The Dark Wood

Author: Sydney Mann
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Flight + Fancy; 1st edition (September 17, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 172381489X
ISBN-13: 9781723814891

A young woman trapped in darkness faces a choice–a chance for love or the freedom of light?

Stella lives in Noctum, land of eternal night. In Noctum, the stars shine so bright it feels like you can pluck them from the sky, festivals are held for each special moon, and the Northern Lights are worshipped every wintertide. But the darkness hides many sins. Draven, Noctum’s ruthless immortal king, rules behind the protective walls of Caligo. While, outside in Darkwood, Stella and the other forest dwellers live in terror of foul creatures called the Shade.

Life in Darkwood is brutal and brief. When her brother, a soldier in the Shadow Guard, is killed, Stella’s hope wanes as the dangers that surround her close in. But stars shine brightest in the deepest dark, and when she witnesses one falling into the black heart of Darkwood, hope arrives in the unlikeliest manner. A stranger named Luc appears speaking of strange, impossible things—of a golden disc called the sun, of lands drenched in light with vivid blue skies, and perhaps most startling of all, he claims that Noctum is under a curse that he has come to lift. To banish the darkness that covers the land, all he has to do is kill Draven.

But curses are never easily broken and complications soon arise. Stella finds herself faced with an impossible choice—Luc’s life or the light she so desperately longs for. Because to gain one, she will have to lose the other.

What I thought: Overall, I found this to be an amazing story that tugged at the heartstrings. I really like Sidney’s prose and the way she can gut your heart and still leave you wanting more is a gift not all writers possess. She has created a beautiful world of Noctum filled with rich characters who stay with you long after the story has ended. I look forward to reading more of her work.

The Quote: I didn’t know what I wanted then. I didn’t know what I needed…until you.

Why I chose it: At my age, I am sort of over the “bad boy” trope, but boy oh boy do I love Damian. While he is a man who would normally not take “no” for an answer – this one respects the woman he desires. I always looked forward to scenes where he would appear and I think other readers will love him, too!

About the Author:

Sydney has been making up stories since she was a little girl, but it wasn’t until she had a child of her own that the urge to put pen to paper took root. As thrilling as real life can be, sometimes you just want to slay a few dragons, travel through time or visit strange new lands that exist only in the vast, mostly uncharted realm known as imagination. Sydney writes to transport you, but hopes to inspire and encourage along the way. Enjoy the journey!

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