Those born of darkness will carry it in their nature: Reviewing The Foxglove King (Book 1 of The Nightshade Crown series) by Hannah Whitten

Hey everyone! I’m still around and still reading diligently. Adjusting to a new sleep schedule is never easy at first. I’m also back with a fantasy novel for the first time in (what feels like) forever. Feel free to read my review of Hannah Whitten’s The Wilderwood Duology if you are so inclined. I don’t want to ramble on too much more so let’s talk about The Foxglove King.

Content Warning: Graphic Depictions of Death, Some Harsh Language, Some Sexual Content, Discussions and Depictions of Substance Abuse

From a young age, Lore has honed her wit and cunning to survive on her own. She was able to survive by running poison for a local cartel that gave her a second chance. Lore has also had to hide her ability to channel Mortem, a substance used in death magic. When a job goes terribly wrong, Lore finds herself in front of the Sainted King himself. Instead of sentencing her to death, King August offers her something else. Whole villages are being wiped out by some kind of death magic. The king suspects that his only son is somehow behind this. Lore must use her magic to find out what is happening or be sent to the pyre. Thrown into the world of court intrigue, Lore must carefully navigate the suspicious nobles. What she finds, though, could mean the beginning of the end.

I might have said this before but I think what I enjoy the most about Hannah Whitten’s books is that they remind me of the young adult fantasy series I used to enjoy, like The Mortal Instruments or The Vampire Diaries. This book, however, is elevated to a more “adult” level with fun yet complicated characters and circumstances. I like the way that this book incorporates bits and pieces of tropes (like a love triangle) but avoids making them cliche. I personally really liked how dark magic was at the center of this novel and how it wasn’t villainized in any obvious way. This was a fun, dark escapist fantasy and I will definitely keep an eye out for this rest of this series.