Mar 2, 2021

ARC Review--Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

A gorgeously gothic, deeply romantic YA debut fantasy about two enemies trapped inside a crumbling mansion, with no escape from the monsters within.

Honor your oath, destroy your country.

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.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched, gothic, romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.



I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Allison Saft’s debut Down Comes the Night was a read entwined with magic, darkness, secrets, and betrayals. It was a captivating sort of read, yet at times I did feel my attention drifting. I went into this one almost blind, except being deeply intrigued with the description. Sadly, it wasn’t a read that was 100% me, but did have its high points.

Wren is a healer who has never been able to live up to the standards of her aunt Isabel, who is also her queen. Her dearest friend, Una, and her fiercest love does her best to look out for her, but even Una’s rank won’t be able to save her when Wren makes the mistake of letting an enemy of the kingdom escape their grasp.

When Wren decides to secretly take a job to heal someone from their neighboring and enemy kingdom, she will have to hurt the one she loves most in order to save their kingdom and bring honor back to her name. Though, not so much in a Mulan sense.

Right away, I was not digging the relationship between Una and Wren. Namely because Una was just so cold and emotionless. It was amazing that she and Wren shared a night together off page of the story. Una is girl very much married to her job and rank. She’s all about the rules and when Wren starts breaking them, she turns her back on her. It almost felt like she just wanted Wren to be her little pet or something by the way she goes on about her always having to take care of her. I was just not feeling the love, Wren was crazy in love with Una, but it just didn’t feel like Una felt the same.

Then of course, we get a bit of a love triangle when the person Wren is sent to heal is the Reaper of Vesria. Of course, Lord Lowry, her employer does not seem to know that his newest servant is the famed assassin who kills without remorse. Wren saw him once upon a time a few years ago and managed to live to tell the tale. Wren feels a conundrum when she sees her patient. Should she heal him as she was hired to do? Or should she let the murderer rot?

Well, as you might guess, she takes the healing path, if only to turn him over to her queen to regain her favor. But naturally, things start to change between them as they spend more time together. And it soon becomes apparent that someone inside the household of Lord Lowry wanted Hal, as the Reaper is truly known by, dead.

I think one issue I had with this book was the pacing. It was a little slower than I would’ve liked. I was doing fine with it for the first half but when I thought I had to be nearly done with the book, I discovered I was only halfway through. I did some skimming through the chapters just to get through them and caught onto most of the story. But I was just feeling a disconnect from the characters and the story in front of me. It wasn’t turning out to be the story I was hoping for in the long run.

I did enjoy it in some sense, I can honestly say I don’t really know what I was hoping for. I was with the story for the first half, but somewhere down the line I felt disconnected from everything happening. It wasn’t overly predictable but some things were and I guess the motives were just so bland that I was struggling to even finish the book. But I did.

The ending was a good one. I liked where the characters ended up and that it was a standalone was refreshing. I love a good standalone every now and then! While this wasn’t the 5 star read I was hoping for, it still made for an entertaining time. I guess I was just expecting a little something more and a little bit of a faster and more enticing pace.

But if Down Comes the Night sounds like a captivating read for you, I would highly recommend checking it out for yourself. While it wasn’t a favorite read for me, it could be your next all time favorite!


Overall Rating 3/5 stars


Down Comes the Night releases March 2, 2021






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