I'll start by saying - I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THIS BOOK AND THIS AUTHOR IS NOW OFFICIALLY MY HERO. If you've followed my reviews for a little while, you'll know how much I adore the Red Winter trilogy, also by Annette Marie and the fact that I believe this author is a genius. Her ability with pacing, romantic tension, slow-burn, drama and incredible plot twists, consistently blows me away. The Night Realm is absolutely no exception!
The Night Realm fits into the Stone and Steel series, which I will admit I haven't read yet (and I definitely will be now!) sort of as a prequel trilogy. As a reader who didn't know the characters or world too well, the fantastic news is that I wasn't confused or unsure of what was going on almost 100% of the time! So, if like me, you haven't stepped into this world before, or read any of Annette Marie's other books, then you can absolutely start right here with The Night Realm.
I adored all of the characters - Clio's feisty nature, Lyre's complexity and vulnerability (as well as snark) as well as so many other secondary characters that filled the world and book with such interest and drama!
The plot was fast paced, and I couldn't stop myself from flipping through the pages as quickly as possible! The world building was fascinating, and I am really looking forward to finding out what happens next, especially after that incredibly intense ending!!!!!!
The general gist of this review - I couldn't recommend this book or this author enough, so if you love intense slow-burn romances, drama, action and fast-paced plots, then pick up The Night Realm (or the Red Winter trilogy). Haha, I'm just plugging all of them! Personally, I can't wait for the sequel to release in only a few short weeks in January!
I absolutely loved The Night Realm and it has found a special place in my heart. It was funny, engaging, suspenseful and unputdownable. I loved the unforgettable characters, the smouldering romance, the witty banter, the non-stop action, the creative magical world, the intricate plot – everything! As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to re-read it again!
The Night Realm is beautifully written, with an original and layered plot, plenty of action, intrigue and edge of your seat suspense. Lyre and Clio were magnetic, believable characters and I connected with them straight away. It was easy to read, with no big info dump and the action started from the first page. I especially loved the weaves and spells, and the magical, fascinating world that Ms Marie has created.
This book is a spin-off of the Stone & Stone series, but it is not necessary to have read this series to enjoy and follow The Night Realm. Though once you have had a taste of Ms Marie’s outstanding writing you will want to experience her other books too.
Overall, this is an addictive, sweet read, which I had me rapt from the first page and either swooning, laughing or nail biting throughout. Highly recommended!
I fell into this story from the first page, and literally didn't stop until if finished it. I absolutely adored the descriptions and uses of magic, and could really relate to the imperfect characters Annette Marie has created. I didn't realise that it wasn't the first story in this world, and I will be going back and reading her optional series while I impatiently await the next installment of this one.
The Night Realm is the prequel to the Steel & Stone series and sets the stage a little for that series. It was ok. Clio has a few twists as she maneuvers her way through the underworld and her interactions with Lyre make this a fun read. It just didn't hit all my go-to buttons to make it a great read, which is a little disappointing after the Red Winter series.
Unlike a lot of readers, I did NOT read Steel & Stone before picking up the first Spell Weaver book, so I can unequivocally say it works really well as the start of a standalone series. In fact, it takes place before S&S does chronologically, so while you don't get all the great feelings of "Hey! I know them! Oh, so that's how they started out!" as you do if you're reading this as a prequel. Honestly, I liked the world enough that I then went and read all of S&S, then re-read The Night Realm so I too could revel in those little "Hey!" moments.
The pacing and story lines are good, the main characters are well developed, the worldbuilding is solid, and the magic system is well thought out and explained. It's sexy, but (spoiler?) there's no actual sex -- at least in this first book. I can't wait for the next installment in January -- it didn't end on a cliffhanger in the sense that you're not left wondering about someone's possible demise or anything annoying and gimmicky like that, but you're left with a clear: what happens next? Highly recommended for old fans and new readers alike.