AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SCREAMING AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH CRYING AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH OBSESSED
Yep. That is my intro. It captures the absolute emotional wreck I’ve been since finishing this masterpiece.
Book: Down Comes the Night
Author: Allison Saft
Published March 2nd 2021 by Wednesday Books
graphic depictions of surgical procedures, gore, including descriptions of wounds, blood, and corpses, implied torture (not shown on page)
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. (from Goodreads)
Ok. So what is this book about???? Good question. Well, I could start by telling you that there is an actual real life queendom (well, as actual real life as it can be within the pages of the book). There is romantic tension for days, a masquerade ball (that isn’t cheesy, I promise!), as well as some Gothic elements. Seriously, this book has it all. But at it’s heart, I’d say that Down Comes the Night is about two people who were raised to hate each other and a magic that might just save them from the darkness.
“Maybe the only difference between a monster and a hero was the colour of a soldier’s uniform”
Wren (main character, bisexual badass, and my literal fave) is constantly told she must be more ruthless, to stop being so emotional. She must be an obedient soldier, she must have a killer instinct. Time and time again, the word emotional is pelted after her like a pointy rock: emotional, emotional, emotional. Over the course of the book she grapples with following her heart, doing what is right, and questioning her position in the world.
Words cannot express my love for Wren as a main character. Sure, she is reckless and stubborn, but she is also kind and compassionate. I absolutly adored how Wren being those things are her own brands of badassery. Wren cries when she gets mad (same lol) and occationally she makes iffy life choices when emotions are high strung, but that doens’t take away from the fact that she is a highly trained Healer, a friend, and always willing to risk it all to do what is right. She is 100% a badass because of those things, not in spite of them and I love her for it. Down Comes the Night wouldn’t have been Down Comes the Night without her.
“Was it so terrible to need someone else? Was kindness such a horrible burden to endure?”
Another component Down Comes the Night wouldn’t have been the same without the romance. Romantic tension? Check. Enemies to lovers, working through their own prejudices from opposite sides of the war? Double check. Just good vibes? Triple check. The romance is literally my everything, and no, I won’t shut up about it.
The romance in this book wasn’t just hate to love between a girl and misunderstood boy who has killed people. No, not at all. Hal wanted to redeem himself for his past actions before Wren even came into the picture. Both Wren and Hal worked on their hatred towards each other (and what each other represented) through many difficult conversations. These conversations deconstructing their preconcinved notions of each other definetly added to the development of the relationship as well.
On the topic-ish of relationships and therefore ~feelings~ in general (I know, brilliant segway there), it would be criminal not to mention to absolute roller coaster that this book was. At least when it comes to my rating scale, really feeling the story can be the difference between a 4 star and a 5 star read. I just felt this one, down to my bones. The characters, the stakes, the pain and hope and everything in between, well, I felt it all.
” Mayve I’m wrong,” he said pensively. “I still have things I would kill for. But perhaps the most important things —what truly drives us— are the things we would die for.”
It is absolutly undeniable that Allison Saft can write. With three dimential characters accross the board, an atmospheric setting, and a romance to literally die for, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
My only note, which is an absolutly tiny one, is that the writing is definitely on the chunkier side (chunky is being said with the utmost affection here). There is a lot of lush descriptions and enough comparisons to make my metaphor loving heart happy. There were definitely some parts that could have been a bit smoother and less difficult to wade through. That being said, these instances were far and few between, and whenever they did pop up the vibes and romance made it moderately smooth sailing.
My heart is swelling and my eye sockets are filling with tears (but not squelching… that is a gross word in regards to eyeballs). I— I’m obsessed. It makes me want to cry, sometimes in sadness and sometimes for the overwhelming joy this book brings me.
Have you read Down Comes the Night? What did you think of it?