A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani [Review]

A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani

I read a book! I’m so happy to say that I finally finished A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani.

This is the sequel to The Theft of Sunlight and is part of the Dauntless Path series, which starts with Thorn. Thorn is a standalone and is not a requirement for ADATD, but you’ll need to read Theft to appreciate ADATD.

Warning: a couple of potential spoilers ahead. I say “potential” because they’re not really specific, but they might spoil the overall feel of the ending a little.

A Darkness At The Door coverA Darkness At The Door

I’ve been cursed, betrayed, and sold into slavery – but the truth I carry can’t be allowed to die.

Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.

Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.

Add this book on Goodreads. Buy this book: https://books2read.com/adatd

About the Author: Intisar Khanani

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | GoodreadsInstagram | Patreon

A fitting conclusion to the duology

Okay, a few disclosures. One, I may be a little biased because I’m a big fan of Intisar Khanani’s work. Two, I went into this book as someone who’s been having a hard time getting back into reading for the last few years. Last year, I read one graphic novel (Neil Gaiman, et al) and two short stories (Intisar Khanani). The year before that I read one full-length book and one novella. That’s how dire my reading has been. In an effort to get me into some kind of reading mood this year, I revisited old favorites–specifically, Intisar Khanani’s Sunbolt Chronicles, a series that I absolutely love. I read the two books in the series before diving into A Darkness At The Door.

So, take all of that as you will. My ‘reader self’ is still out of sorts so writing a review after so long feels a little strange.

Anyway, having said all that, I find that A Darkness At The Door is a great conclusion to the duology and I enjoyed reading it. Well, I like most of it.

Here are some of the things I like:

It has a strong and resilient woman at the center, and the supporting characters are pretty interesting, too (shoutout to Artemis and Lirika!). It’s a gripping story with a lot of action and a little magic thrown in. It has disability representation that’s handled well. It has some pretty dark stuff and mature themes, but I think they’re tackled well, too. Also, [spoiler] villainous folks get their comeuppance and good folks win some.

I think the best thing about the duology is the main character, Rae, who is the heart of it all. She’s strong, but also vulnerable. She’s smart and thinks things through, but she’s not closed off to her emotions. She gets herself into some kind of trouble so many times, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she’s a big-hearted person who doesn’t let anything stop her from trying to help others.

Some of the things I don’t care for:

I think the pacing isn’t as consistent as Theft and my attention wavered a bit somewhere in the middle of the book. It’s like so many things are happening and also nothing is happening, I don’t know. Things pick up towards the end though so it’s fine. Also, the romance bit, which isn’t bad really. I’m not a big fan of heavy romance mixed in my fantasy and sci-fi reads, so I’m glad that the romance here is kind of light and clean. I would have preferred none of it for this, but that’s just me (haha).

I don’t know how to get into more details without spoiling a few things, so let me just say that A Darkness At The Door is a great ending to the duology. Many things are wrapped up nicely. And there are no [spoiler] major heartbreaks, too, which I appreciate (haha).

Like most good stories, the book ends with new beginnings, so, you know, I think it’s nice and open to potentially more stories in the Dauntless Path world. I know I would be happy to read something that features other characters like Rae’s sisters Niya and Bean or even Lirika.

Cover Reveal: A Darkness At The Door by Intisar Khanani

A Darkness at the Door header

A Darkness at the Door, the follow-up to Theft of Sunlight is almost here! The book comes out in a few months, but the UK cover is ready to be revealed!

Scroll down to check it out!

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Aaaand here’s the cover. Ta-da! Haha!

A Darkness At The Door cover

A Darkness At The Door

I’ve been cursed, betrayed, and sold into slavery – but the truth I carry can’t be allowed to die.

Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.

Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.

Add this book on Goodreads.

Look at that gorgeous cover!

The cover artist is the same artist who did Theft Of Sunlight: Jenny Zemanek.

A Darkness At The Door comes out in a few months! I can’t wait! :)

About the Author: Intisar Khanani

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author on her website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Pre-order A Darkness At The Door: https://lnk.to/DarknessAtTheDoor

Check out the Audiobook Kickstarter for A Darkness At The Door: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/booksbyintisar/a-darkness-at-the-door

What do you think about the cover?

Review: The Theft of Sunlight (Dauntless Path #1) by Intisar Khanani

Theft header

It’s finally here! The Theft of Sunlight by author Intisar Khanani releases today and I’m here with a review of this amazing book.

Theft of Sunlight is the first book in a companion duology to Thorn. Some characters from Thorn appear in Theft, but the main character is Amraeya or Rae, who first appears in The Bone Knife, a short story included at the end of Thorn. I loved The Bone Knife so I was excited to read Theft.

Read on for more on the book and my short review! :)

Theft of SunlightTitle: The Theft of Sunlight
Series: Book 1 in a duology in the “Dauntless Path” world
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Artist: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 23, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen (US/CA), Hot Key (UK)
Price: TBD

I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away if I can make a difference.

Children have been disappearing from Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her best friend’s sister disappears, Rae knows she can’t stay silent any longer. She finds the chance to make a difference in an invitation to the palace.

But Rae struggles to fit in with the lords and ladies of the court. Instead, she finds unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges thief named Bren who always seems to have her best interests at heart. Soon even Bren can’t help her, and Rae must risk her life and well-being to face an evil that lurks in the shadows of the darkest hearts.

Add this book on Goodreads.

Purchase The Theft of Sunlight: IndieBound | Bookshop | Other Online Retailers

About the Author: Intisar Khanani

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Purchase The Theft of Sunlight: IndieBound | Bookshop | Other Online Retailers

Awesome characters, creative and compelling story

Intisar Khanani is one of my favorite authors of all time because her writing is beautiful and she creates such interesting stories with incredible world building, complex and engaging protagonists, equally complex and intriguing supporting characters, and very real themes. The Theft of Sunlight has all of these, that’s why it was such a blast to read.

At the center of Theft is, of course, our main character Rae who has navigated through her entire life as a woman with a physical handicap, but she doesn’t let her own personal challenges get the better of her. We see her step out of her comfort zone, realize how much more capable she really is and come into her own. I love her interaction and dynamics with the other characters, especially the thief Bren. She gets into so many interesting and, more often than not, dangerous situations in her determination to find the truth, but she doesn’t let setbacks or fear stop her from doing what she believes is right. She’s pretty cool is what I’m saying.

And as if having a strong, admirable and relatable woman for a main character isn’t enough, Theft also has a story that’s compelling. Children are disappearing and there’s something dark and twisted behind it. There’s also some cool magic stuff, but it’s not overwhelming (though I’m hoping there will be more in the next book!). This book is a bit long, but it has some exciting bits that make you want to keep reading until you get to the *brutal* ending. LOL.

So there. I highly recommend checking out The Theft of Sunlight (and Thorn, if you haven’t read it yet). I enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the next one!

In the meantime, I am patiently waiting for my pre-ordered physical copy to arrive. Woot.

Note: I received an e-ARC of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Cover reveal: The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani ($25 Giveaway)

TheftofSunlight - header

Hi, friends! Today we have the cover reveal for The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani, who happens to be one of my favorite fantasy authors.

Theft of Sunlight is the first book in a companion duology to Thorn. The main character, Rae, is introduced in the short story, The Bone Knife, which is included at the end of Thorn. Btw, the Thorn ebook is currently on sale for only $2.99. Get it here!

Anyway, without further ado, check out the gorgeous cover below! Also check out the blurb and an excerpt. And, of course, enter the cover reveal giveaway for a chance to win $25 worth of books! Enjoy! :)

Theft of SunlightTitle: The Theft of Sunlight
Series: Book 1 in a duology in the “Dauntless Path” world
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Artist: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 23, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen (US/CA), Hot Key (UK)
Price: TBD

I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away if I can make a difference.

Children have been disappearing from Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her best friend’s sister disappears, Rae knows she can’t stay silent any longer. She finds the chance to make a difference in an invitation to the palace.

But Rae struggles to fit in with the lords and ladies of the court. Instead, she finds unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges thief named Bren who always seems to have her best interests at heart. Soon even Bren can’t help her, and Rae must risk her life and well-being to face an evil that lurks in the shadows of the darkest hearts.

