Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

Where to even start with this amazing read? Allison Saft is a talented YA author from Philadelphia, PA; Down Comes the Night is her debut fantasy novel taking place in a snow-drenched kingdom where wicked plots threaten the life of Wren Southerland and the prospect of love could prove more dangerous than she imagined.

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.

First, can we just take a minute to appreciate this beautiful cover? The clash of colors, blue and grey, is stunning and I can see a representation of the characters here that I wasn’t aware of when first getting into the book. As I progressed in the storyline, though, this feature became more and more apparent and I love the detail the designers took care to put into its creation. It’s nice that the reader can also see a silhouette in the window who I presume is Wren. I could also see the colors as a collision of the character’s relationships in the book as one bleeds into the other.

Moving on from the cover, I absolutely loved reading this novel. Fantasy can be a tricky genre for me to get behind unless it’s done well, and this was certainly a good example of that. I enjoyed reading about this world that Saft created of Danubians and Vesrians; she created this entire world based around different cultures and magic, and I could vaguely see relationships with our own world outside of the story. These are the things I look for when reading any novel. Connections that I can make with the world around me to make the novel even more engaging. This gave the plotline and the characters more life that I found myself become invested in with every turn of the page.

Speaking on characters, I fell in love with Wren and Hal and Una and all these stunning personalities Saft gave to them. It really took me back for a moment when she made the MC, Wren, Bi-sexual. I was not expecting that, but it added so much more to the story! I felt like I could relate even more with Wren on a different level, which made me that much more interested in the journey she traveled on. This wasn’t the only aspect of the character I enjoyed, though; Saft made Wren, and her other characters, multilayered. They weren’t flat in any sense of the word, though I felt like there could have been a little more added to the Queen, Wren’s aunt.

There were various instances through the book where I noted some grammatical mistakes, but they were nothing huge and this was an electronic ARC version of the novel. These minor mistakes weren’t big enough to pull away from the novel, but they’re something I wanted to make a note of in this review.

Something I wish there would have been more of in the text is the overall world. We hear a lot about it, and there are some good moments of imagery painted here and there, especially when Wren speaks on the war, but it felt disconnected. Now, as I go back and try to remember the world, all I can really recollect are the insides of a few buildings and the remembrance of a castle where Wren’s aunt lived. For any novel, especially a fantasy novel, the world building is essential. It is the book. It’s where the journey unfolds, and it’s where the plot routinely tests the characters. Without the world, there would be no story, so I definitely feel this aspect of the novel could be painted a little better, so it didn’t feel so distant.

Overall, I absolutely adored the plot line and falling into this world. I could easily see this becoming a series along similar lines of Red Queen series, and I hope it does. There’re tons more I want to read about Wren and her story and what comes next after Down Comes the Night, so I hope Saft takes her writing expertise and craft us a second novel. If you’re interested in reading Down Comes the Night pre-order your copy on Amazon! The book is set for a release of March 2, 2021. If you’d like to learn more about Saft, check out her stunning author page.

Before I end this, a quick thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this e-book.

Until Next time.

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