Author: Hannah Whitten
Series: The Nightshade Kingdom
Series #: 1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Adult
ARC?: Yes

In this lush, romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.

When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.

Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.

Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.

But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.


Me: *hates love triangles* 

This book: *hold my mortem* 

Okay, so this book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2023. I loved For the Wolf and For the Throne, and I was BEYOND thrilled when I got an ARC of this book. (Alas, waiting for the sequel is going to be absolute torture). 

This book went so far beyond my expectations. I LOVED it. Gothic fantasy ftw. Lore is such a great main character. I absolutely adored her (in part, because look, my blog is Lore of the Books) and her sass. She was such a complicated character and her interactions with all the other characters was well written. 

Now onto our two male leads, Gabe and Bastian. Different, yet similar. I loved them both. Still love them both really. There is a love triangle here, and as you all know normally I HATE them with a passion. But in this case I love how it unfolds. I keep hoping for something more than a love triangle…but I guess we’ll have to see! 

I loved the banter between the characters, and I love how their backstories are teased out along the way in the book. It worked for me, because I felt like I got to know the characters more. There are some amazing moments throughout the book and *chef’s kiss* the tension is impeccable. 

The magic and world building in this book was fab, as always. I love how religion, politics and gods all play a role and weave together. Nothing is as it seems. I like how some issues arise in this book and you don’t know which way things are going to go. 

There are a lot of moving parts in this book, and if you like political intrigue, and court politics as well as some commentary on religion as well as gothic romance, heavily atmospheric books – this will be the book for you. 

I absolutely adored this book, and was practically tearing my hair out by the end. I didn’t want it to end – I wanted to know what was going to happen next! 

I really don’t want to give too much away about this book. This was a really strong first book in Hannah Whitten’s new series, and I know I am so very excited for the sequel. 

(Also, for when I can finally post quotes. There are SO MANY I want to use.) 


Author: Hannah Whitten
Series: Wilderwood
Series #: 1
Genre: fantasy
Age Group: adult
ARC?: no

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.


I absolutely adored For the Wolf. Books that have mysterious forests and creatures set in a fantasy world? Y e p. I love it. Those are some of my favorite things, and this book contained them! Therefore, it was a given that I would like this book. And did I! I was a bit hesitant at first, and I don’t know why – maybe I was worried it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations, but it did! (I mean, I’ve been fooled by covers before, and I love this one, so I’m right to be worried, I swear.)

World building in this book was done well. Whitten has created such a lovely and complex world and I just wanted to know more about it. Because some of the events mentioned in the book take place in the past we don’t know the full story. So as Red learns it, we do as well. This is one of my favorite ways for fantasy books to do reveals, and that is how it is done in this book. The world felt so real to me, and I liked how divided the world felt, and I think that was intentional.

The atmosphere! How lovely the atmosphere in this book. I could just imagine what it looked like, and how it felt, Whitten evoked such a sense of place and atmosphere with her writing. I was fully immersed in this book as I read it, and I read it quickly too. I just could not put it down! All that to say her writing is great as well. It flowed easily and worked well. I didn’t feel that it bogged down anywhere.

The pacing was also wonderful in this book. I didn’t get bored!

The side characters in this book really livened things up as well – and brought new POVs to situations that we didn’t realize were happening.

Red and Eammon were both wonderful. I loved as they began to learn about each other and trust one another. As a romance develops between them you can’t help but smile. As dark as this book was at times, it also held a bit of light and hope.

The other relationship was between Neve and Red, the sisters, and that was skillfully executed as well. I was honestly so impressed with it — I love when we get well done family relationships.

This book has become one of my favorite adult fantasies, and when I first read it I gave it four stars, but I think I’m going to change it to five, thinking back.