Like deep dark water, it pulls them down. The faint fire of magic within them flickers and dies. Their eyes turn black as night. They are nightborn now.
Grace Marchant has been many things: streetwise orphan, rebellious servant, and now beloved companion of Prince Bastien, heir to the throne of Larelwynn. But their sunlit happiness is not destined to last. The golden magic which brought them together in purest passion is threatened by strange and ancient forces. Innocent people are becoming nightborn – cruel, deadly, unrecognisable to their loved ones – and these two young lovers are the only ones with power enough to stop it.
In times of peace, striking a deal with their closest enemy would be unthinkable, but now their only hope is to ally with the neighbouring Valenti royal family: manipulative, cunning, and always with an eye on the Larelwynn throne. The partnership comes at a devastating price… if Grace wants to defeat the nightborn, she must watch Bastien marry a Valenti princess.
Grace knows she must make this heart-wrenching sacrifice for the good of the whole kingdom – but she also fears the magic in her veins, usually so warm and bright, is turning cold as deepest midnight. A beguiling darkness whispers to her from within. Is Grace herself becoming nightborn?
Time is running out. With Bastien promised to another, and a stony distance growing between them, will Grace find the source of the nightborn curse before every last soul is consumed by the darkness?
Combining sizzling romance, courtly intrigue, and heart-in-your-mouth action, this dark and addictive fantasy series is perfect for fans of Graceling and Emily R. King.
I am thrilled to be on the blog tour today for Nightborn, the second installment of The Hollow King series. You can read my review for book 1, Mageborn here. I really would recommend reading these in order. Nightborn is a follow on, you’d miss out on a lot of the story if you read this as a standalone. As always there will be no spoilers for Nightborn but I will be referring to events that happened in Mageborn.
It was no secret that I adored Mageborn and I have been excited to see what Jessica had in store for us next. Nightborn did not disappoint.
We pick up the story 3 months after the events of book 1. Our gang of characters have fled Rathlynn to the Valenti Islands. The descriptions of this place really put me in mind of Venice. The city is surrounded by water, everything is interconnected by canals and river ways. All ruled over by the Dowager Queen, a fearsome woman with spies in every part of the world.
After Bastien drew on the Magen to pull Grace back from the dead she hasn’t felt herself. Something is pushing at her being, trying to drag her under. Other Mageborn are no longer going Hollow either, but something much worse, they are becoming Nightborn. Bastien and Grace must navigate the Valenti court and stay one step ahead of the political webs being woven around them. As well as discover what is happening to the Mageborn.
Those Characters we love to hate
They are back, Asher Kane, Queen Aurelie and Celeste, still as mad as ever. The three of them are determined to bring Grace and Bastien down and will use any means necessary. I really dislike this trio but add in a few other questionable characters and yet again you are never quite sure who is playing who and what the long game is. I really enjoy that in a book, trying to work out the outcome of what is going on.
The other new main character we are introduced to is Princess Rynn of the Valenti Island’s. I couldn’t decide how I felt about her at first and I do feel we only brushed the surface of everything she had to offer. She could be a very influential character and I am guessing we will see more of her in the future.
At its heart this is an origin story of the Hollow King and how Bastien came to be what he is. Bastien starts to get his very early memories back. It isn’t quite what we had been led to believe in Book 1. I found this quite complicated in places and had to re-read a couple of bits just to get my head around it all. I’m still a little confused about it but I did love learning more about the magic system and what was happening to all the Mageborn.
Just like Mageborn, Nightborn is full of political power play and a hunger for supremacy. It is fast paced, action packed and will make your head spin. I enjoyed the fact that the potential love triangle was not at all what I assumed it to be and Jessica avoided all the usual clichés. It made the story telling so much more interesting.
I have to say I’m not sure how I feel about there being another book in this series. For me in some ways in wrapped up beautifully but equally there were some loose ends that could easily be developed. I will certainly read anything else Jessica publishes as I have really enjoyed what I have read so far.
My thanks to Bookouture for my invite onto the blog tour and a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Jessica Thorne saw Star Wars at an impressionable age and life was never the same. She’s loved fantasy, romance and science fiction ever since and spends her time looking for adventure – in the pages of her books.
Sometimes she is Ruth Frances Long and won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2015.
Author Social Media Links: