The Night Realm (Spell Weaver #1) by Annette Marie
If you have not read Annette Marie yet, you need to stop whatever you’re doing, run to your nearest kindle (or preferred e-reader), and buy her books asap. Seriously, any one of them. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Great. If you follow instructions, you probably noticed that every one of her book covers is gorgeous. Not that I would buy a book just for its cover, but it certainly caught my attention when I read her first series, Steele and Stone. Today, however, I’ll be reviewing her newest book, The Night Realm, set in the same universe as the Steele and Stone series, but occurring before the action of the original series. Here we meet Clio, a banished nymph hiding in our world for her own protection. Since I hate spoilers, I won’t tell you any more about how she came there, other than it involves some family drama. (C’mon, the back cover could have told you that.)
What I love about Marie’s work is that her characters really tug at your heartstrings. A little bit of the magic is gone if you read the original series, simply because you know who the male lead is now and where he ends up in the future. What you’re learning here is his mysterious backstory. The creepy mannerisms of the villain (who constantly refers to crying out in pain as singing) draw you into the story and make you feel just as creeped out as Clio.
Each of the characters has their own set of magical strengths that they draw on throughout the plot. Clio's ability to mimic magic kicks off her journey at the behest of the royal Nymph, and she pulls it out to escape dire situations. The novel also gives a nice review of the S&S word without being too boring or repetitive - perfect for those who haven't read the original series or need a refresher on the world.
Starts off a little slow but really picks up around 40% - Marie knows how to build a slow burn romance! It's strange already knowing the future of some of the characters, but Marie is a master of suspense and writing relateable characters, so definitely worth picking up.
Looking for book two? Read our book review of The Shadow Weave!