Add this book on Goodreads.

About the Author

Intisar-Khanani-Author-Photo

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Read an Excerpt from The Theft of Sunlight

I wait, listening for the sound of someone entering the house. Anything to indicate I need to hide what Niya’s doing. I can hear a woman calling to her children somewhere in the distance, and the general sounds of the town: a wagon creaking its way down the road, chickens clucking in someone’s backyard, and, faintly, people calling Seri’s name.

I swallow and glance back at Niya.

She looks up. “It’s not working. I don’t know if it’s me or . . .”

“Here,” I say, catching the end of one of my braids. “Try my hair. See if that works.”

Niya takes the bit of hair I snap off and bends over her bowl again. I grip my skirt with my fists and hope, hope that it’s Niya’s magic that isn’t working, and not . . . not that Seri is truly beyond our reach.

“It’s working,” Niya says, her voice flat. I look down to see the leaf has turned, the silver needle glinting brighter than it should as it points straight toward me.

I raise my eyes to Niya’s. Seri isn’t just missing. She’s somewhere even magic can’t find her.
She’s been snatched.

Giveaway

Intisar Khanani is offering $25 of books from The Book Depository (open to folks anywhere The Book Depository ships, winner chooses the books).

Enter the giveaway here: http://booksbyintisar.com/2020/06/22/cover-reveal -the-theft-of-sunlight/

Cover Reveal: Thorn by Intisar Khanani (plus a $25 Giveaway!)

Thorn_Cover_reveal

Today we’re celebrating the new cover of Thorn, a fairy tale retelling by one of my favorite fantasy authors, Intisar Khanani! Yayyy.

Intisar Khanani self-published Thorn back in 2012 and I even had the chance to review it. I loved it and I have been a fan of Intisar’s work since then. The novel is being re-released under HarperTeen and I’m excited for everyone else to discover this book.

Check out the new cover below! Then read an excerpt and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Thorn-inspired prize pack and a $25 gift card (for one US winner) or a $25 gift card (for one non-US winner). Enjoy!

About the Book

Thorn_Intisar KhananiTitle: Thorn
Series: A standalone in the “Dauntless Path” world
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Publisher: HarperTeen
Price: US $18.99 (Hardcover), US $9.99 (e-book)

Synopsis:

A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own.

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Advance Praise for Thorn

“Thorn is a lovely atmospheric fairytale fantasy about a girl and her found family. I loved it!” – Gail Carriger, New York Times-bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series

“Intisar Khanani is in my top five favorite authors writing today. A stunningly talented storyteller whose lyrical writing just blows my socks off every time I read her.” – Grace Draven, USA Today bestselling author Eidolon

Book Links

Universal Book Link (All Stores): http://books2read.com/thorn

The following links will direct readers directly to their “local” store for their territory:

About the Author

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020).

Connect with the author: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Read an Excerpt

“Princess Alyrra,” the king says. I rise and lift my eyes to his. He studies me as if I were a prize goat, his gaze sliding over me before returning to my face, as cold and calculating as a butcher.

“We have heard tell of you before.”

“My lord?” My voice is steady and calm, as I’ve learned to make it when I’m only half frightened. For all my prayers, there’s no sign of softer traits in the man before me.

“It is said you are honest. An unusual trait, it would seem.”

Dread curls tight in my belly. I force some semblance of a smile to my lips. There is no other answer I can give that my family will not despise me for. My brother has gone rigid, his hands pressed flat against his thighs.

“You are most kind,” my mother says, stepping forward.

The king watches me a moment longer, leaving my mother waiting. Just when I thought I might finally escape my history, how my family sees me, I find I am mistaken. There is no better future to hope for now. The king has come for me, knowing full well I am nothing to my family.

Giveaway

In celebration of the cover reveal, the author will be giving away a THORN-inspired prize pack including a great snowy owl enamel pin, a gorgeous “quill” style calligraphy pen set, a hand-painted watercolor feather on a page from Thorn, and a “fairy dust” candle. The prize pack plus a $25 Gift Card will be awarded to one US winner. She is also offering a $25 Gift Card to one non-US winner.

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