Review: They Mostly Come Out At Night by Benedict Patrick

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.

5 of 5 stars!

They Mostly Come Out At Night is wonderfully put together, with a consistent folk tale atmosphere that blends two cultures, histories, myths, and current scenes, with a coming of age journey.

The setting is an old forest filled with dangers and secrets, and some disagreement about whether the dangers are mythical or real. The villagers haven't been in touch with the forest dwellers in at least a generation, and what used to be accepted knowledge has become rumor.

The main character, Lonan, is a bit of an outcast. He doesn't really have a skill or a place in the village. When he starts having strange dreams, he wonders if they are leading him toward some new meaning in his life. What dangers lurk in the forest? Are the villagers doing enough to protect themselves? Do they even need protection anymore? The dreams end up connecting directly with Lonan's future, in an excellent way that I didn't see coming.

Yarnsworld weaves a spell that entranced me completely. From the beginning of the story, I sank into this world. Chapters are divided with short folk tales of the culture that are referred to in other parts of the story. It's a charming way to fill out the oral history of the characters and develop the cultures better. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to create folk tales that sound old and well-established but are original to a fantasy world. This author makes it look easy.

This short novel is a complicated piece that fits together very tightly and celebrates the value of oral histories, and the heroes and lessons they share. I highly recommend it for dark fantasy readers who enjoy folk tales, tribal customs, witches, tricksters, and intricate storytelling.

You can find it here on Amazon or here on Goodreads

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