Review: Down comes the night (Allison Saft) | I read 400 pages in one sitting and don’t regret anything

Hi, it’s me: an emotionally unstable reader that will scream at you so you will read this book. In case you read the title of this post and are wondering Birdie, are you okay? I have two answers for you. 1) This book made me feel so many things and has been added to the list of reasons I’m not mentally stable. 2) After I finished this book my legs hurt a lot. Yes, I know that’s my own fault. I was also just very disappointed by the fact that I opened my eyes and found myself in this universe.

Either way, hello all! Welcome to a new chaotic review! I used to try to be professional while doing these, but I’ve decided to let go of that. Will this, indeed, result in absolute chaos? Yes, but we’ll survive. Today I’m telling you all about Down comes the night by Allison Saft, a little book that I believe everyone here should read! Let’s just get into it!

What is Down comes the night about?

Down comes the night by Allison Saft
Publisher: Wednesday books
Release date: March 2nd, 2021
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
Representation: Bisexual main character, bipoc side character
Trigger warnings: graphic depictions of surgical procedures; gore, including descriptions of wounds, blood, and corpses; implied torture (not shown on page)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

He saw the darkness in her magic. She saw the magic in his darkness.

Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.

The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.

With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.

Allison Saft’s Down Comes the Night is a snow-drenched romantic fantasy that keeps you racing through the pages long into the night.

Love makes monsters of us all.

What did I think of Down comes the night?

I think my introduction to this post made it very clear that I’m obsessed with this book, but in case anyone missed out on that: I absolutely loved this book. I hadn’t heard a lot about it before I picked it up and decided to go in not knowing too much. I knew it was about a bisexual healer that had been send away and that there was an enemies to lovers romance.

Now, before I really start this review, I want to clarify a few things. After I finished this book, I read the description and found myself thinking that it gives off quite the wrong vibe. This book has a dark vibe but has no horror elements, something that the synopsis kinda suggests. It’s a romantic fantasy, so that’s that.

Another thing: Wren’s “reckless” use of magic is not in a rebel way or anything like that. Wren just acts out of her emotions, something that’s not really appreciated in this world. I adored this element and it made me feel very seen. The author dedicated this book to all the girls who feel too much and that just meant a lot to me.

We see so many badass women in fiction who are also vulnerable sometimes, but in Down comes the night we saw how Wren was badass while being vulnerable. Her emotions were a part of her and I just recognised myself a lot in her.

“Maybe I’m wrong,” he said pensively. “I still have things I would kill for. But perhaps the most important things—what truly drives us—are the things we would die for.”

Allison Saft, Down comes the night (quoted from an advanced copy)

I know for a fact a lot of us love morally grey characters, but something that’s often done that I don’t like is when the bad things they’ve done are brushed off because they are “hot”. Let me introduce you to Hal, our love interest. He’s done bad things and though society practically made him a monster, he still was the one who did those horrible things.

That’s something Allison Saft didn’t do. She didn’t just tell us what he did and moved on. No, she showed us how he regrets it all and wants to face the consequences of his past actions. PLUS, and this is a big one, Wren wasn’t there to make him better! He wanted to be better for himself! That made me so happy because that’s how it should be!

Down comes the night revolves a lot around Wren and Hal, of course, but may I also just talk about Una? The character DEVELOPMENT? Can we not sleep on that please? I will not spoil because this is obviously a spoiler-free review, but again: it made me so happy! Wren’s journey to acceptance is also such a good one and I! LOVE! THIS! BOOK! So yes, Wren was great on her own and Hal too, but let’s talk about them together…

“Mercy is the most difficult thing.”

Allison Saft, down comes the night (quoted from an advanced copy)

The way I couldn’t breathe is truly concerning. Never in my life have I seen such tension between two characters. Allison Saft could’ve made them kiss way earlier in the book because the tension was there, but she chose not to and I both love and hate that. No, no, seriously: I love it even though it made me suffer in not-so-silence (yes, I was screaming). Waiting made it all feel so much more natural and realistic.

Now that I’m thinking about that: their whole relationship is actually really realistic. It just felt right, you know? Not too fast at all while still not dragging on which I’m always here for! Let’s just say my heart exploded and I cried a whole lot. (May I repeat: THAT TENSION THOUGH…)

I loved that Wren was bi! I’ve seen lots of people say it’s lazy representation because the romance is between a man and a woman, but that kinda makes me really angry? How does Wren being in love with a man make her any less bi? I actually loved this and hope that bi people who are dating a man will feel more than valid because of this representation!

Before I go on and rant about feminism, let’s keep it to reviewing Down comes the night! This book was written so well! Full of beautiful and meaningful quotes, this book covers a lot of important things. The one below this paragraph is one that I can only applaud the author for because it’s so true!

“Maybe the only difference between a monster and a hero was the color of a soldier’s uniform.”

Allison Saft, Down comes the night (quoted from an advanced copy)

I don’t think this review truly captures how much I loved this book, the feelings it gave me and the things it shows and teaches people, but I tried! I consciously waited a few days before writing this review because I needed to process everything. I think I only started loving it more because I couldn’t (and can’t) top thinking about this! Allison Saft’s debut gets a 5/5 from me! If this doesn’t end up on my top 10 books of 2021, I don’t know either…

So that was a lot of fun to write, as always! I hope I convinced you to pick up this book because otherwise I’ve clearly failed in life. Either way: if you end up picking this up, please shoot me a message so we can discuss it! I think it’s clear I won’t be able to let this one go for a hot minute but…

12 thoughts on “Review: Down comes the night (Allison Saft) | I read 400 pages in one sitting and don’t regret anything

  1. Fantastic review! I also love how the author doesn’t make the whole “being better because of love” trope happen in this book- rather Hal was already on a road of regret and facing the consequences on his own and he’s the one that made Wren see that being kind and empathetic is not wrong! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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