Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunder—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. And the highwayman? He just so happens to be the King’s nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.
Together they must gather twelve Providence Cards—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 taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(3 / 5) Elspeth has been infected with a fever. This infection trapped a monster inside her head. The more this monster helps her and preserves her life, the more power he gains.
“If I had died, so, too, would you have, Nightmare. Don’t for a second pretend you did this all because you care for me.”
I had a hard time remembering what each card was used for but I did enjoy those. Each card was able to give the cardholder some form of control over a person. Being able to force people to tell the truth and such made a great addition to the story. If Elspeth can collect all 12 cards then she is able to rid herself of the infection, and in turn, the Nightmare inside her head.
I’ve been craving spooky reads for weeks now! Sadly, this one just didn’t do it for me. While there were parts I enjoyed, overall it didn’t grab me.
General content summary: F words: 6, previous mother death, men attack a young woman and she uses magic to fight them off, alcohol, ambush/physical violence (few), blood, blood used for magic, previous child physical abuse (no details), m/f passionate kissing (multiple), whipping and sentenced to death, passionate kissing and open door intimacy, infidelity, poisoning, breaking bones and gruesome death, crippling a man.
Thank you to Orbit Books for the gifted copy!
The book releases September 27, 2022.
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