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1,2992014,766 (4.24)10
Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. HTML:

For fans of Uprooted and For the Wolf comes a dark, lushly gothic fantasy about a maiden who must unleash the monster within to save her kingdomâ??but the monster in her head isn't the only threat lurking.
Elspeth needs a monster. The monster might be her.
Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunderâ??she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.

But nothing comes for free, especially magic.

When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. Except the highwayman just so happens to be the King's own nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder...and guilty of high treason.

He and Elspeth have until Solstice to gather twelve Providence Cardsâ??the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly, darkly, taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop… (more)

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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
That was surprisingly different and still so familiar. I loved it.
I teared through the pages within 3 days. Thank Odin, the second volume is already on my shelf. ( )
  RoXXieSiXX | May 20, 2024 |
6 STARS I cannot believe how fantastic this book was. I am clawing at the walls of my enclosure for book two. I loved the gothic atmosphere and the magic system and the gore and the characters and everything. I am utterly obsessed with this book.

Adding this from my review of the sequel, Two Twisted Crowns (don't worry, no spoilers ahead for either book!):

I cannot even begin to understand why some people do not like these books, the first book is flawless in my opinion and the second book, while ever so slightly not as good as the first book, is still fantastic. I do hear a lot of people on TikTok comparing these books to series like ACOTAR and Fourth Wing (I have read both of those series- ACOTAR through ACOSF and Fourth Wing through Iron Flame). I have no idea why the hell people are comparing the Shepard King books to ones like ACOTAR and Fourth Wing because they could not be more different. The only similarity is that they’re all fantasy books involving magic. But even still, the magic in all of these series are soooo different from each other. So perhaps that's why people aren't liking these books, they're going into One Dark Window expecting intense fae politics and fae smut every other page or horny teenagers that ride dragons, when these books just aren't about that. I’ve heard a lot of people say they expected more smut and romance in the Shepard King series because of the comparisons to Fourth Wing and ACOTAR. The Shepard King duology, while it has romance, is not just about romance and doesn’t rely just on romance. It’s much deeper. So to people that picked up these books because they were looking for something to fill the void from missing ACOTAR, Fourth Wing, or other beloved romantasy series, pLEASE try these books again with a clean slate and palette. You won’t be getting ACOTAR 2.0 from these, it’s much, much different and honestly better. And to the people who said these books were “too wordy”, kindly be quiet and go read a dictionary because apparently you never studied your SAT words well enough. To me, the language of these books was like a breath of fresh air especially having grown up reading books like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and especially after the overly blunt and simplistic language of most popular novels and series out there (which I admit and appreciate, do still have a time and a place!). ( )
  superducky800 | Apr 10, 2024 |
Loved the book. Had me in suspense while listening to the audiobook. On yo book 2. ( )
  vickiv | Apr 2, 2024 |
So so good! TREES!!! Love the story! So in love with Elspeth and Ravyn! Such a page turner! Amazing gothic fantasy! Was so so invested in the story. Book two is already out and I can’t wait to read it! ( )
  morozovaanastasia | Mar 27, 2024 |
I liked this book. One thing that I wish the book did differently is gave more character development. I didn't have many feelings for the main character Rayvn; we barely got to know him in the book. Another aspect that I didn't enjoy was the rhymes throughout the book. It took me out of the world that was being built and felt too childish. ( )
  mixymixy | Mar 23, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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To the quiet girls with stories in their heads. To their dreams--and their nightmares.
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I was nine the first time the Physicians came to the house.
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Fantasy. Fiction. Romance. HTML:

For fans of Uprooted and For the Wolf comes a dark, lushly gothic fantasy about a maiden who must unleash the monster within to save her kingdomâ??but the monster in her head isn't the only threat lurking.
Elspeth needs a monster. The monster might be her.
Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunderâ??she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.

But nothing comes for free, especially magic.

When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. Except the highwayman just so happens to be the King's own nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder...and guilty of high treason.

He and Elspeth have until Solstice to gather twelve Providence Cardsâ??the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly, darkly, taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop

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