Kindle Edition, 219 pages
Published June 16th, 2016
He locked himself away from the dark, but in the Magpie King’s forest nowhere is safe…
Lonan is an outcast, accused of letting the monsters that stalk the night into the homes of his fellow villagers. Now, he will not rest until he wins back the heart of his childhood love and reclaims the life that was stolen from him. However, locked safely in his cellar at night, in his dreams Lonan finds himself looking through the eyes of a young prince…
Adahy has a destiny, and it terrifies him. How can he hope to live up to the legend of the Magpie King, to become the supernatural protector of the forest and defender of his people? But when the forest is invaded by an inhuman force, Adahy must rise to this challenge or let the Wolves destroy his people.
Watching these events unfold in his sleep, Lonan must do what he can to protect his village from this new threat. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to earn back their trust or watch the monsters kill everyone that he holds dear.
They Mostly Come Out At Night is a Dark Fantasy novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. If you like Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss then you will love this captivating, dangerous world in which ordinary people struggle to find their place in a land ruled by stories.
Let me start with a few words about the world building (most of them copied from ‘A Word from the Author‘ at the end of the book). This story (or actually, it’s a lot of stories within a story) takes place in a dark, almost borderless forest. There are two types of peoples: the High Corvae and the Low Corvae. The Low Corvae are the people who live in small villages deep inside the forest. The High Corvae can be seen as a bit of the elite. Both come from different places originally and it really shows in the storytelling as a whole. The Low Corvae stories are based on real-world traditional tales and folklore, mostly from Central Europe; think the Brothers Grimm. The High Corvae stories have strong ties to Native American culture. Now if that doesn’t sound absolutely fantastic and fascinating to you already, I don’t know what will!
We start off in one of the small villages. As soon as the sun sets, the inhabitants retreat to their cellars while making sure to lock everything to the max because, as the title suggests, they mostly come out at night. ‘They’ is referring to monsters who will rip you into pieces and eat you if you don’t lock yourself in properly before sunset. Every night, it’s the same procedure; for as long as the villagers have known.
Lonan, a young man (this is not YA!) from the village, has been shunned ever since he got his father killed by screaming in the middle of the night, and therefore, having lead the monsters to their basement. Everybody hates him, except for Mother Ogma, the village healer. Mother Ogma is such a badass old lady, I believe she’s my favourite character in the entire book (and there are quite a few of those).
When Lonan starts dreaming of the Magpie King, one of the High Corvae who’s supposedly keeping the forest folk safe during the night (yet no one really knows whether he’s a myth or not) shit starts hitting the fan. I think that’s about all of the story I’m going to give away here.
I’m now simply going to tell you that this was absolutely fantastic. There are basically three storylines, neatly divided into separate chapters in a specific order, so you shouldn’t get confused about it. All three storylines are equally fascinating. If you’re a fan of classic retellings or rich stories in general, this is the book for you. If you don’t easily shy away from a bit of blood and guts, this is the book for you.
There is depth, excitement, adventure, horror, general creepiness, and humour!
“The sensible, selfless thing would be for Lonan to walk away now. “Wait here a moment,” he said, and made his way down the river..”
I chuckled out loud a few times, especially when it comes to Mother Ogma’s dialogues. She’s one feisty granny!
With the rich storytelling, you won’t become bored in the first place, but then there’s the added bonus of some of the characters who keep dying with the intensity of Sean Bean in front of a camera.
The only reason I’m a party pooper and not giving this one the full five brownies on my blog is because of a few minor things not adding up entirely. Such as Mother Ogma not believing Lonan while she was the one telling him about his Knack for something in the first place.
That’s right, Knack with a capital K because a Knack is like a talent every one of the villagers eventually develops. It could be for tailoring or cleaning, but it could also be something a bit more magical. Not that I’m saying cleaning can’t be magical…okay, never mind, I am saying that exactly.
Fantastic world building. In-depth characters. Dark Fantasy with a twist of horror. Exquisite storytelling. Highly recommended!
Links to the book: