance is a little lack lustre, but there is potential for this to develop further in subsequent books.

Atmospheric, entertaining and immersive I devoured every page of The Darkening and with an action-packed ending and one or two unexpected twists and turns I cannot wait to read the next instalment.

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Publication Date (UK): 5 July 2022
Series: #1 The Darkening duology
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 400
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Happy reading!



Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

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